John’s a black belt again... after 14 years

John Smith in Kuk Sool action.
John Smith in Kuk Sool action.

Boston Kuk Sool Won martial artist John Smith says he feels ‘on top of the world’ after returning to black belt status after more than a decade away.

John was one of the group which attended the first-ever class held in the town back in 1995, and soon became addicted to the training.

That saw him rise through the ranks before finally achieving his first degree black belt alongside regular training partner Sonny Boyall, now the club’s head instructor.

But in 2000 his son Lewis was born, and John decided to hang up his belt, expecting never to return.

However, that all changed when the father and son watched the Boston school put on a show of the Korean martial art.

“Imagine my surprise when, after a public demonstration, my son turned to me and said ‘I fancy a go at Kuk Sool Won, but I will only go if you go with me’,” John said.

So in July last year the pair attended classes at the school’s Marsh Lane centre.

“I wasn’t aware that you never lose your black belt status, so after a year of hard training on Monday and Thursday nights, some Sunday mornings and a few public demonstrations, with also a somewhat foggy recollection of what I was doing, on August 3, after training for a year with the white belt, Sonny permitted me to wear my black belt again and attend the black belt class,” John explained.

“I felt on top of the world,” he added.