Students at Kuk Sool Won Vermilion (KSWV) lined up in Thursday’s class to practice stretches, body conditioning, kicks and punches, as well as form.
They did not practice technique this time due to COVID restrictions, but were thankful that due to low case counts and their zoning, they were able to remain open.
“Kuk Sool is a comprehensive study of the Korean martial arts tradition so its roots are traced back to antiquity,” said instructor Morgan Freeman.
“Kuk Sool as it is now has been taught since 1948, and we’ve been teaching Kuk Sool in Vermilion for nearly nine years.”
Freeman and his wife, Emma, were both promoted this year prior to COVID, so he is now a Sa Bum Nim, a 4th-degree black belt instructor, and she is a Pu Sa Bum Nim, a 3rd-degree black belt instructor.
He said people receive many benefits from practicing martial arts including increased flexibility, stamina, endurance, mental strength and memory.
Aside from new skills it can help teach children patience, how to focus under pressure, how to work as part of a group, and promotes empathy for the other students.
For adults, he said it can help slow the process of aging by increasing flexibility and circulation as well as mental strength and endurance.
“It also helps alleviate stress, helping to get stress hormones out of the system,” said Freeman.
“If practiced correctly it even helps increase the flexibility and health of the internal organs.”
Freeman said of everything he teaches, learning to fall is one of the most important lessons. When a person learns to fall, they are learning how to land on a surface without causing any damage to their body.
“This lesson is the most important as you may never need to fight, but you may experience a slip on the ice or a fall down some stairs,” said Freeman.
Going over the new health legislation has been trying, but Freeman hopes they are able to keep the doors open so the children are able to interact with their peers as well as keep exercising and blowing off some steam.
“In these trying times we need to keep some semblance of normalcy for the children as they thrive on routine,” said Freeman.
“This is why I never close my school and teach year-round, as even in the summer children still need something to do to keep them busy.”