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Global Hapkido Championships in Michigan, USA

Posted on August 16, 2014

Last month I attended the Global Hapkido Championships in Kalamazoo Michigan.
5 action packed days in my first trip to the United States.

Here's a quick recap of the trip.

Day 0 - Travel

What can I say, 4 Airports, 24hrs in flights, 2.5hrs driving on the wrong side of the road (well, for me - I'd never driving on the opposite side of the road), 1 minor scary whoops moment on the road and we finally arrived 12,000+ klms later at the Korean Martial Arts Hapkido School in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.

 

Day 1 - Chicago

So some of the locals must have thought we were nuts because we decided to drive the 3hrs from Kalamazoo to Chicago for 3-4 hrs just to check it out and drive back again. So off we went through 2 other states.

It's funny driving around Chicago to see how many landmarks, buildings and streets that I recognised from years of movies and television shows set in the Windy City.

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The famous Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean).

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Driving past White Sox Stadium

Day 3 - Seminars with the Grandmasters

Day 3 saw us relocate from Battlecreek to Kalamazoo, nice hotel room at the Radisson Kalamazoo where the majority of international guests were staying for the event.

6 hours of Seminars and finally Referee catchup before the big event.

One huge night out... but that is another story...

 Senior Grandmaster Lee introducing the Seminars.

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Instructors and Black Belts getting worked up.

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Senior Grandmaster Choi teaching me a lesson in pain, very up close.

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Day 3 & 4 - Global Hapkido Championships & Black Tie Dinner

It was an amazing couple of days, for me the most interesting part was being an International Hapkido Referee.

I was lucky enough to Referee or Judge at the Long Jump, Individual & Team demonstration events,  and on the Sunday being a Referee for the Sparring Competitions.

Check out the images here on our Facebook Page.

Day 5 - A class at Global Hapkido Association HQ.

Our final day in the USA was a quick day, checking out of the hotel, off to Battle Creek to teach a class with Master Angus at the Dojang.

Then we drove to the Airport and started the 30hr trip back home to Australia.

 

Overall

I honestly felt blessed to be able to attend the event and get to see some old friends, make some new friends and interestingly meet people I had only known online for some time.

As per usual on a trip like this, I was truly exhausted on my return - but humbled by the amazing people I met, trained with, judged and had a meal with. A thank you must go to everyone whom I now call friend. 


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