Our club was founded in 1992 by Master Philip D Holmes – 9th Degree Black Belt
Master Philip has studied and practiced the traditional martial arts since 1964, and Kuk Sool Won since 1974. To broaden his knowledge and understanding, he has travelled extensively in the UK, Europe, Korea and the USA, and has had the privilege of training directly under the founder of Kuk Sool, Grand Master Suh, In Hyuk. Since the mid-1970’s, Master Philip has played a prominent role in helping to establish, develop, teach and promote Kuk Sool in the UK appearing on national, as well as local, TV. In 1989, he was appointed as a UK Chief Instructor, and in June 2022, during the Kuk Sool European Championships and Master's Display, held in Norwich, England, UK, Master Philip was promoted to the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt by Grandmaster Suh.
In October 2001, Master Philip was inducted into the Combat (magazine) ‘Hall of Fame’. This prestigious honour was awarded, ‘in recognition of his
commitment and devotion to the development of Martial Arts in the United Kingdom and around the world’. Master Philip has also been featured on
the front cover of several international martial arts publications, and his extensive article on the History of Kuk Sool Won, was published as a three-part serialisation in the March, April and May 2002 editions of Tae Kwon Do & Korean Martial Arts magazine.
In 1990, Master Philip graduated from the International College of Oriental Medicine UK (Bachelor of Acupuncture), and subsequently lectured at the college for several years, serving as Director of Studies 1991-1994. He has been in practice in the East Sussex area of the UK since 1990, with clinics in Bexhill and Eastbourne. Although competent in all disciplines of the traditional Korean martial arts, because of this specialised training, Master Philip is especially renowned for his knowledge and expertise in the field of Ki Training, and Vital or Pressure Point Technique.
Previous Club Instructors include
Robin C Holmes – 5th Degree Master
Master Robin has practised Kuk Sool Won since the age of four, and has served as an instructor at the Martial Arts Centre – Eastbourne since 1999. In June 2016, after 24 years of continuous training, he was awarded his 5th Degree Black Belt.
Master Robin is a very accomplished martial arts Instructor, and has achieved outstanding success in UK, European and World Championships. He has been a gold medallist, not only in the UK, but also in the USA and Korea, where in 2002, he won a gold medal for swordsmanship. In 2001 and 2003, he became the UK 1st Degree Black Belt (youth 13-16) Grand Champion and in 2005, at the age of 17, he became the European 2nd Degree Black Belt (adult 17-39) Grand Champion.
In 2007, to further his knowledge and understanding of the martial arts, Master Robin spent six months living, training and teaching Kuk Sool in South Korea, with a renowned 8th Degree Korean master of Kuk Sool. During his visit, he also participated in displays and appearances on Korean TV.
SBN Robin loves all aspects of Kuk Sool training and particularly teaching and seeing children develop and grow in confidence.
Les Thurston – 5th Degree Master
Master Les has studied and practised different disciplines of the traditional Oriental martial arts since 1972, which include: Wado Ryu (Japanese Karate), Wing Chun (Chinese Kung Fu) and Kendo (Japanese Sword). In 1995, he discovered Kuk Sool Won (Korean Martial Arts), and has practised this martial art ever since. In 2000, Master Les became an Instructor of Kuk Sool Won at the Martial Arts Centre-Eastbourne, and in 2005 was appointed as Deputy Chief Instructor of the Centre. In June 2017, after studying 22 years of studying and training in Kuk Sool Won, he received his 5th Degree Black Belt.
Although having a great deal of experience and love of the many different aspects of martial arts training, he particularly enjoys archery, knife- throwing and unarmed combat. He has helped a great many students through the comprehensive Kuk Sool syllabus, and always feels a sense of pride when a student achieves their 1st Degree Black Belt.
Over a period of many years, PSBN Les has been a great ambassador for the martial arts, having participated in numerous displays for the general public at national, as well as local level. Within the art of Kuk Sool Won, he has entered many British and European tournaments, and has been successful in gaining gold, silver and bronze medals in different events, while representing the Martial Arts Centre – Eastbourne.
Martin Jenner – 4th Degree Senior Instructor
Sa Buem Nim Martin first started martial arts training in Kuk Sool Won in 2000. He has been an Instructor at the Martial Arts Centre-Eastbourne since 2005. After 20 years of studying and training in Kuk Sool won, in June 2016, he received his 4th Degree Black Belt.
Over the years, KSN Martin has won several medals in Kuk Sool tournaments at the coloured belt level. At the Kuk Sool European Championships in 2008 he won a medal at the 1st Degree level in straight sword form and in 2011, a silver medal at the 2nd Degree level for reverse sword form. Out of over 600 contestants from all over Europe, he was also the oldest entrant in this tournament!
SBN Martin finds the mental concentration that is required in martial arts training very stimulating and enjoys constantly practicing a technique to understand the subtleties of how and why a technique should work. He enjoys applying these principles when teaching beginning students, the fundamentals of martial arts training. SBN Martin’s favourite aspect of Kuk Sool training is self-defence and unarmed combat, and his speciality is knife throwing. His contributions at Kuk Sool displays (especially as a vulnerable old man with a walking stick) are always hugely enjoyed by the audience.
Stuart Block – 4th Degree Senior Instructor
As a teenager, SBN Stuart studied Shotokan (Japanese Karate) for several years, then after a break from training, in 2003, decided he wanted to do “something new” and discovered the traditional Korean Martial Art of Kuk Sool Won. PSBN Stuart was appointed as an Instructor at the Martial Arts Centre – Eastbourne in 2009. After many years of training and single-minded commitment, in June 2015, he received his 3rd Degree Black Belt.
SBN Stuart likes all aspects of martial art training, but really enjoys learning and applying ‘vital’ or ‘pressure’ points, which are taught with many of the self-defence techniques, within the Kuk Sool system. He also finds the mental discipline associated with martial art training, as a very positive influence in his life, which brings with it an increased level of confidence and awareness. He appreciates the knowledge of his teachers, and their willingness to pass on their skills, and in turn, enjoys passing on the knowledge and skills he has acquired to Kuk Sool Won students young and old.
Oliver Block – 2nd Degree Junior Instructor
KSN Oliver started Kuk sool won when was six years old and achieved his 1st Degree Black Belt in June 2018.
Alongside his dad he helps teach the Junior classes and has done so for a few years.
Ivan Hung – 1st Degree Junior Instructor
JKN Ivan started training when he was 4 years old. He achieved getting his 1st Degree Black Belt in 2015 and helps out in the Kids classes as part of our Junior Instructor Team. He has won European Grand Champion in 2016 and 2019.