Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Kuk sool no more?

I went to kuk sool class last night, and if I'm completely honest, I didn't enjoy it at all.

I have this feeling that I am not suited to this particular martial art.

I like a challenge and I want to do a traditional martial arts, but I genuinely feel that this isn't the one for me. Everything is done at top speed, which I guess is fine if your brain / body work that way. Mine doesn't, at least not yet in this class. I do know that I have an issue with being a 'slow learner' (thank you middle age and hypothyroidism!) and I've worked through this before. However, I am really struggling here. They have a grading coming up soon and we all got put on the spot in grade groups to demonstrate forms. I confess that I got completely lost by the whole thing. Being fairly new, I don't know the form terribly well, consequently I'm a lot slower than the others and I kept getting lost. Given that there was an audience of higher grades, I ended up feeling pretty bad about the whole thing.

Now, I've been in and around martial arts for several years now. I've performed forms in public at gradings and at tournaments - in fact, I've won medals at tournaments for my forms - so I'm not that worried about public performance. I've also found ways of coping with my slow learning issues. This makes me think that maybe I'm not right for kuk sool. I'm certainly finding it to be quite 'flowery' and 'fiddly'. I'm certainly used to intricate and flowing movements, having done silat in the past, so I don't think it's necessarily that.

Other niggles: I've pretty much been getting by on the Korean I learned 20 something years ago in tae kwon do class. I'm realising that a lot of the time I've no idea what's going on or what's expected! I'm just following what other people are doing. I guess you're expect to learn a lot by osmosis but the last 2 classes I've been corrected publicly by an instructor for dojang etiquette faux pas that I simply knew nothing about. I've no issues about rules or about being corrected, but it would be nice if someone told you first!

I guess I'm just used to a different style of class. I definitely miss being able to ask questions of instructors, as I find this so useful in consolidating my learning. So it may be a case of finding something more suited to me.

Despite all of the above, I don't think that it's a bad system, or a badly taught class or that the instructors are poor. I just don't feel that it's a good fit for me.


  1. Hi Avril,

    Sorry to hear you're not enjoying the Kuk sool - maybe it's the instructor (or rather his teaching style) that doesn't suit you rather than the art? Why not try a more internal art such as tai chi - this might provide a good counterbalance to the purely fighting arts that you currently do? Not that I'm an expert on any of this of course!

  2. Hi Sue

    Thanks for your comments. I don't think it's the instructor. The class is actually taught in a very positive manner and all of the instructors are v friendly and approachable. I just genuinely feel that I am not right for the art. I'm a fairly robust wee soul and used to fitting in to all sorts of different training groups, but I just don't feel 'right' in this one.

    I've actually done some tai chi and bagua and I really liked it. If I find the right class I will certainly try it again.

    I'm certainly not giving up on the traditional arts. I'm sure I will find something that's right for me.