1st Degree Blackbelt
1) When did you start Hapkido?
2) How long have you been training in Martial Arts, did you do anything before Hapkido?
I have been training Hapkido for just over 10 years. For what it is worth I did train in Tai Chi when I was 12 yrs old, maybe that’s where I have originated my interest in the flowing, circular aspects of Hapkido.
3) What made you choose Hapkido?
Originally from New Zealand I arrived on the Northern beaches of Sydney in 2000. I joined Hapkido in 2003 after looking at the various different forms of martial arts on offer in the area. I chose Hapkido as I felt it offered a more holistic approach to the Martial Arts. It not only placed an emphasis on the physical aspects of the art but also focussed on the mental. An example of this would be the practice of Pong Ryu Do, similar to Tai Chi, it focuses on slow fluid movements that require a calm mind, steady breathing and great awareness of one’s body in motion.
4) Hapkido covers so many aspects of a Martial Art, which is your favourite or the one that suits you the most?
When I first started Hapkido, I was passionate about the Sparring and kicking techniques. As I become more experienced my focus has been drawn towards the Self Defence component and circular motion used to unbalance an opponent. Even more so, now as a Black Belt I am beginning to understand why we have been learning the Pong Ryo Do and how it relates to improving my self defence skills.
5) As an instructor, what motivates you to come down and teach?
After having reached the level of 1st Dan Black Belt in 2010, I was given the honour of being invited to become one of the club’s instructors. I completed the Australian Hapkido Association instructor course and have been able to instruct several of the club’s Saturday classes. It is very rewarding for me to be an instructor as it enables me to be able to give something back to the art that has given me so much and it also allows me greater understanding of the art itself through demonstration to other
6) What is one of the best books you have read?
I still can’t go past “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas
7) Interests outside of Hapkido?
In addition to Hapkido, other interests include, bike riding, winter sports, architecture and design, my two children and the continuation of my construction company.
8) How long can you see yourself training Hapkido?
When I stop learning I will stop training so I have no intention to stop as I have much to learn.
9) What do you like about our Club at Northern Beaches Hapkido?
Awesome depth of experienced instructors, great facilities, very friendly atmosphere, good hard training – and the mats are somewhat forgiving on older bones.