On 5 March, 2015
Aaliyah Bentley, now aged 13, started at the age of 4 in our little Dragons section. Aaliyah was severely dyslexic.
Over the years the impact that Aaliyah's Martial Arts training and accomplishments of gold medals at International and National Championships have allowed her to come to a very mature and confident attitude towards her dyslexia.
While Aaliyah still struggles with the practical aspects element of reading and writing she has made great improvement in that area. What she and her parents have found is the mature way she deals with the dyslexia on a day to day level with her peers and those around her. She has the confidence and ability to laugh out loud at herself if she says or gets words wrong and has no hesitation in meeting and greeting people for the first time, yet she never uses her dyslexia as an excuse for anything.
In short her Dyslexia has been looked on as a gift that has brought about a change in attitude where her parents looked to raise her confidence and self esteem through Martial Arts and it's certainly has done this.
Story submitted by Martin Dixon of Masters Of Martial Arts who provide FREE trial martial arts classes in Accrington, Blackburn, Burnley, Clitheroe, Great Harwood, Nelson, Rishton, Rossendale and Whalley.
On 6 March, 2015
I’ve been teaching the traditional martial art of Kuk Sool Won for nearly thirty years.
I’d like to tell you a short story about one particular person by the name of Matthew Ball.
Around twenty-years ago a young mother brought her small fiveyear old boy into one of our free taster sessions. Immediately the youngster became enthralled with what he had just experienced and without hesitation immediately got his mum to enroll him as a member at our school. Matthew always enjoyed his martial art training and rarely missed any lessons. He was one of those young kids that would always totally immerse himself into everything that was put in front of him and was never frightened to ‘give anything a go.’
After continuously working hard for about five-years he slowly progressed through the ranks of the coloured belt system. Eventually Matthew was awarded his 1st degree black belt after, at the tender age of ten-years old.
Unlike many of children that reach that level, Matthew didn’t stop there, but continued to study and practice. After a further period of another five-years the young teenager had his sights firmly set on his second-degree black belt and in due course achieved his next Dan grade, when in his mid-teens.
A year later at the age of sixteen, Matthew made a big decision to leave School and seek entrance into the British Army. His choice was to enroll at the Sixth-Form College at Welbeck in Nottinghamshire. The only unfortunate thing, it probably meant that he’d have to stop his martial art training.
Matthew was sad that his training might have to come to an abrupt halt. However I made an offer to carry on supporting him with lessons on the premises that he would also have to practice himself while attending college. It was an agreement that worked really well for both of us and allowed him to progress to the next stage of his martial art development.
A year or two had passed when one day I unexpectedly met Matthews mother in the local High street. She excitedly informed me that her son had recently passed all his final exams. She was absolutely ecstatic and went onto say that she really believed that much of Matthew’s success was unquestionably down to the discipline that he’d gained during his formative years of martial art training.
Matthew had now set his sights on becoming an Officer. After approximately three years he graduated from Army College and had been accepted at Sandhurst Military Academy. Matthew was to enter an elite site, renowned Worldwide for excellence and leadership.
I remember Matthew telling me that being in the Army wasn’t that dissimilar to his Kuk Sool training; the discipline that was required had already been instilled in him at a very young age.
Despite Matthew’s ever increasingly workload, he continued with his martial art training, practicing hard when and wherever he could. Again he never complained but just carried on with whatever was expected from him.
With his continued love and dedication for the traditional Korean Martial art of Kuk Sool Won, Matthew went on to receive his third degree black belt at the age of twenty years old, making him also one of the youngster practitioners at that level here in the UK.
Several years have passed since Matthew graduated from Sandhurst with distinction. Subsequently he has been posted to a variety of different locations all around the World. He has climbed many mountains, both physically and symbolically. He has been leading men much older than himself in whole host of different assignments.
Last May 2014, Matthew sent me a lovely letter, which I’ve included below, which brings this success story up to-date. I truly believe that this brief statement really emphasizes the power of the Martial Arts and the enormous effect it can have on a individual’s life.
On 13 March, 2015
Read about how martial arts has helped these students to boost their confidence, improve their fitness and spend more time together as a family.
Using Martial Arts To Improve Personal Fitness...
"Growing up I always struggled with physical activities and had issues with my legs and balance. This improved a little growing up but I was left with a lack of confidence in my physical ability. Since beginning my training, I have noticed a huge improvement, particularly in my lower body strength. This has in turn improved my balance and confidence. My fitness level has also grown massively and I have lost nearly two stone in weight. All of this means I generally feel better, have more energy and am able to do more with my two children. Added to this, I hugely enjoy the training and being part of a lovely school with a family feel to it. I look forward to the days when we train and I am disappointed when work commitments mean I have to miss a class. I cannot overstate how much of a positive impact Kuk Sool has had on my life and would recommend unreservedly to anyone."
Chris Nicolaou - Kuk Sool Won of Thetford
Martial Arts As A Family Activity...
"My husband and I took our 10 year old son to a open day at Thetford Academy,this then resulted in the whole family joining Thetford Kuk Sool Won in May 2014. We have enjoyed our time at Kuk Sool Won and learnt so many new things since joining and have had been through 2 testings to gain our next belt which we have been supported by PKJN Kris French and Jenny French when I first started I was seriously lacking in self confidence this has improved to such a level where as a team this summer we completed our first demonstration in Thetford,through PKJN and Jenny's support they have given me the confidence to enter my first tournament this month. The atmosphere is fantastic and we all work as a team and a family supporting each other when we don't find things easy. So I would encourage any adult or child to try Kuk Sool Won and enjoy all the challenges that face you. So from Anna, Anth and Joshua, thank you Sir and Ma'am."
Anna Elmer - Kuk Sool Won of Thetford
Giving Children A Confidence Boost...
"Since my son started training with Kuk Sool Won the benefits to him have been significant. In just over a year it is not just his physical health that has improved but also his self confidence and self esteem. The greatest change however has been in his behaviour and his overall respect for others. This, prior to Kuk Sool, was a great concern for me so, you must appreciate, the benefits are not just for my son but also for me. He is now ambitious to do well, not just in Kuk Sool but also in other aspects of his life. I am proud of my son and grateful for the help and support Kuk Sool has given us."
These student stories were kindly sent to us by Kris French of Kuk Sool Won Of Thetford.