Why use titles?

What comes to your mind when you hear, “Yes Sir!”? A scene from a war movie? Was it said with gung ho enthusiasm by a fresh faced recruit or with near-the-breaking-point contempt by the scarred, broken soldier? A flashback to really bad fan fiction turned international best seller/blockbuster movie? Your childhood? Or stories of your […]

How NOT to be a creeper

As a woman in martial arts, I get creeped on a fair amount. Usually it’s harmless — social skills and an interest in martial arts sadly do not always go hand in hand, but most people mean well and aren’t trying to be as off-putting and occasionally threatening as they are. One of the “unfair” […]

Celebrating Dr. King’s Legacy

Here at Kuk Sool Won™ of St. Paul, we take our celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day pretty seriously. We’ll usually suspend whatever else we’re talking about in a particular month to reflect on Dr. King’s words and work, celebrate his legacy, and challenge our students to continue to work for justice for all […]

Free-range vs. helicopter

I have a lot of friends in their 30s who are having kids. So my news feeds and conversations are including a lot of buzzwords like “helicopter parenting” and “free-range kids.” The folks I know are pretty adamant about NOT being helicopter parents — they intend to let their kids go out and about on […]

Understanding Etiquette

Etiquette is the system of behavior that governs everything that we do in a Traditional Martial Art. We define etiquette as: “behaving in a manner better than expected.” Another way to think about etiquette is as those behaviors that are motivated by respect. When do we practice etiquette? As martial artists, the expectation is that […]

Saying Goodbye

We had a couple of students leave us last week. We’ve known for a while that it was coming — their family is moving out of town for professional opportunities, and we’ve been fortunate that they were willing to stay with us right up until moving day. For their final class, we gave everyone in […]

Practicing gratitude: the Thanksgiving post

I’m thankful that I co-own a martial arts school and don’t have to have a real job. I’m thankful for every student who walks through those doors. I’m thankful for a family that loves and supports me, even if they can’t remember the name of whatever it is that I do all the time. I’m […]

The Day of Judgment

Tournaments make for a very long day… for the judges. As members of a traditional martial art that focuses so heavily on etiquette we should really do our best to thank the judges. Unfortunately, I always hear a lot of complaints. I even remember doing some complaining myself. So, in the spirit of contrition, I […]

Ultimate Black Belt Test

50,000 push ups. 50,000 crunches. 5,000 techniques. 15 minutes of daily meditation. 1,000 acts of kindness. A reading list, wrongs to be righted, relationships to be mended, and writing assignments. Are you exhausted yet? This is the Ultimate Black Belt Test. A program designed by Master Tom Callos, the Ultimate Black Belt Test (UBBT) is a […]

Secrets of the True Martial Arts Instructor

So I am sitting in Houston Airport waiting for my flight (we’ve been delayed three hours so far), and I’m trying not to let the frustration ruin what has been an outstanding weekend. I have spent the last three days with my fellow instructors at the Kuk Sool Won annual instructor training. There were instructors […]

The Three Pillars of Self Defense – Kuk Sool True Story

* True Account by Head Instructor Steffen Kellogg from Kuk Sool Won™ of St Paul, Minnesota I have always loved stories of Kuk Sool being successfully used in self-defense. But until recently I had not been in an altercation that went to the extreme of actual physical confrontation. I had always been able to talk […]