When setting up classes for the traditional Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won, twenty-five years ago the only place that we could find to rent was a very dingy hall at the Old Malting Leisure Centre; unfortunately it wasn’t too long before we out-grew these facilities.
After a continuous search for larger premises we were eventually left scratching our heads. We realised that certain other facilities, like the Rifle Hall and Halesworth Middle School were already being used by many other sports clubs and came to the conclusion there was just nowhere for us to go.
One evening after a training session a group of dedicated students decided to sit down in the bar of the Old Malting’s to debate this dreary situation. After a lot of discussion someone suddenly suggested that we should build our own training hall. It seemed like a crazy proposition at the time, but non-the-less it was an idea worth looking into.
After pursuing the suggestion a little more, we were thankfully offered a small plot of land by the Halesworth Playing field Association, up at Dairy Hill. Further research and planning came up with a made-to-measure purpose-built timber framed building, large enough to hold approximately thirty students, with the solitary use of practicing martial arts.
After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, this vision eventually came to fruition and our own purpose built hall was officially opened in November 1988, exactly one year after the idea was initially conceived. We were also extremely grateful for the support of Waveney District Council, John Cliff Building Supplies, donations from local businesses, as well as many other personal contributions in the way of time, money, and effort.
Today, twenty-five years on, we still have a very active martial art school, with around eighty members, including thirty-five practicing black belts. People often travel many miles to practice in our purpose built dojang. The building does have a certain resonance, something that keeps people coming back for more and more.
What our small building task did display all those years ago was a real act of “community spirit” – everyone working together to achieve a common goal. The commemorative plaque which hangs on the wall say’s it all.
“This building was once a dream, but was turned into reality by the students of Haleswoth Kuk Sool Won School” ~ November 1988.