The Duckers fulfil the role of a black belt family practising an ancient martial art form, which in days of old was renowned for the passing down of skills from one family member to the next, often secretly and under seemingly impossible circumstances. These days Kuk Sool is not so difficult to learn, but still needs plenty of dedication and commitment.
On May 31 st, Rachel (11) and Jason (8) were awarded their 1st Dan black belt in Norwich. Both children have been practising longer than they can remember. Mum and dad set down their martial arts foundation before they could both even walk. Mum, Alison, explains that she had to watch out when admirers used to poke their heads down into the push-chair to admire her two year-old daughter, as she would unexpectedly strike out at them.
“It’s her dad’s fault, he always taught his little girl how to defend herself from any early age”. Jason also had tendencies to play ninjas when he was a toddler, surprisingly sneaking up on guests with his toy sword and attacking them unexpectedly. “It was all very embarrassing”, says Alison as she reminisces about her children’s unusual upbringing.
You would expect the Ducker household to be like a scene from the ‘Pink Panther’ films where Kato jumps out of the blue onto Inspector Clueso. Alison says that she used to do that sort of thing to her husband when they were first married, until one day Martin once thought that she was a real intruder and she got more than she bargained for.
So they mutually decided not to play that game anymore, for obvious reasons. Today, Alison is more than capable of defending herself. She has also just added another notch to her belt after being awarded 3rd Dan black belt, one of only three ladies to achieve this grade in Kuk Sool here in the U.K.. The Ducker’s have made Kuk Sool a life-time endeavour. Together they have already been to the USA three times to visit and stay with the Grandmaster. Dad, who is a 4th Degree black belt says “I’m very proud of my family, I don’t force any of them to practise, they just do it”.
The kids still lead normal lives, Jason loves football and supports Manchester United and Rachel’s a Spice Girls fan. However, they realise the importance of their martial arts training, both get up early and practise before they go to school, you can’t ask for more than that.
The next ambition for the children is to become instructors one day, like mum and dad. “We just want to help other children to learn the true benefits of the martial arts”, says Rachel. Jason adds, “We also have lots of fun too”.
The most important thing about the Ducker’s Kuk Sool practise is that they stay together as a family, all realise the total commitment that is needed to reach and maintain that prestigious black belt grade.