I have always been an active, but not really a "sports" person during my life.
During my school years, my main sports involvement were the usual PE lessons. However, at the time I was a very quiet girl with a petite frame. I felt awkward and lacked co-ordination when participating in team sports.
In my 20s and 30s, most of my fitness went between attending various gyms or fitness classes. Whilst I would enjoy these initially, I would get bored of routines after 6 months which would end up with me losing interest. I could not keep up my motivation either to push myself during classes and would gradually drop off in my attendance.
By profession, I am a lawyer during the day which can sometimes be very demanding and stressful job. It's a desk based job and so not physically active and it is hard to resist a biscuit with the morning cup of tea!
In 2010, as part of my career progression, I moved to the other side of the country, but I was away from my family and friends. I wanted to keep fit, make new friends but to take part in a sporting activity that could keep me motivated. The local town had a martials arts school with a great reputation called Kuk Sool Won ™ which is a Traditional Korean Family Martial Art. As I was living on my own at the time, I thought that this would be a great way to keep fit, make new friends and keep me motivated as well as learn self-defence being a single female at the time.
I must admit, it was a little scary walking through the door on my first evening as I did not know what to expect. I was worried that it would be a male dominated sport that would dismiss women participants. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was very wrong! I found a friendly, fun atmosphere of women, girls, men and boys, all actively encouraging each other to learn a martial art.
In each class I learnt something new and every 3 months there would be a grading towards my next martial arts belt, this kept me motivated to keep going and push myself to improve. Also, being petite 5' nothing, and a female was not a barrier in this sport. In fact, I find it great fun that I have the power in myself to be able to use the martial art to bring a 6' man to his knees!
After a couple of years as a student, I started helping out with the children's class and then on to the adults. I found that by teaching others, it helped me understand Kuk Sool Won ™ martial arts so much more as well as improving myself as a student.
Martial arts is not only something that helped me keep active, but was also a place where I met my husband! We both enjoy teaching martial arts and working together as a team, we decided to open up our own martial arts school in Yeovil. We opened our school on 1 June 2015 and have been busy welcoming new students and teaching women and girls as well as men and boys since that date.
I really enjoy the camaraderie of the students – it is like having a second family who is there to support you not only in class, but outside of it as well. Great, long-lasting friendships are made.
It's a great feeling of achievement for me watching students develop and grow. Parents bring their children to martial arts classes for a variety of reasons, such as to improve confidence because of bullying issues or to learn discipline and respect. Women come to keep fit and lose weight. In all cases, it makes me feel happy to coach students and watch that child or person grow and achieve more than they think they can because of Kuk Sool Won ™ martial arts and my help and encouragement.
The only person judging you – is you. If you think you can't – you won't. If you think you can, you will!
If you are unsure if martial arts are for you, then think again!
There are many benefits for women who participate in martial arts. It is the ultimate physical workout that can get you into shape and maintain a healthy body.
Martial arts will help relieve stress and improve concentration. The world is stressful enough, be it either the stress of juggling the needs and demands of a growing family or stress of work (or the stress of trying to balance both!).
Regardless of a woman's current physical shape or what she does in the world, it is important that she is at the height of all her abilities – mentally and physically. Kuk Sool Won ™ martial arts can provide the support for a woman to be successful in all that she needs to do.
Has Sally's story got you thinking about getting active? Click here to find out what activity is happening near you.