By KYO SA NIM SHAY JORDAN
With two hours of class time per week, and over 3000 self-defence techniques alone in the Kuk Sool Won syllabus, it doesn’t take a master to realise that there just isn’t enough class time to maintain yourself in Kuk Sool Won.
To put this into perspective, there are more movements in the first degree black belt form ‘Baek Pahl Ki Hyung’ than there are hours of class time in each year. So how should we facilitate this? And more importantly, given the current situation of in-person classes being until further notice, what is the best way to keep up with Kuk Sool? The obvious answer to the general question of how to facilitate this (and the question of what to do in the current situation for that matter) is to take training into your own hands. As a minimum, I would say that for every scheduled hour of class time, you should dedicate an hour of your own time to practicing at home. Even if it’s just a case of sitting down, closing your eyes and running through your self-defence techniques in your head; any training is training. But how else can you train?
In-class training comes with two main benefits – the space and the support. Many people don’t have a large open space in their homes which can be used for training, so my tip for dealing with this is to be adaptable and make any space a training space. This challenge of dealing with very little space will actually be beneficial in your training as it will require you to be actively thinking about what you’re doing rather than just running in autopilot. For example, if you’re practicing your forms in your small living room, you’ll be required to focus more on footwork and your hands to ensure you don’t crash into any furniture. In giving this extra attention to where your hands and feet are going, have a look at the positioning. Is your foot oriented the correct way? Is your strike accurate? Is your arm bent or straight?
This brings me onto the topic of support. In class, we are lucky enough to have support from instructors whom collectively possess hundreds of years of experience in Kuk Sool. At home, we have ourselves, with our own x amount of years training. It’s important to remember though, that these x years of experience still count as good experience. It still qualifies you to take a look at yourself and think “does that look right?”, “is this the correct position?”, “What should I be doing with my other hand?”.
Throughout my 15 years of training, there is one piece of advice from Master Martin JDKJN which has stuck in my mind more than anything else: “a mirror is the best instructor you will ever have”. At home, most people will own a mirror and this will be your instructor. This will allow you to ask the questions mentioned above. This will be your guiding light in self-improvement. Although your reflection only has as much experience as you, it offers so much more to your training.
Whilst classes are cancelled, it is important to maintain your consistent training schedule. Make sure you continue to practice at home. Make sure you continue to ask questions. Make sure you continue to progress.
For members of the Lowestoft & Halesworth Kuk Sool Won schools, we are hosting online classes via Zoom. You can find out more abut this via our Facebook page or by contacting your instructor.
Kyo Sa Nim Shay is a 2nd degree Black Belt and started his training in 2005 at 5 years old