Association News - June 2006

 

 

This is to the newest members of the World Hapkido Association. Congratulations and Welcome! We all look forward to many years of training and collaboration.

Luis Maisonet

Oceechobee, FL.

News & Events

Northwest Regional Hapkido Seminar with Master Tae Jung

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Location: Ernie Reyes World of Martial Arts – 2075 SW 234thAve, Ste #103, Hillsboro, OR

Time: 10 – 1:30 pm

Cost: $55 for WHA Members / $65 for Non-WHA Members if registered by August 16th!

$65 for WHA Members and $75 for Non-WHA Members – after pre-registration…

Co-sponsored by Mr. Jeff Hindley of the Korean Martial Arts Academy and Mr. Al Kamara of FamII Hapkido and Personal Training in Washington. Come join us for a chance to share the mat with one of Hapkido’s greatest masters.

Contact Mr. Hindley at www.northwestbudo.com or by personal e-mail at firstpe315@aol.com for detailed information!! Registration form available soon on the WHA website!!

 

Announcements

1. There is now a "Links" button on the World Hapkido Association homepage. Master Jung would like all Charter members who have their own website to be included on it with their link. However, you must have the WHA logo on your homepage and an "indication of affiliation" with the WHA.

  1. NEW!! For any member, individual or charter, that wishes to sell or buy anything martial-arts related, please e-mail me the information and let the WHA membership have first crack at it. There have been several inquiries to me regarding equipment and similar items for sale.
  2. The 2005 Pro-Hapkido DVD is now available on the WHA website. Last years tournament was held at the Spectrum Club in Thousand Oaks, CA and produced a 2-time Champion. This is one DVD you’ll need for the archives. Go to www.worldhapkido.com for ordering information.

Guest Column

THE WORLD HEAD OF SOKESHIP MARTIAL ARTS HALL OF FAME
ORLANDO FLORIDA May 26,27 2006
by Master Frank Ehnle
American Hapkido Federation

This past weekend I had the honor of attending the World Head of Family Sokeship Martial Arts Hall of Fame Seminar and Banquet in Orland Florida. This is an event that features two days of continuous International seminars and culminates with an awards presentation and formal banquet dinner.

The WHOFS is a council of distinguished Grandmasters many of whom have been in the Martial Arts for 40 to 50 years. For the most part, you will not find the "Hollywood" names although occasionally several of them do attend. However you will find the true living legends and pioneers of their respective styles. This group contains some of those responsible for the early history of the Martial Arts in this U.S well as other countries. One such Grandmaster, Gary Alexander is a renowned Grandmaster of Isshinryu Karate. Grandmaster Alexander was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1974 and has been making a name for himself after beating many of the top name bare knuckle Karate-kas in the late 50's. GM Alexander has one of the longest running tournaments in Karate history. This tournament has been held every year for the last 43 years. It gave me great perspective to think that GM Alexander has been running this tournament since I was two years old. I did some research and found out that GM Alexander trained in the Marines along with my first Karate instructor's instructor. In the early 70's the person responsible for introducing me to and instructing me in Karate, Louis Coletti studied under Ed McGrath and Don Nagle who are now legendary Isshinryu Grandmasters and were responsible for the first Isshinryu Karate School in America. Grandmaster Ed McGrath owned a school in the early 70's in my hometown of Lindenhurst, Long Island. His instructor "Don Nagle" is not a household name however if you do the research you will find he is an absolute legend in Okinawan Isshinryu Karate history as is Ed McGrath and Gary Alexander. The two trained in the Marines together and are an integral part of early Isshinryu history in the U.S. Seeing Grandmaster Gary Alexander at this event was quite an honor. He is a hard core Marine style legendary Karate-ka and extremely well respected within the Okinawan Martial Arts community. He is referred to as "The Hammer" of Isshinryu Karate and His titles include:

Titles:
1962 First Karate Champion in U.S. and North America.
First Annual Sport Karate Championships Promoter in U.S
.
First Kick Boxing Promoter in U.S.
First Promoter, Martial Arts Seminars in U.S.
Undefeated Karate Fighter.
Endorsed as Greatest Fighter in the History of Isshinryu Karate.
Inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame 1974
For more info: http://www.bohans-family.com/Warrior/Warrior/alexander/gary_alexander.htm

Another senior council member is Prof. Gary Dill. Professor Gary Dill is one of the first generation Jeet Kune Do students. Prof. Dill trained in Bruce Lee's Oakland California Jeet Kune Do school under Sifu James Yimm Lee. James Lee headed up this JKD school while Bruce Lee was away filming the Green Hornet series. Prof. Dill has been considered one of the leading authorities on Jeet Kune Do for the last 30 years. Prof. Dill trained in the same house that Bruce Lee trained in. He used the same equipment that was designed and built for Bruce by Sifu James Lee. . Prof. Dill has some of the original Bruce Lee student training manuals from that school. He recently presented one of them to Dan Inosanto as a gift. These manuals are truly historical treasures. Some sections from these original manuals are reprinted in Professor Dills SDS Jeet Kune Do manual, which I recently obtained. Apart from his notable Jeet Kune Do history, Professor Dill is also a fully certified grandmaster of Bushido Kempo, a pure combat system with techniques from Karate, Ju-Jitsu, Aiki-Jitsu, Gung Fu, and weaponry. He has been inducted into several martial art hall of fames, and is a member of three different grandmaster councils. He has also received official rank recognition from Mainland China as an 8th Degree Black Sash in Chinese Wu Shu. The Professor has been active in the martial arts since 1963, and hold black belts in several different combat martial arts.

On a personal note, Professor Dill has spent many years in law enforcement, having served as a federal intelligence agent, state police criminal investigator, and as a chief of police. He was also a firearms instructor and a senior police defensive tactics instructor. He is a Vietnam veteran, and served in both the US Marine Corps and in the US Navy, and was a special agent with Naval Intelligence (NIS). Professor Dill now delegates all of his time to teaching the combat arts. (The above description is partly from Gary Dills website).

These are just two examples of some of the legendary Martial Artists who comprise the WHOFS Grandmasters council.

To walk around the hotel and mingle with these legends is quite an experience. To be asked to give a demonstration of your style is even more humbling. Master Phil Peplinski and I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to give seminars along with some of these distinguished Grandmasters. In the grand scheme of things we are rookies compared to many of these legends. We also had the distinct pleasure of being invited as guests to the Grandmasters Council meeting which took place early Saturday morning before the seminars began. This happened quite by accident. We were walking through the hotel area near the banquet rooms and looking for the seminar presentation room. There was an open door and we saw Prof. Dill speaking at a podium. He glanced over, caught our eyes and gestured for us to come in. Now we found ourselves seated in a room of high-ranking Grandmasters from around the world. There were members from the U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, and the Philippines just to name a few. The main theme of the meeting was to stop the onslaught of these diploma mill organizations within the Martial Arts. They described it as a cancer growing within the Martial Arts community. It was a passionate and powerful discussion and the conclusion was that the Martial Arts must be able to police itself and control itself from within. One way is to weed out these diploma mills and not include them within the respected Martial Arts community. At one point a columnist from Black Belt Magazine stood up and mentioned he had recently written an article on this very subject. There were many details covered and certainly enough for another article. In this article I mainly wanted to cover the WHOFS Hall of Fame event. It was nice to hear this topic of discussion and the deep concern among these Grandmasters. Being guests at this meeting was truly one of the highlights of this event and gave us great perspective on the council and its members.

The seminars are Friday evening and Saturday. One by one the chosen 26 Grandmaster or Masters gave presentations of their style. Master Phil and I had our turn on Saturday and it truly felt like our "15 minutes of fame". Seated around you were students as well as the other Grandmasters and Masters watching your presentation. It is a very different feeling from your average seminar with these dignitaries watching. This is certainly the time to turn it up a notch and that is how I approached my seminar. All in all we were very happy with our presentations and we received compliments from the seminar director as well as other attendees. Truly a humbling and unique seminar experience.

Later that evening was the Induction Banquet Dinner. This is where the council members can nominate students, instructors, Masters and Grandmasters from their organizations into the WHOFS Hall of Fame for their accomplishments. Among these awards you will find Competitor of The Year, Instructor of the Year, Master of the Year, Grandmaster of the Year as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards. This is a chance for respective organizations to highlight their standout students, instructors and leaders. They all travel to Florida annually to take part in this prestigious event. It is quite an honor to be awarded anything in the presence of this distinguished panel of Grandmasters. It is also a great example of how the Martial Arts can come together to pay homage to each other and our respective styles. It isn't just about the awards. The host, 10th Dan Grandmaster Frank E. Sanchez of San-Jitsu stated it best when he said this is a time for the International Martial Arts community to come together, share techniques with each other, network with each other, become one family and also to honor the standout achievements in our respective organizations. A truly wonderful event for Martial Artists. Prof. Dill told me personally this event is like a family reunion for him. He considers the other veteran Grandmasters on this panel his Martial Arts family.

I have great respect for the WHA. I was welcomed into this Hapkido brotherhood. The level of ethics and skill among its leaders is what I've always expected from the Martial Arts. That certainly was not present in my previous organization. It was for that reason I suggested to Prof. Dill, who is a senior member of this Hall of Fame council he induct Grandmaster Hwang Il Shik, Master Tae Jung and Master Dan Piller into this Martial Arts Hall of Fame. I wanted the WHA, a truly ethical Hapkido organization to be brought this councils attention. I also wanted to show appreciation to the WHA for offering me a home after a very uncomfortable departure from my previous organization. From what I have experienced with the WHA, its leaders and members share the same ethics and standards as this council of Grandmasters. I was honored to have the opportunity to introduce the WHA to this council and induct some of its members into this distinguished Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

There are multiple Martial Arts Hall of Fames run by various small groups and even Magazines. To my knowledge this is the largest and most diverse group of International Grandmasters. It has been ongoing for the past 13 years. This event was an incredible opportunity for Grandmasters from around the world to come together and discuss important topics regarding the current state of our industry. There was also the opportunity for students and instructors to sample 26 different styles on the training floor. When viewed from that perspective the event and this council are certainly significant. It is not about the awards, it is an International group of Martial Art leaders coming together, sharing techniques and communicating ways to better our industry. For around $90 you got a 2-day seminar sampling 26 different Martial Arts styles and a formal banquet dinner. In my opinion, certainly worth the price of admission.


Master Frank Ehnle
American Hapkido Federation

Guest Column

Another one this month, we are truly blessed. For those of you with black-belt tests coming up…words to remember! - Ed.

 

 

Hapkido Test Revisited

by Michael Aloia, Asahi Dojo - Collegeville, PA

 

Grueling. Challenging. Exhausting. Exhilarating.
These four words describe just a fraction of what my recent test for a WHA black belt was.

I spent countless weeks preparing, over and over, techniques adapted from the core curriculum videos by Master Jung…never quite achieving his balance and poise of execution, but tried nonetheless, hoping to do my best.

After spending two days with Master Piller, who was instructing a Hapkido seminar at Mr. Benedetto’s Dojang, Dragon Star Martial Arts, test time had come. There was no turning back. I had tested before but never seemed to be able to elude the butterflies that seemed intent on taking refuge in the pit of my stomach. There were questions: "Am I ready?" "Am I good enough?" "Can I really make it work?" It’s like reading yourself the Riot Act …and was too late to be asking these questions minutes before the test.

After a few brief comments on uniforms and alternate attire, the test began. What started out as a "demonstrate the basic curriculum" for me, quickly became a "show me how you would…" Weeks of preparing seemed to fly out the window. I hadn’t prepared for this line of testing. But as I found out this was the intent.

Master Piller did not hold back. He wanted to know, see, and experience what my years of previous training had to offer, regardless of art or style. He wanted to see what kind of martial artist I was…to find out if it was worth his time and effort to come all this way to test someone for such a prestigious rank. He wasn’t prepared to give it away by any means. It had to be earned – by heart and soul.

Mentally, physically, emotionally – all was pushed to the limits. Master Piller had me dig deep into what it was to be a practitioner of the martial arts, not just someone who trained in aikido or Hapkido. But rather someone who could respond, react and deliver without hesitation.

Finally the test was over. I survived and so did my test companion. Pass or fail – it did not matter. It was an accomplishment. And that in itself was reward enough.

As I now reflect, I have come to appreciate my many years of martial arts studies for they have cultivated reactions and thought processes that made it possible to experience and pass this test. I have also come to appreciate both the test itself and Master Piller’s approach. His approach is to draw out the true martial spirit and character that lives and breathes in each one of us. We just all need to be reminded and sometimes pushed, to allow that to surface to the moment where our training and techniques simply just exist – where they take on a life of their own and become a part of who we are not just what we do.

Hap Ki!

 

Quote of the Month

…Trust in the Process

- Anonymous

 

 

NEXT MONTH – Due to some of our editorials, I elected to place the 3rd part of the Stretching

editorial for next month so look for it…always some good caveats.

 

 

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