Sleaford Kuk Sool Won impress with 18 UK medals

Sleaford's 12-strong team won 18 medals at the UK Championships EMN-171214-094834002
Sleaford's 12-strong team won 18 medals at the UK Championships EMN-171214-094834002

A fledgling town martial arts club were on cloud nine after accumulating a big medal haul at a UK tournament.

Sleaford Kuk Sool Won martial art school only opened in January this year, but its team of 12 returned from the UK Championships in Liverpool with 18 medals.

Sleaford's team boasted competitors as young as five EMN-171214-094859002

Sleaford's team boasted competitors as young as five EMN-171214-094859002

More than 500 competitors took part from schools across the UK, as well as representatives from Europe and the United States.

After months of training and then tournament preparation, the team, some as young as five, were ready to compete for medals in sparring, forms and techniques.

The team consisted of father and daughter pairs Bruce and Megan Atherton, Bradley and Grace Johnson, and Derek and Katie Baldrey, brothers Matt and Josh Pike, brother and sister Isla and Stuart Swainston, and mother and daughter pair Eleanor and Jackie Slack.

Isla Swainston won a gold medal in forms, while Josh Pike earned a medal in every division he entered, including silver in forms.

Junior competition action EMN-171214-094846002

Junior competition action EMN-171214-094846002

Jackie Slack claimed silver in forms category, and Bradley Johnson and Katie Baldrey both won silver medals in sparring.

Sleaford Kuk Sool Won has grown from a small school of only a handful students to more 35 students in its first year.

Instructor, fifth degree master PKJN Keith Slack, said: “They practiced really hard to make sure they were all ready for the tournament and they all overcame their nerves and delivered an excellent performance.

“I’m extremely proud of their achievements and, whether they won a medal or not, it is a great experience to build confidence and more broadly prepare them for life’s challenges while also building excellent camaraderie between the team members.

Senior competition action EMN-171214-094823002

Senior competition action EMN-171214-094823002

Kuk Sool Won is a traditional Korean martial art encompassing many aspects of martial arts, including kicking, hand striking, board breaking, weapons training, sparring, acrobatics, techniques and forms.

Keith added: “One of the strengths of Kuk Sool Won is its diversity, meaning that no two classes are the same and there is always something new to learn.”

* Adult and children’s classes are run at Sleaford Leisure Centre on Sundays.

For more information, visit Kuk Sool Won of Sleaford Facebook page, email sleafordkuksoolwon@outlook.com or visit www.kuksoolwon.com