Celebrating successes, big or small

Happy to participate! Children from the Kuk Sool Won of Dublin School

Happy to participate! Children from the Kuk Sool Won of Dublin School

Life is a journey and we choose our paths – sometimes the predictable, frequently travelled trails  call to us and offer a semblance of safety and security. Other times we are challenged to be trailblazers – to go to unexplored terrain -it’s risky and sometimes crazy but can lead us to places we never imagined possible.

When I ducked under the tape at a recent martial arts tournament nobody was more surprised than me. There I stood opposite a little martial artist who was cuteness personified. We were the oldest and youngest competitors representing our school, Kuk Sool Won of Dublin, California in the white belt category.

The words of our Kuk Sool Won Master Saidi were running through my mind “As long as you do your best, you are already a winner, whether you are awarded medals or not”.

We were both starting our martial arts journeys at very different stages of our lives. We were separated in age by forty years but we were united in a common purpose – to challenge ourselves and explore something new.

Watching her shyly introduce herself to the Judges, bow and then competently perform her techniques was rather inspiring. Such courage and confidence  in someone so young was admirable and made me feel slightly less anxious about my impending performance.

Techniques at tournament. Different ages united by rank.

Techniques at tournament. Different ages united by rank.

Although she was not awarded any podium places her achievement on that day was worth recognition. She had the courage to ship. She received a tournament participation medal which she proudly carried around her neck.

When it was my turn to compete in the 40+ age category I was surprised to see how many other white belts were present. I expected very few thinking that there couldn’t possibly be as many women doing these things at my age. For once I was happy to be wrong! I told a fellow competitor that it may not seem like a good thing that we have so much competition but I think it’s awesome for women and Kuk Sool Won!

This being my first sporting achievement I was very proud of the 3 medals I won for forms, techniques and sparring. They may not seem like a big deal to others but as this was the first sporting achievement of my life I felt it was worth acknowledging.

I may only be a white belt but my ultimate aim is to learn a black belt sword form so I have a long journey ahead of me.

Sometimes the outward recognition of accomplishment can ignite a fire within us to pursue our goals with passion. So to me it means we must celebrate our successes, no matter how small they may seem, as each success is a stepping stone to a better self.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Master Saidi or that of the World Kuk Sool Association.

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About Vanessa Lee Thomas

floral photographer, wife, s-a-h Mom, genetic counselling supporter, martial arts fan, nature lover, writer, marketing enthusiast and freelance journalist

Posted on April 11, 2015, in Kuk Sool Won and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. have you done a different style of marital arts before this one?

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    • Hi, yes I did some Tai Chi for a short while 12 years ago and started again at the end of last year. The physical demands of Kuk Sool Won are in a totally different league fur me though so I’m focussing it on solely now 😀

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