I’ve always wanted to do martial arts for as long as I can remember. Because I was the girl and the “baby” of the family, I wasn’t allowed to join when my brothers did karate. When I was a young teen, my oldest brother Kenny asked if I wanted to do a martial art with him and I jumped at the opportunity.
When I joined Kuk Sool, my whole world changed. I practically lived at the dojang; the people and workouts were amazing and it sure beat being at home. It was an awesome way to release aggression and stress.
The more time I spent at the dojang, the closer I became to the people there; especially my instructors Master Jack and Master Lee Harvey.
The Harvey’s took me everywhere with them; if it was Kuk Sool related, I was there. I had never really been out of Missouri until I started traveling to different states doing tournaments. After competing for so long, I started seeing familiar faces at the tournaments. Everyone thought I was Master Jack’s daughter since I was always with him. I never told them any different because he was like a father to me.
In 2002, I was 22 years old when I traveled to South Korea with a large group of people from all over the United States to compete in a World Kuk Sool Won Tournament. It was on this trip I met my husband George.
George is from Houston, Texas which made our long distance relationship a very expensive one. In May 2004, George moved to O’Fallon, Missouri. In September 2004, we were married. Master Jack walked me down the aisle along with my step-dad and dad. Master Lee was my maid of honor. So to say the least, Kuk Sool Won has had a tremendous impact on my life.
Since Kuk Sool Won has done so much for us, we thought what better way to give it back than by opening our on school. This dream became a reality in March of 2005 when we opened our school in O’Fallon, Missouri. Since our Grand Opening, we have accomplished so much. In 2008 and 2009 we took 1st place in the Kuk Sool Won Midwest Tournament and 2nd place at the 2008 Kuk Sool Won World Championships.
Martial arts has always been a part of my life, however, I never actually found what I was looking for until a neighbor of mine was really into the arts. He introduced me to Kuk Sool Won of Meyerland and I was invited to try a class. Once at the dojang, I was absolutely floored to find such active artist of all shapes, sizes, and ages. I tried the class and was instantly hooked on the beauty and variety of Kuk Sool Won. I immersed myself as much as I could to attending as many classes as my instructor would allow; training everyday and every weekend until it became a way of life. I am still training with the same excitement today!
I love the enthusiasm and sense of camaraderie with the students. I have a blast teaching the intense and challenging classes because of the level of energy my students give me and each other. They push me to excellence. There is a sense of accomplishment when I see a student benefit from what I am teaching. Teaching completes me in my training and it gives me an opportunity to redirect people in a positive manner.
I have found lifetime friends from all over, met my beautiful wife at a World Kuk Sool Won Tournament in Korea, as well as opened a Kuk Sool Won school. To say the least, Kuk Sool has had a powerful impact on my life; the biggest blessing is my new baby girl…..thank you Kuk Sool
I started Kuk Sool because I was looking for a Martial Art school that would come to my expectations. Kuk Sool O'Fallon exceeded those expectations and showed me what I wanted.
Kuk Sool has changed my life. I have lived everywhere, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and the Philippine Islands in the span of my age, 15 years. Kuk Sool gave me a reason to settle and now I lead a very fun life with many new friends. My instructors Kelly and George are great instructors and great people too. Speaking of great people, two parents, John and Cindy, have been very kind to me and have done special things for me. I used to have a family of two, now my family contains more than 100 members here at Kuk Sool O'Fallon.
I would like to think I picked up pretty quick on teaching. I am the second youngest S.W.A.T. member making me one of the least experienced in instructing, but I guarantee I will try my best with every student and teach as if this student or class is the last thing I will ever teach.
I like teaching Kuk Sool because to explain something, you must know what you are talking about. While teaching day-one students, I have learned and discovered many different things about the curriculum. Remember the first time you succeeded at something; the joy flowing through you as if no one could touch you? When I am teaching, I love being able to see people understanding something for the first time, like their first jump kick or an epiphany about a technique. It's so......so......so riveting and is definitely worth my while. Kuk Sool without teaching is fun, challenging and exciting, but the degree of challenge, excitement, and fun goes to a whole new level when teaching is introduced. Teaching, all in all, makes you a better martial artist, period.
I personally prefer teaching the kids because showing something to a kid is much harder than an adult. Adults have a fully developed brain and pick up on things more quickly than kids, making them easier to teach. Kids are more of a challenge but develop one's instructing skill way more than an adult. Plus, you can be goofy around kids without looking like a fool.
Anyone that does Kuk Sool correctly will feel an improvement in almost every aspect of physical and mental health. Endurance, strength, and focus is just a small part of what else could improve such as flexibility, attention span, looks, shyness, and many others. I have become a stronger, more caring individual and I love seeing others develop too.
I took Tae Kwon Do for 2 years and earned my black belt. In 2 years, I achieved 10 different belts. I can tell you it was the easiest thing ever, but that is not what I wanted. I wanted to learn and develop my mind, body, and spirit to an enlightened degree. In Kuk Sool it takes 3-5 years to get your black belt, but is way more appealing and I appreciate it more. I have heard of stories about people in Kuk Sool nearly coming to tears over their black belt, because they have put their heart, soul, tears, and sometimes blood into the training for that belt. A black belt is a true black belt when one understands that it is the significance of the belt, not the color.
Jyo Kyo Nym Brooke Muise
I never thought I would take Martial Arts. I was bouncing
from various cardio exercises, getting more bored and
frustrated. My sister found Kuk Sool Won. Together we tried
out our first class. It was challenging, fun, and exciting,
and that was only the intro class! Later on, I realized what
a find Kuk Sool is. It is unlike any other Martial Art I
have ever seen. It is flowing and graceful as well as
powerful and intense.
Looking back I know that without Kuk Sool,
I wouldn’t be the same person. I am more disciplined,
focused, and definitely healthier and stronger. Daily, I am
pushed to my be my best and improve -something I wouldn’t do
on my own. The family atmosphere makes it easier to push
myself. When everyone else there is striving to be their
best next to you, you tend to feel more motivated. Some of
my main motivators are Pu Sa Bum Nym George, SWAT team, and
my sister, Savannah.
Teaching is something I’ve always wanted to
do, not only in Kuk Sool, and when I was asked to teach
here, I was thrilled. Not only do I get to train and
progress others, but through teaching others, I improve
myself. I love that thrill of pride when a child or adult
shines after I teach them something, or they finally
understand something. That is one rush that never gets old.
Jyo Kyo Nym Savannah Muise
I started Kuk Sool mostly because I was bored in afternoons.
I got off school around lunch time and finished homework
soon after. I was also tired of my aerobics routine, which
benefited little besides my fitness. I didn’t like the
concept of team sports, so I decided to become a martial
artist. Little did I expect what I found at Kuk Sool Won
I was no longer bored. The classes were physically
challenging and mentally challenging. I was satisfied
in the knowledge I was training myself in something I could
actually use- something more than exercise for the sake of
exercise. In the dojang family, I realized the value of
encouragement and inspiration. It’s amazing how beautiful
people can be when they’re sweaty and exhausted!
A little more than a year ago, my instructor asked me to be
part of his teaching team. I was thrilled, since teaching is
something I’ve always loved. Since joining SWAT team, this
love has increased even more. Kids, adults, beginners, and
high ranks are all the same to me. Children’s quirks and
random behaviors make even repetitive jobs humorous and
enjoyable. Even so, it’s always a relief to work with
adults, who actually remember what you told them just three
minutes ago. While I like exploring more intricate material
with higher ranks, even the Kuk Sool Won basics are
so profound I never tire of teaching them. Best of all, I’ve
learned that teaching something helps you to learn it on a
deeper level than is otherwise possible.
As I learn and work towards my black belt, I am reminded
everyday of the worthiness of my goal- through my progress
and the progress of all my students. Love you guys!
Kyo Sa Nim Katherine Lee
I am Katherine Lee. I started Kuk Sool about three and a
half years ago and, to put it bluntly, did not expect to be
a black belt and even less, one of SWAT when I started. In
the beginning, Kuk Sool was very hard for me and very new. I
had a quiet and shy personality; not outgoing at all. Over
the years, I progressed as a student and now, a SWAT
instructor. Kuk Sool is still new and challenging and I’m
not as quiet or shy as used to be. One of the reasons why I
grew was the people here. They really liked to push me to
the border of my comfort zone; a lot. They still do, but I
enjoy seeing how far I can go and then, next time, maybe I
can go just a bit farther. In turn, I push others and watch
as they progress.
I have to admit I like teaching kids. Teaching them makes me
think up ways to put Kuk Sool in a different perspective;
somehow, in a child’s view. And the things we make up makes
everything so comical.
Sool teaches you about yourself more than the kicks and
punches that you learn. You see how far you can go. It makes
people strong and confident. It makes you think and rethink,
build then rebuild.