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Our Instructor

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Master Marlin Godfrey, Pyung Kwang Jah Nim (5th Degree Master)


Marlin Godfrey began his study of fighting arts at the early age of 4.  At his young age the instructor would not formally accept him as a student.  Marlin was only allowed to participate in one class because of his age.  This denial of membership made him more determined and he went home and practiced everyday.  He remembered how the instructor told the class that "Karate isn't easy.  You must perform your punches and kicks thousands of times."  So he went about accumulating his thousands.

At the age of 7, Master Marlin was enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do Chang Mu Kwan school.  He was so happy finally be a member of a school.  He would participate in the kids class and try to work harder than all of his classmate.  Soon he began staying around his class and working out with the Adult class.  Then he would go home and practice while he watched Kung Fu Theater and practice what he saw on the movies.

Later in high school Master Marlin learned to box and joined the wrestling team.  He Lettered in Wrestling his senior year and finished that season with a 5-2 record.

Master Marlin started his Kuk Sool training in the summer of 1994 in Greensboro, NC, under the instruction of Sa Bum Nim (4th Degree) Dr Eugene Upshaw and Pu Sa Bum Nim (3rd Degree) Steven Hurley (Now PKJN; promoted to Master in 2011).  It was during his first Kuk Sool class that he knew he had found his Martial Art home.  "I was completly overwhlemed by how much martial arts everyone knew.  The forms were beautiful and you could see the combat.  They did these incredible joint locks and throws and then they did weapons (staff and sword)."  


Master Marlin moved to Washington, DC in 1998 and during his first Black Belt test, was invited by Kuk Sa Nim, 10th Degree Grand Master and founder of Kuk Sool, to come to Houston, TX so he could be taught how to teach Kuk Sool and open up a Kuk Sool franchise in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.


While at Headquarters, Master Marlin cleaned the dojang every morning then worked out with the morning class.  He then went through a solo belt test conducted by SBN Lee and graded by Kuk Sa Nim.  After lunch and a nap, he would study the text books for a hour then work as an assistant instructor during the 4 hours of evening classes.  Marlin was promoted to Jo Kyo Nim (1st Degree Black Belt) on November 21, 1998 and began teaching Kuk Sool upon his return to DC.

As he taught and spread Kuk Sool across the DMV, several of his students decided to become school owners.  With his assistance his students were able to open up schools or programs in Washington, DC and Northern VA and in 4 counties and Maryland.

In 2015 Marlin Godfrey was promoted to Master Marlin (Pyung Kwang jah Nim 5th Degree Master).  He now carries the title of Kwang Jah Nim or Master. 


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