For myself, the most prominent of things I’ve gained from my martial arts journey is my confidence. When I first began training Kuk Sool at the age of 5, I was a very introverted and shy individual; so much so that I didn’t want to even step foot on the mats! In fact it took my dad and instructor a long time of persuading in order to get me to even step foot on them because I was just too nervous! Fortunately, they succeeded in getting me to join in after about a month and I will be forever grateful for their persistence in convincing me to join in and I’m even more grateful for everything which followed this which has led me to be the confident martial artist and instructor that I am today, over 11 years later. I am now infinitely more confident than I was upon first joining and am now reluctant to get off the mats! This notable change in attitude and confidence is purely down to my Kuk Sool training and has improved me both as a martial artist and as a person, opening more doors for me and giving me the power and confidence to do things I never thought I’d be able to do!
When I started to actually join in at Kuk Sool in January of 2005, I still wasn’t the most confident of children. I didn’t speak to any of the other students; I rarely had the confidence to speak to the instructor either. I didn’t ki-ahp when everyone else did; I didn’t count with everyone else when doing kicks and exercises; I didn’t like performing in front of people; and I certainly didn’t participate in any demonstrations or tournaments! Fast forward to now, eleven and a half years later, and I do count with everyone else, talk to other students and my instructors, participate in demos and tournaments and I am now the instructor of the advanced juniors’ class at Lowestoft, taking full classes twice a week! I know that this boost in confidence is down to my motivation and training at Kuk Sool and being pushed and being moved up to the adult class in recent years. I feel that both the training and the social side of Kuk Sool, involving the respect I have gained from other practitioners and instructors, has improved my confidence drastically, and it’t not just me either. I have seen other peoples confidence shoot up through their Kuk Sool Won journeys too, which just goes to show that it can happen to anyone.
In the past couple of years in which my confidence has really shot up, I feel that my training and performance in Kuk Sool has improved drastically so I have drawn the conclusion that martial arts is all about confidence – it requires more and more confidence as you progress through the ranks and just as you need it, you gain it through training.
If you want to improve, you need to believe in yourself and believe that you are what you want to be. If you believe you’re already there and act like you’re already there, you’ll be there in no time! You’ll reach your goal of improvement. Don’t just set a static goal though, set a dynamic one that’s always moving away as you move towards it. This way, you’ll be constantly improving and striving for martial arts excellence!