A Bathgate-based martials arts club are celebrating after opening their new training facility in the town.
Based on Blackburn Road, the club’s new premises came about after plenty of hard work with school owner Graham Philp admitting he is ‘extremely proud’ that the club now have their own training facility.
Graham who is also head instructor, said: “We have been operating out of Bathgate Academy for the past nine years but we took the decision that it was time to expand and find a property that we could use on a full-time basis.
“After a year of hard work we are finally fully open for business and extremely proud of what we have achieved.”
Graham, his team of instructors, students and families, held their grand opening of the new facility last month.
They were joined by Master Alex Suh, 9th Dahn Master from Texas and son of In Hyuk Suh, who founded the martial art, as well as Master John Ives, 9th Dahn, who is the Chief Instructor for Europe.
Master Suh commented: “We are delighted to be able to attend the opening of this fantastic new facility.
“What is the most important part of this event is seeing the kids, who will be the next generation of instructors and the leaders of tomorrow, enjoy their martial art training so much.
“Martial Art training will give them the foundations and confidence to do what ever they want to do in life and this facility will ensure they get the best quality of training possible.”
Kuk Sool Won is a martial art from Korea which seeks to combine elements from all the traditional martial arts of Korea into one martial art system. Graham added: “Kuk Sool is a defensive martial art and we teach our students, amongst other skills, how to protect themselves in dangerous or threatening situations.
“We have a number of students who have experienced bullying and focus on building their confidence and self-esteem along with teaching them new skills.
“We feel strongly about eradicating bullying in our community and believe our sport and club ethos can help contribute to that goal.
“As a club our focus is not only on physical fitness and learning the art of Kuk Sool, it is equally on mental health and wellbeing.
“Now that we have our own dedicated training facility we are able to extend our student cohort with one of our objectives being to get more children and young people into the sport.
“However we welcome anyone regardless of age, fitness, sex or any other identifying characteristic. We welcome students from the age of five with no upper age limit.
“Another of our objectives is to encourage underrepresented groups, including women and girls and those with a disability or from deprived areas.
“We offer a safe and inclusive environment and pride ourselves on being a club where everyone feels included, respected and represented.”
If you are interested in learning more about Kuk Sool Won or joining the Bathgate club, contact them through their website at www.martialartsbathgate.com, or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Kuk-Sool-Won-of-Bathgate-Martial-Arts.
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