Responsible for Relocation Services at Nexus, Andy Lapham is used to managing clients, projects, budgets etc. But outside of work, Andy has other, quite different interests: the Korean Martial Art of Kuk Sool Won.

Kuk Sool Won encompasses the martial arts history of Korea into one structured, highly ordered syllabus. It includes hundreds of throwing and joint locking techniques, set patterns of complex movements (called hyung or ‘forms’), various weapons such as: staffs, swords, spear, bow, fans, canes and rope as well as kicking, striking, pressure points, meditation and an emphasis on etiquette.

Andy began training in 1997, and now holds the rank of 4th degree black belt- Assistant Master (abbreviated to SBN) – in the World Kuk Sool Association, which celebrated it’s 60th anniversary last year.

Over the weekend, 29th -30th November, the WKSA held their annual UK tournament in Liverpool, attended by 688 competitors from across the UK, and from Ireland, Spain, Denmark and The Netherlands all presided over by WKSA’s Founder and Grand Master, Kuk Sa Nim.

Tournament entrants competed in events such as sparring, techniques, traditional forms, weapons and board breaking, and are divided by rank and age.

As well as completing a 3 hour long test towards his next rank, Andy also competed in the 4th Dahn seniors section, winning bronze medals in form and spear, and gold in techniques, missing out on the grand champion medal by 1 point!

Andy then went on to judge the other competitors, took part in the Saturday evening demonstration event and the Sunday Instructors’ training workshop before travelling back to Kent for some well earned rest!

SBN Andy demonstrating rope techniques for a panel of Masters.

SBN Andy demonstrating rope techniques for a panel of Masters. Photo credits: Sarah Cameron.