Pivot Point Martial Arts Change Your Destiny


A 15-time World Kuk Sool Association (WSKA) Grand Champion and 5th Degree Black Belt (Master), Kenneth Wright has traveled the world practicing and honing his art. He has trained at the Baek Dam Sa Temple in South Korea, in Seoul and in GyeongJu, in Canada and across the United States. He has taught side-by-side with Kuk Sool martial arts founder and Grand Master, Hyuk Suh. But of all his accomplishments and accolades, the one that means the most to him is obtaining the title of Kwan Jahng Nim which gives him the ability to correct – to teach. That, and his unwavering faith, gives him true purpose. “Teaching and working with my students are in the wind for me to do,” he smiles. “I feel it is my calling in life from God. My goal is to help people change their destiny in a way they are proud of.”

Master Wright started in the world of martial arts at around the age of two after watching a Bruce Lee movie. “My parents told me that I was kicking and chopping all over the place,” he laughs. When he was in the second grade, they enrolled him in Tang Soo Do, but that didn’t last. “My family could no longer afford it,” he remembers. The spark for the art never left him, so when a school for Kuk Sool opened in Burton years later, Wright again asked his parents to enroll him. “My father asked me to show him what I had learned years ago in Tang Soo Do,” he says. “I showed him everything. He agreed that I could try Kuk Sool.” In 1995, Master Wright started down a path he continues to walk today. In 2001, his instructor, Brian Lingenfelter, was looking to move out of the business. At 19, Wright bought the business and operated it on a part-time basis. “In 2010, I felt a calling to open the business full time and I quit my regular job,” he explains. “That summer, I immediately gained 20 new students and before I knew it, I was up to 35 and needed a bigger space.” Master Wright then moved to his current location on the corner of Davison and Belsay Roads. Today, Pivot Point Martial Arts has more than 90 students of different ages and backgrounds with the collective purpose of improving their lives, their disciplines and futures.

Last year, Master Wright changed the name of the school to Pivot Point Martial Arts to further align it with his goal. “I named it Pivot Point because I believe the school can be a pivot point in a person’s life,” he explains. “Helping a person change their destiny is our mission. We train in the martial arts to the best of our ability but the bigger focus is helping people make changes in their lives. If anyone is unhappy with the direction of their life, health, attitude, self-discipline, etc., our school will support them and help.”

Pivot Point Martial Arts offers a positive environment where students focus on collective support, not competition. In addition to physical training, young students undergo a character development program including a variety of subjects such as health, hygiene, social skills, mental skills and self-confidence. “We study a new topic every two months,” adds Wright. “It’s challenging but provides a great reward.” The school is open for anyone four years of age or older, and many adults find numerous benefits, as well. “For adults, it’s about personal growth,” Wright explains. “Adults are awarded with stripes for attendance and with belts for accomplishment. The belt program is strict but provides significant benchmarks to aim for, unlike your standard gym. Moving up in rank is extremely significant.”

Pivot Point offers two martial arts disciplines: Kuk Sool and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Kuk Sool is a unique Korean art that predates the Japanese occupation. “Most Korean martial arts are influenced by the Japanese,” explains Wright. “Kuk Sool looks different.” It focuses on weapons training, pressure points, throwing, falling, etc. Everything is predicated on the concept of self-defense against multiple opponents. “It’s a battlefield martial art emphasizing the ability to absorb, attack, control and disable,” adds Wright. Kuk Sool works well in nearly all situations, save one: going to ground. So, in order to fill the gap, Master Wright traveled to California to learn Jiu-Jitsu from the legendary Gracie family. “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is about knowing how to fight when on the ground,” says Wright. “It’s the perfect technique to conserve your energy while your attacker uses up theirs. It’s about submission; students don’t have to strike at all.” The program is focused upon learning the 36 most-used techniques to defend and control any situation. Pivot Point is now an official Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified training center.

Recently, Wright has been working on a program for area schools called Bully Proof. “Bullying is still a big problem in schools. The Bully Proof program is designed to give kids the confidence they need to deal with bullies without having to necessarily strike them,” explains Wright. “In my school, we teach five rules of engagement to know when to use martial arts. My kids have good hearts and don’t really want to strike anyone. Bully Proof is about establishing clear boundaries and controlling the situation with confidence.” Wright views Jiu-Jitsu as a way for kids with good hearts to defend themselves. He rightly believes that every child should know that they have value in this world and a right to live without fear. He hopes to have his program up and running in area schools for the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

Kenneth Wright has dedicated his life to the study of Kuk Sool and the martial arts and has learned a lot along the way. It has given him self-confidence, peace of mind, self-discipline, and purpose. The black belt testing alone has changed his life. “The difficulty of achieving the level that I have has taught me how to overlook current discomfort in order to achieve a future benefit. I have applied that experience to everything I have done, from dealing with employers and bosses to running this business,” he adds. “Kuk Sool encourages you to be well-balanced in all things for all situations. It’s challenging. One thing I always say is ‘keep your feet with you.’ If something or someone comes along and pushes you in one direction or another, bring your feet. Stay balanced. You have to maintain a strong base, so you don’t fall over. The martial arts have given me that base.”

“My goal is to help people change their destiny in a way they are proud of.”

Master Kenneth Wright

Wright has mastered multiple weaponry, combat strikes and more (you have to in order to be a grand champion) but the most treasured skill that Kuk Sool has given him is his ability to turn off the world during forms. “Doing forms is a meditation. It is something done by yourself solely for the expression of the art form,” he explains. “Each motion is done with full intention, striving toward perfection of body and mind. If you can do just one thing to perfection, who’s to say you can’t achieve it in another aspect of your life? It also brings me peace,” (something hard to find in today’s chaotic world).

For anyone interested in pursuing martial arts, Pivot Point Martial Arts offers a ten-day free trial. (Uniform and progress cards are provided.) Classes are taught systematically and Wright has tailored each to cater to the brand-new student. To sign up for a free trial, visit pivotpointfamily.com and click on the free trial button, or call 810.908.2659 for more information.

If you find yourself stuck in a rut or feel your children are having a hard time with confidence, bullies, or just dealing with our current combative atmosphere, consider Pivot Point Martial Arts. “Kids enjoy and crave structure in their lives,” says Master Ken. “We are a very welcoming place for growth. We don’t hurry or judge. The whole point is the journey and the improvement you make along the way.”




Photos provided by Pivot Point Martial Arts


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