Saturday 2nd of November 2013 the Australian Hap Ki Do Senior Black Belt grading was held at the Pittwater Sports Centre, among many students throughout the association Northern Beaches had three students aiming for their next level. Gavin Mansfield, Andrew Dunn and Justine Lobb. I am pleased to say that all were successful in their grading, Gavin achieving 3rd degree while both Andrew and Justine were successful in achieving 2nd degree. On behalf of Northern Beaches Hap Ki Do I would like to congratulate them on their success, as it was a tough grading, and the many years of training and sacrifice showed when it counted.
Well done guys, keep training and thank you for your dedication to the club.
After endless photos and congratulations being passed around to all the graders, it was time to get dressed up and head of to the Brookvale Hotel were our annual Association dinner where the official presentation of grading certificates were held.
Along with the presentation of grading certificates there is a very special award presented, The Scott Wetherell memorial award, “ following the path and continuing the journey ” This award is presented to someone that has the commitment, dedication and shown the way in the Hap Ki Do Journey. It goes far beyond training. Involvement within the committee, teaching, assisting with camps, tournaments, seminars and many other events involved to keep an Association running smoothly and successfully are some of the tasks involved .
It is with great pleasure to announce that our very own Master Matt Geister was the recipient of this auspicious award. After 30 years of training and commitment to our association, a member of the committee, senior instructor of the Northern Beaches club and a senior instructor at camps and tournaments, Master Geister is great example of what the Scott Wetherell memorial award means. Well done Master Geister, on behalf of the Northern Beaches club we are proud to have you as our instructor.
The awards did not stop there, our AHA President and Technical Director Master Kevin Brown was awarded a 7th degree for his involvement within the association which spans well over 30 years. Master Brown has received many awards outside Hap Ki Do. Blitz magazine Instructor of the year, recognition amongst the international community of Hap Ki Do instructors in Korea and around the world and for continuing the path that Grand Master Matthew Kim began back in 1979 in Australia. Master Brown is an inspirational leader.
We were blessed to have our founder Grand Master Matthew Sung Su Kim at the dinner presentation. Grand Master Kim has been an inspiration for many students and instructors since the first dojang was opened in the city in 1979. Grandmaster Kim’s vision, guidance and words of wisdom are carried through to this day, but it is one aspect in particular that has allowed the Association to grow to where we are today. Many of the original students are still participating and involved within Hap Ki Do today. There were also many old faces who are no longer training with the AHA yet they all came back to join the celebration on Saturday night. It showed that we are a Hap Ki Do family no matter what club we are associated with, no matter what path we take yet when we come together in tournaments, training camps or gradings we respect and trust each other and the friendships formed are forever stronger than merely acquaintances.
Grand Master Kim was awarded his 8 degree from Master Brown in recognition for this amazing achievement.
It will be a very long time before we have another awards night like we did on Saturday. It was a part of AHA history not to be repeated for many years to come. Thanks to all who made the effort to attend and to those who worked tirelessly to make it all happen and run smoothly.
Written by Master Steve Tamanini