Kuk Sool Won™ has quite literally changed and saved my life.
Prior to starting Kuk Sool Won, I spent the last few years of my life at a very, very low point both physically and mentally. I found myself caught up in the whirlwind of depression and severe anxiety. I had no confidence. I had withdrawn from socialising. Eventually, these things manifested themselves in an eating disorder.
I found myself as an inpatient at a specialist eating disorder ward. The first time was for seven months. When I relapsed, my second stay was five months.
Upon my second discharge I knew I had to do things differently if I wanted to stay well. I had to find something positive to fill my life and fill the massive space that had been filled with eating disorder.
I could never have even dreamed how much Kuk Sool would change everything for me. I started off as a tentative student – once a week, extremely nervous, thinking I would never manage the things I was being shown and encouraged to try.
Now, nearly four years on from my first class, my progress both physically and mentally astounds me. In terms of my ongoing recovery I have taken massive steps – a lot of which comes down to the fact that I realised that in order to train (now four times a week) I needed a healthy body as well as a healthy mind. I have taken on challenges and overcome them with the support, patience, and dedication of my instructors.
I have taken on responsibility for running a Wee Warriors class once a week and being heavily involved in helping with the other kids classes. I have been involved in demonstrations, taken part in tournaments, and done gradings and national testings. I am now within touching distance of achieving my Black Belt.
And now, even when I struggle, I have a strong motivation to keep going. I have achieved so much in Kuk Sool and Kuk Sool has helped me achieve the ‘impossible.’ I have too much to lose by slipping back. It has not been easy to get to the stage where I am now, but the fact I have managed it proves to me just how much I am capable of, and how much of a positive influence my Kuk Sool training has been.
This is my Kuk Sool journey so far.
I’m ready to travel the rest.
Kuk Sool Won™ School
Update from Claire
I have now promoted to first-degree black belt!
This is an incredible achievement by itself, but it feels even more amazing considering that 5 years ago I was confined to the four walls of an eating disorder unit – not allowed to go outside or walk about too much due to my eating disorder and my BMI/weight being dangerously low.
Yet 5 years on I have completed many, many, many three-hour gradings which have been extremely tough both physically and mentally. I have been challenged and yes, I have had wobbles along the way. But thanks to my instructors, fiance, and friends at Kuk Sool Won of Dunfermline, I did it. I am now a Jo Kyo Nim.
I am so so incredibly proud of myself and how far I have come. Yet this is not the end of my Kuk Sool journey. I believe this is just the beginning. I will continue to train hard, stay healthy, and learn. There is so much more to come! And now I really do believe that I can achieve anything.
JKN Claire Barclay
Kuk Sool Won of Dunfermline