RamonRamon Mitchell

3rd Degree Black Belt

1)  When did you start Hapkido?  

Feb 1998

2)  How long have you been training in Martial Arts, did you do anything before Hapkido?

After a brief stint trying Goshin Ryu under Dr Richard Bradford, I discovered the more fluid style of Rhee Tae Kwon Do in year 10 of high school and, for the next 2 years until I left high school, I trained 3 nights a week in a beaten up community hall (scorching hot in Summer, freezing cold in Winter!). After moving back to Sydney I began training in Muay Thai under Nick Stone at Bulldog Gym. Trained all the way through to instructor level and even tried my hand (and feet) in the ring.

3)  What made you choose Hapkido?

A friend of mine was a black belt in Hapkido and was training at the Brookvale dojang. After hearing about the variety of elements that were combined into this one mysterious discipline it piqued my interest and, on  a sunny Saturday afternoon in Feb 1998, I went down to try one of Marty Fox’s classes for the first time and, well… the rest is history. 15 years later, I’m still at the same club training with the same senior belts – Matt, Steve and Simon – all of whom were there when I first started.

4)  Hapkido covers so many aspects of a Martial Art, which is your favourite or the one that suits you the most?

As Hapkido is such a fluid style, there are a myriad of openings for throws / takedowns that enable the Hakidoist to transition to the ground and lockup / choke / submit an opponent. I’m really enjoying exploring the judo-style throws and new and improved takedowns at the moment in order to improve my skill

5)  As an instructor, what motivates you to come down and teach?

It’s fulfilling to be an integral part of our students’ individual journey along the Hapkido path. I view myself as a student of the art irrespective of whether I am teaching or training. In a teaching environment, it’s clear that there is no “one size fits all” approach for any of the techniques. We all come in different shapes and sizes and each technique will have differing levels of efficacy depending on the opponent. Teaching a variety of students really reminds me of this and I’m constantly evaluating and re-evaluating techniques as I go.

6)  What is one of the best books you have read?

The Brain That Changes Itself –Norman Doidge MD. Great reading on neuroplasticity – the idea that our thoughts can change the actual structure and function of our brains.  

7) Interests outside of Hapkido?

Paddleboarding, golf, travel, gaming. Martial arts has become such an integral part of my life and is fulfilling on so many levels – fitness, wellbeing, camaraderie, spirituality… the list goes on. Interesting that, the longer I study Hapkido, the more evident the false dichotomy becomes between a martial art and one’s personal / work / social life

8)  How long can you see yourself training Hapkido?

Until stuff breaks, stops working or my physio bills get too high…What do you like about our Club at Northern Beaches Hapkido? – Fantastic training facilities as well as a great sense of team spirit and commitment to club and fellow students.