Good Korea move for Kirkcaldy martial artist

Graeme Temple
Graeme Temple

A martial arts trainer from Kirkcaldy has returned from a trip to the Far East with two world championship medals.

Graeme Temple travelled to South Korea for nine days to take part in three international Kuk Sool tournaments, including the World Championships, where he was delighted to win both a gold and bronze medal.

First up for Graeme, who runs the Kuk Sool Won club based at the Fitness Factor Gym in Kirkcaldy, was the Ministers Cup, which was only open to people who had been selected to represent their country at their belt rank.

Graeme was selected along with his long-time training partner Craig Hill, who runs the Kuk Sool Won club in Dunfermline, to represent Scotland at third degree black belt, competing in front of ministers from the Korean government.

Graeme explained: “This was my first experience of competing outside of Europe and against Korean competitors at their own martial art.

“The competition were very impressive and nerves were running high but I managed to put out a very solid performance.

“Only the top four competitors were recognised, unfortunately I wasn’t one of them, I don’t know yet where I came in that competition.”

The second tournament, The Korea Cup, saw 60 highly-skilled Grand Champions compete in front of 10 high-ranking Korean and international Masters in a single champion of champions category.

Graeme said: “Again, I didn’t win anything, but I came 19th overall out of 60 of the best martial artists in the world, which I’m extremely happy with given the talent and competition.”

The World Championships followed and Graeme produced his best performances of the trip to win bronze in the empty-hand form and gold in sparring.

“I went to Korea knowing that to get any medal at this level of competition would be very difficult, but I smashed it,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it any better.

“Sparring is something of a speciality of mine and I’ve gotten gold many times over the years at tournaments, but I wasn’t expecting it at the World Championships.

“I’m excited to be back and get back to the club to share my success with my students.”

The Kirkcaldy Kuk Sool Won club is going to the UK Championships in Liverpool at the end of the month and Graeme hopes to take his biggest team yet to build on the success the club had at the Scottish Championships at Meadowbank in May.

He added: “I’m going to try and defend my UK Champion title which I won last year. So far every student from the club who has competed has won at least one medal every time, quite an accomplishment and high success rate.

“The club now also has a junior section and hopefully I can encourage some of them to travel to Liverpool with me.”

For further information on Kuk Sool Won training in Kirkcaldy email info@kuksoolwon-kirkcaldy.com.