Welcome to the Australian Hapkido Association web site

53947166_nThe AHA started in Sydney in 1980 and now has clubs throughout Sydney, Melbourne, the Central Coast, Hunter Region, Mid North Coast and Northern NSW.

We are a progressive not-for profit organisation led by Master Brown a 7th degree black belt with over 30 years experience in Hapkido. Master Brown is shown in the photo receiving an award from the AHA Founder Grandmaster Matthew Sung Su Kim.

On this web site you will find the latest news, articles, our syllabus and heaps of photos and videos. If you are interested in trying Hapkido take a look at the Club Directory to see if there is a club near you.

Hapkido Road Trip 2017

Our 3rd annual Hapkido road trip is on again.

Tup and I will hit the road on Monday the 20th of November and train all the way down the east coast until we get to Sydney for the Black Belt grading on the 25th of November.

This year we will be joined by a number of AHA Black Belts along the way including:

  • Master Matt Geister
  • Dominic Spreckley
  • Matt Beyer
  • Helen O’Carroll
  • Craig Elliot
  • Stewart Dwelly
  • Chad Geister

We are super excited about training with everyone along the way and visiting as many of the wonderful clubs that make up association as we can.

 If you would like to join us please contact me at byronbayahahapkido@gmail.com

The itinerary for the trip is:

Monday 20th of November

  • 6pm – 8pm Kempsey Hapkido Club

Tuesday 21st of November

  • 8am -10am Train Hat Head Beach
  • 12pm – 1pm Train Hat Head Beach
  • 6pm – 8pm Port Macquarie Hapkido Club

Wednesday 22nd of November

  • 8am – 10am Train Bonnie Hills Beach
  • 4:30pm – 6pm Tuggerah Hapkido Club with Master Rees
  • 6:30pm – 8pm Tuggerah Hapkido Club with Master Rees

Thursday 23rd of November

  • 8am – 10am Train Dudley Beach
  • 2pm – 3.30pm Train King Edward Park Newcastle
  • 6pm – 7pm Redhead Hapkido Club
  • 7pm – 8:30pm Redhead Hapkido Club

Friday 24th of November

  • 8am – 10am Train Dudley Beach
  • 7pm – 8:30pm Northern Beaches Hapkido Club with Master Geister

Saturday 25th of November

  •  1pm – 5pm Sydney Black Belt Grading at Pittwater Dojang
  • See you all at the end of year party !!!

Eli Dutton – Northern NSW Hapkido

End of Year Party and Dinner – Sat 25 Nov 2017

Once again there will be an end of year celebration and AHA Dinner after the Black Belt grading in November in Sydney.

Here are the details:

  • Terry Hills Tavern from 6:30pm Saturday 25 November 2017
  • $35 per head – includes dinner
  • If you have special dietary requirements or want to buy your own dinner – just pay $10 entry and order your food separately.
    (see venue website for menu)
  • RSVP by Nov 13th

Please pay and register with your own Club Instructor.

Master Wetherell visits Byron Bay – special report

We had another fantastic weekend of training up north.

It was great to have Sam Morgan along helping students and instructors with his extensive sparring and self defence knowledge. Also this year Superman Chris Currey was able to train and assist with the seminars.

It was a busy schedule for the weekend, the focus was working simple sparring and movement drills for students coupled with practical self defence. It was great to see the enthusiasm of everyone who attended and the quality of Hapkido is a credit to all the instructors.

I had the opportunity to put the instructors through their paces and they didn’t disappoint.

A big thank you to Eli and Amy for looking after myself and Sam and Helen for putting up with Chris!

Train hard and hope to see you all again next year …..

Master Mitch Wetherell


Click on the links below to see great video of some highlights of what Master Wetherell taught.

AHA Competed in AMAC Newcastle – amazing results

Four Competitors from the Central Coast Hapkido Club attended a AMAC tournament in Newcastle today. Congratulations to Master Ron Rees and the Central Coast Hapkido Dojang.

Muurruun Leha :

  • 2nd Patterns, 
  • 3rd Point score sparring, 
  • 1st Freestyle Sparring, 
  • 1st Contact Pont Sparring, 
  • 1st Freestyle Contact Sparring

Stephanie Biviano : 

  • 1st Traditional Weapons Patterns, 
  • 2nd Demonstration, 
  • 3rd Point Score Sparring, 

Shane Cutland : 

  • 4th Point Score Sparring, 
  • 4 Freestyle Sparring, 
  • 3rd Demonstration, 
  • 3rd Weapons patterns

Charlie Olivieri : 

  • 4th Patterns, 
  • 2nd Freestyle Sparring, 
  • 3rd Pont Sparring, 
  • 2nd Sword Combat.

New series of Sydney Black Belt Classes starting from June 2017

Dear Black Belts (and Black Tips)

Master Brown has a very full schedule for 2017 and has asked the 5th and 6th Degrees to step up and take the black  belt classes.

There will be 6 black belt classes for the remainder of 2017. If attendance is good the format will continue for 2018.

The instructors will be Master Geister, Master Marie, Master Rees, Master Wetherell, Master Ansley and who knows, maybe even Master Tamanini.

All Sydney Black Belt Classes will be at the Brookvale Dojang from 8:30am to 10:30am and cost $20. Don’t forget your drink bottle – you will need it!

Don’t just wear a black belt – BE a black belt. Put these dates in your calendar.

General class plan

  • 8:30 Warm-Up – Black Belt Readiness Assessment – go as far as you can go.
  • 8:45 Self Defence – Row > Multiple Grabbing > Grabbling
  • 9:15 Weapons – a different weapon each black belt class – see schedule below.
  • 9:45 Sparring – Light Contact – bring mouth guard, 16 Oz gloves, shin pads.
  • 10:15 Grappling
  • 10:25 Cool Down


  1. Sunday 25 June – sword (no sharp blades in class please).
  2. Sunday 30 July – pole
  3. Sunday 27 August – danbong
  4. Sunday 24 September – belt
  5. Sunday 22 October – walking cane
  6. Sunday 10 December – pole

Reminders will be texted to Black Belts – if you do not get them – txt a request to be added to 0411 612 904.

Interview with Grandmaster Ji Han Jae by David Middleton

The following interview with Grandmaster Ji Han Jae was kindly provided David Middleton 4th Degree from Alstonville. It was conducted in 1996 and is a great read for any who wants to understand Hapkido’s roots from one of the originators of modern Hapkido. 

Recently Grand master Ji Han Jae, 10th Dan and founder of Sin Moo hapkido was in Australia at the invitation of the Australian Hapkido Association. Grandmaster Ji conducted seminars in Sydney, the central coast, Byron Bay and Port Macquarie that were well attended by students of hapkido and tae kwon do.

Whilst on the Far North Coast we had the privilege to conduct an interview with Grandmaster Ji where we asked him about the early years of hapkido and the martial arts journey that resulted in his development of Sin Moo hapkido.

 There are a number of different histories of hapkido from those early turbulent times with little documentation for historians the use. This is Grandmaster Ji’s story in his own words.


I began training under Yong Sul Choi in Taegu when I was a freshman of Taegu Technical High School. He called his art that he had learnt in Japan yawara (aikijujitsu). In 1956 I moved back to my home city of An Dong where I received training from old man Lee who was a Taoist dosanim (wise man). Among his teachings I received instruction in breathing and weapons. In 1957 I moved to the capital city Seoul and began teaching calling the style hapkido. At that time nobody knew what was hapkido, what was yawara, nobody knew. 

I started teaching hapkido then everybody knew hapkido. In 1962, Korea had a coup detat. Before this time Korea and Japan had no import-export between them because they were enemies. Then the gates were opened and Japanese imports began to come into the country.

At that time I saw a Japanese aikido book and noticed that the chinese characters for hapkido and aikido were the same. so I took out the hap from hapkido and I formed the Kido association. Still until now they have the Kido association – Huh Il Wong (8th dan and professor at Myong Ji University) from Kuk Sool Won is associated with it. He is my student. When he was a brown belt he and Kim Byung Chun (8th dan and president of the Korean Hapkido Association) – they formed a school. Later proffessor Huh went to another school – that of In-hyuk Suh. At that time they had Kuk Sool Won hapkido , not Kuk Sool. Right now In-hyuk Suh is a grandmaster of Kuk Sool Won. He learnt yawara from Yong Sul Choi. He is one of my juniors – yawara side he is my junior. At the same time as learning yawara he learnt a style of chinese Kung fu..

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2016 Scott Wetherell Award goes to Gana Muniandy – instructor from Glebe


To honour the life and memory of Master Scott Wetherell a special award was created in 2009. This award is called “Keeping the path and continuing the Journey” and is a tribute to what was important to Scott and is awarded each year to a black belt who has been loyal to Hapkido, has applied themselves diligently to their study and practice of Hapkido and who has given something to the ongoing development and growth of Hapkido.

On Saturday 26 Nov 2016 the award of this trophy was conducted by Master Mitchell Wetherell and was awarded to a most deserving recipient, Gana Muniandy (instructor for Glebe).

Gana has contributed much to the association and is also an inspirational and dedicated instructor in Glebe dojang. As inscribed on the award – Gana has been keeping the path and continuing the Journey.

Thankyou Gana for the high standard you have set for you and your students, and for the training we have shared with you. We look forward to much more in the future. 

Grading Results – end of year Sydney black belt grading – 26 Nov 2016

Congratulation to the following new and improved black belts who were successful in their grading held at Pittwater Sport Centre in Sydney last Saturday 26 Nov 2016.

  • Kenny Foo (Sutherland) – 3rd Degree Black Belt
  • Martha Turner (Murwillumbah) – 2nd Degree Black Belt
  • Gana Muniandy (Glebe) – 2nd Degree Black Belt
  • Lewis Pink (Redhead) – 1st Degree Black Belt
  • Stewart Dwelly (Melbourne) – 1st Degree Black Belt.


The standard of Hapkido shown was very good with some excellent sparring and multiple self defence. Everyone was well prepared mentally and physically for the grading.

Hapkido Road Trip 2016 – it is on again!!

Once again, ou14494806_551803718363215_2397498203237028293_nr fabulous northern brothers in Hapkido, Tup and Eli, are getting into their Hapkidomobiles in Byron Bay and undertaking their annual Hapkido pilgrimage that culminates with the Black Belt Grading  in Sydney and a big party afterwards. Along the way they will experience many Hapkido adventures, visiting Hapkido clubs and beautiful training spots along the way, training and sharing their huge pool of knowledge.

Master Geister is going to join in on the way down for the last few days. Other Hapkido black belts from around Australia will be joining in at various parts of the road trip.

A aStay tuned for regular updates as the Hapkido Road Trip 2016 gets under way and rolls through a Hapkido Club near you!! All Hapkido students are invited to join in anywhere along the tour. Even if you don’t have a car – they will find a space for you! Just bring your uniform and a sleeping bag!

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Video from Hapkido Sparring Session – Bexley – Nov 2016

Giant Martial Arts and students from the Sutherland and Glebe AHA dojangs met at Bexley last Saturday 5 Nov for a 2 hour sparring session.

The format was light cooperative sparring to improve our distance and timing while trying to keep it real. The bouts consisted of 3 two minute rounds with the same partner and then we rotated. This simple format was followed for most of the two hours, with a partner stretching round in the middle. At the end we all sat around and talked about what we thought we needed to improve and what had worked well.

Most of all though, everyone was very friendly and respectful and we had no serious injuries. The video below was taken from a camera just sitting in the corner.

Thanks to Anthony and Giorgio Repice from Giant Martial Arts for hosting this session at their fantastic Hapkido gym in Bexley.

Next session will be end of Jan 2017.

Results from the 2016 AHA Hapkido Tournament

Here are the results!!


Club champions




No of Entrants

Average points per entrant







Northern Beaches





Central Coast





Stanwell Park




















Black belt of the Tournament

  • Chris Currey  26pts – Stanwell Park
  • {2nd Shane Cutland  19pts – Central Coast}
  • {3rd Kristine Kjaer  17pts – Pittwater}
  • {3rd Luke Anglicas  17pts- Pittwater }

Woman of the Tournament

  • Stephanie Biviano  36pts – Central Coast
  • {2nd Melissa Windass  22pts – Northern Beaches}
  • {3rd Kim Ansems  19pts – Northern Beaches}

Man of the Tournament

  • Reno Leuc  27pts – Sutherland
  • {2nd Travers Hunt  24pts – Central Coast }
  • {2nd Jason Kingma  24pts – Central Coast }
  • {2nd Thomas Williams  24pts – Northern Beaches}
  • {3rd Lewis Pink  21pts – Redhead}

Girls of the Tournament

  • Jade & Jasmine O’Kane  34pts – Pittwater
  • {2nd India Hamblin  28pts – Northern Beaches}
  • {3rd Emily Parker  26pts – Pittwater}

Boy of the Tournament

  • Muuruun Leha  34pts – Central Coast
  • {Joel Van Duyl  28pts – Northern Beaches}
  • {Filip Novakovic 26pts – Northern Beaches}

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Hapkido on TV – Mel Thomas – Kyup Project – one amazing step towards ending domestic violence

Here is a heartwarming and inspirational story about Mel Thomas one of our AHA Blackbelts. She runs a Program named the Kyup Project aimed at exposing and helping stamp out Domestic Violence.

Mel has taken the lessons of Hapkido and her own life experience to truly improve the lives of so many girls and women. What are you doing with your Hapkido knowledge and skills to make the world a better place?

Mel started training Hapkido some 20 years ago with Greg Blandy and Dominic Salissicia in Glebe, then in Bondi. After a lengthy break having her children and focusing on her family, Mel has made her comeback to Hapkido and currently trains at Northern Beaches Hapkido under Master Matt Geister, and AHA Blackbelt training under AHA President Master Kevin Brown.

Go Mel!. Best of luck in your journey.

Check out our AHA Facebook page to see the video – click on the picture to see the Kyup web site.

Photos from recent seminar at Sutherland with Grandmaster Matthew Sung Su Kim – AHA Founder

A fabulous treat for the AHA students to have our founder, Grandmaster Matthew Sung Su Kim conduct a wonderful seminar. His wealth of knowledge and explanation of techniques were greatly appreciated by all who attended.


Hapkido in Vanuatu – report from Arna Baartz

Yesterday I met Rex the instructor at Vanuatu Hapkido 


It was great to play and train and simply be in the company of such a beautiful, humble soul. They have been training primarily ground grappling but were really excited to see and train the white belt release techniques, it was wonderful to watch!
Although yesterday there was only the smiling, appreciative Max and Michel at class Rex has approx 17 students. They have been training for about a year on the Korman sports ground just outside Port Vila,  as they haven’t yet sourced a permanent sheltered venue.
Rex’s earned his blackbelt in Fiji, from his master who had been invited from korea to train Fijian troups. 
He asked us to send his regards to the Hapkido family in Australia and said we all were welcome to train here any time.  I will definitely be back! I have attached some photos if you would like to see/share on the website. 
Lots of love 
Arna – northern NSW Hapkido 

Sparring Seminar held last Sep by Master Mitchell Wetherell

A video has just emerged from a sparring seminar conducted by Master Mitchell Wetherell last September in Sydney, Australia (thanks to Ryan Tarran a black belt from Sutherland Hapkido).

In case you were not there you can view this video and see what great concepts and sparring drills Master Wetherell shared with the students on that day and practice them with your training partners.

Also when Master Wetherell has another seminar you will know it is definitely worth making the effort to attend.

Grading Results – Tuggerah – Sat 2 Apr 2016

P1010357 (2)Here are the results of a recent grading held at Tuggerah Dojang:

  • Stephanie Biviano – Black Tip
  • Muurruun Leha – Red Belt
  • Travers Scala – Blue Belt
  • Alex Knowles – Blue Belt
  • Imogen Scala – Blue Tip
  • Krystal Maloney- Green Tip
  • Alex Cha – Yellow belt

Master Ron Rees – Central Coast Hapkido

Rest in Peace – Keith Collins – student of Central Coast Hapkido

Keith CollinsYou may have seen news last week about a shocking murder that occurred in a restaurant at Hornsby in Sydney. Click here to see news item.

The victim was Keith Collins – a Hapkido student from the Central Coast. 

It has been some time since Keith trained with us at Central Coast Hapkido, but his bright outgoing personality and easy friendly manner has not been forgotten. The lives of many of the Club members both present and past have been touched by Keith. His senseless death is a blow to us all.

We will always remember his love for his children and the encouragement he gave to them in Hapkido as well as football and all aspects of their lives. Our thoughts go out to his surviving family members.

Master Ron Rees – Central Coast Hapkido