Today our school turns 10 years old. In that time we’ve moved across Glasgow City Centre, found our permanent home, welcomed students and built our Kuk Sool Won family.
KSW Glasgow started off in a dance studio called Spotlight on Sauchiehall Street. Our first few classes were led by the then Jo Kyo Nim (1st dahn black belt) Andrew and consisted of him, the then Jo Kyo Nim Peter and the then white belt Fiona. It was clear very quickly from the variety on offer and enthusiasm of our instructor that the school was going to be something unique.
Classes were focused on learning the syllabus, stretching, building trust and relationships and exploring our martial art together. We had frequent visits from Andrew’s partner Sarah and the school presence started to grow.
As classes got busier, with existing black belts moving to the city, new students finding us and with thanks to Peter who made it his mission to recruit as many people as possible; the school began to evolve into what it is today.
Spotlight was becoming too small so we moved training venues, first to North Woodside Leisure Centre in the west end of the city where we could use the mats and were able to practise break falls and then to Edenfit where the added benefit of wall to wall mirrors helped us to perfect forms and work on precision.
Finally we found our permanent home in the city centre dojang and worked to make it the fully matted and custom fit training space it is today. Painting, DIY and laying out the mats, aided by pizza and students, helped cement friendships and allow us to have an exclusive training space that really fits our needs.
As a school we’ve travelled to WKSA competitions in Scotland, Liverpool, Norwich, Spain and the Netherlands and have had three of our students, including Pu Sa Bum Nim (3rd dahn) Andrew, earn multiple grand champion awards at black belt level, meaning they earned the most points in their competitions.
Our school has consistently placed in the top ten achieving schools at various tournaments, many of our students have won medals and we have helped to host the Scottish tournament. Some of our current black belts performed in the WKSA 60th anniversary Masters demonstration and as a school we’ve been to tournaments, seminars and celebrated black belt and coloured belt promotions. This year we were honoured to have our Grandmaster, Kuk Sa Nim visit our dojang for the very first time at our spring seminar.
Kuk Sool Won Glasgow is more than a martial arts school. We are a family who has experienced death, marriages, babies and everything in between. We learn from each other and are grateful that our classes are rich with diversity. We have students from all over the world training with us yet the common thread that joins us all is the shared passion for learning and movement.
We are fortunate that in PSBN Andrew and KSN Sarah we have a partnership who dedicate so many hours to our school, many that go unseen, and we are looking forward to the next ten years and beyond.
Happy birthday Kuk Sool Won Glasgow!
Kyo Sa Nim Fiona.