Daniel Marie Training History
1974 – Saw Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury in a small country town cinema – I was hooked!! I wanted to be like that guy. Read everything I could get my hands on about Bruce Lee. Went to the local library and took out a little yellow book titled “Teach yourself Karate”. Studied like mad. Hard to kick while reading from a book.
1975 – Found a local Kung Fu instructor (Walt Missingham) who taught Lin Wan Kune Do (sounds like Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, must be good). Two weeks later the instructor disappeared? So I started Goshin Ryu Karate under Warren Hickey and studied under him for 5 years. I think he was a good instructor and thank him for his influence. I set up a Karate class at my school together with David Humby (Budokan) and taught our fellow students.
1980 – Arrived in January in Sydney and walked up those stairs to the Australian Hapkido Academy in Oxford St and was amazed. In those days, all three Kim brothers taught in the city Gym. When Peter Sung Do Kim went to Strathfield I decided to stay with Matthew Sung Su Kim in the City Gym. Matthew Kim is a very inspiring instructor and has a great gift of combat and strategy. He always said you only need two things to be good at fighting, timing and distance.
Also met my lovely wife Annette in a Maths lecture at Sydney Uni – an assignment was due and she had ALL the answers.
I was going to uni at the time so I could only really train properly during the holidays. Stayed on blue belt for about three years. Meanwhile during the terms I trained at lunchtime at uni in Taekwondo with Jim Sheedy (Freestyle Taekwondo). He is a good instructor. I was awarded 1st Degree in Taekwondo in 1983 (I was still only a blue belt at Hapkido).
1984 – Graded to 1st Degree in Hapkido, started to teach at Sutherland (took over the club Warwick Ford had established).
1986 – Started the Willoughby Club, later moved to Chatswood.
1986 – Graded to 2nd Degree.
1987 – Started learning Komdo from Mr Song. Soon after Mr Song went to Tasmania. Decided to continue learning Komdo at the Kendo Club in Willoughby. Married Annette and got a new mother in law.
1988 – Went to work in Japan, left the Miranda club in the capable hands of Ron Seeto and Scott Wetherell and the Chatswood Club with Chris Ghosh. Had a letter of introduction for Kyumeikan Kendo club in Tokyo. While in Japan I managed to find the Daito Ryu Aikijitsu club under Mr Kondo. Trained there for only 3 months. Also trained in Shorinji Kempo (really good) and Japanese Kickboxing. Mainly trained in Kendo (3 nights a week). Every Tuesday I trained with the Police Kendo club. Went on a trip to the moutains (Chichibu) and trained in Kendo and Aikido (very authentic), saw a sword being made. My daughter Natalie was born this year in Sydney, Australia.
1989 – Came back to Sydney shortly, then went to work in France. Left the Miranda club with Scott Wetherell and the Chatswood club with Brad Ward. While there I trained mainly in Judo and tried some Wu Shu and Taijutsu. Also managed to find a Kendo club. However mainly I had to work.
1990 – My son Christian was born this year in Nice, France.
1991 – Returned to Sydney.
Oct 1992 – Graded to 3rd Degree with Master Kevin Brown at the Camp at Broken Bay. Started the North Parramatta Club to help out Sue Veronesi who was looking after the Parkleah students.
1993 – Mr Song returned from Tasmania. I trained once a week with Mr Song in Komdo at Burwood. He is a genius with distance and timing. A true master in all his actions and words.
1994 – Handed over the North Parramatta Club to Sue Veronesi. Opened a club in Thornleigh for couple of months (it flopped).
Sep 1997 – Went for 2 weeks to Korea, trained at Myung Ji Uni with Professor Huh in the mornings (poong yu do), at Yong In Uni in Komdo in the afternoon and then Hapkido in the evenings with Master Lee Jeong Seo. What an experience. Hwan Jin Cho took me everywhere and was a fantastic host, many thanks go to Hwan Jin, a true friend.
During this visit Professor Huh and Master Lee casually mentioned I should be 4th Degree. I thought nothing of their comment, however 5 years later Professor Huh sent me a 4th Degree certificate dated Sep 1997. I am only stating these details out of historical interest for my peers and students in Hapkido, they seem to always want to know what grade I am. To me, my grade is not that important, that is not why I train.
2000 – Fortunate enough to be selected as the IBM Results Systems Manager for Taekwondo at the Sydney Olympic Games. What an experience. Went to Winnipeg for the Pan-American Games, Stockholm for the European Taekwondo Selections, Madrid to test the software. Got an insight into the politics and ethics of the higher echelon of the WTF. Convinced me that Hapkido should be taught as an art not a sport. Anyway the games were a fantastic experience and I got to meet many great Taekwondo instructors from all over the world.
2001 – Started teaching one night a week at Brookvale.
2003 – October – Trained for one week with Dojunim Kim Yun Sang (direct student of Choi Yong Sul) in Sydney during his inaugural visit to Australia. Dojunim is a man who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way. His discipline of daily training is a great example to all martial artists and his example has changed the way I approach my Hapkido.
2004 – Stopped teaching at Brookvale. Still training once a week in Komdo (with Mr Song at Burwood) and once a week at a Hapkido club somewhere in Sydney (I just roam around looking for good places to train).
2005 – Produced a new version of our Syllabus together with Master Kevin Brown (22 yrs since Master Kim and I produced the original one). Sorted out our instructor courses. Set up this new website to give our students a place to interact with Hapkido on the web.
2006 – Invited Gongkwon Yusul founder Master Kang Jun to Australia for a ten day tour of our clubs. Great success – he showed us so many simple and effective ground techniques and how to integrate self defence into sparring more effectively. We formed a great friendship that continues to this day.
2007 – April – Graded to 5th Degree with Master Matt Geister on 1st of April by Grandmaster Matthew Sung Su Kim. Some photos below.
2007 – June – Visit to Yong In Uni and Master Yun Sae Kown in Gwangju. What a fantastic trip, Master Kevin Brown, John Ansley, my son Christian and myself were invited to participate in a series of seminars and a Yongmudo world championship. We won a Gold Medal in the demo event – does that mean I am a world champion?
2007 – October – Trained with Master Yun in Gwangju and many Hapkido masters in Seoul. I trained with 76 yr old Master Yun in Gwangju in Oct 2007 and learnt about ten of his unique techniques – he has created unique techniques that can be done really fast and are extremely painful and totally destructive. After that I trained in Yong-In and Seoul with many different Hapkido masters and with Master Kang from Gongkwon Yusul. Also trained with a sword/knife Hapkido master. Had many in-depth discussions with many masters regarding the black belt syllabus and what skills make a black belt into a master – very interesting.
2008 – Started teaching a Friday night class at Glebe Dojang in May 2008.
2009 – April – workshops with Master Kang from Gongkwon Yusul – what great techniques and what fun to train with – and a nice person as well!!
2009 – Aug – Competed in the AHA Men’s Black Belt Division – Silver Medal! – I expect to do better next year! 2009 – Oct – Awarded the Master Scott Wetherell “Keeping the path and continuing the Journey” award – what an honour.
2010 – more training – Friday nights at Glebe, Komdo when I can and I never miss a Black Belt Class. Planning to go to Korea to train in June 2011.
2011 May – Introduced Knife syllabus to the AHA after years of research and seminars with all the great knife experts I could get access to – hundreds of hours roaming all the knife defence videos on youtube.
2011 Jun – Korea Trip with 28 competitors from the AHA – trained with Master Kang, Grandmaster Choi, Master Byeon and Yongdong Uni. Participated in the 2nd World Yongmoodo Championships in Pohang. Amazing training, amazing experience, fun people, many happy memories.
2011 Aug – moved my Friday night training classes from Glebe to the Hornsby PCYC – great venue, good training. Not many students – but that is good for them and good for me.
2011 Oct – Introduced the Groundwork Games to the AHA – at least two years of research and effort went into distilling the most important skill and knowledge that would make Hapkido students most capable in the shortest time. What a challenge.
2012 May – enjoying training on Friday nights at Hornsby PCYC – focussing on sparring, groundwork and self defence and lots of grabbling (not grappling).
2013 – Nov – visited several Hapkido dojangs in Santiago, Chile and Bogota, Colombia – met some amazing Hapkido master and students in South America and established friendships that will hopefully help share our knowledge in the future.
2014 July – still training on Friday nights at Hornsby PCYC – not many students these days – sometimes I train by myself – but I am enjoying it. Developed the Black Belt Readiness Assessment for all our Black Belts – this will really help us improve the standards of our black belts. Also resumed training Kendo at Hornsby PCYC with Shinbukan (Doug Stouffer) – good club that allows me to keep up my skills.
2014 Dec – after several months of Friday nights at Hornsby PCYC training either by myself or with only one student, I decided to close Hornsby Hapkido.
2015 Jan – Started training at a local Hornsby MMA/BJJ club (Carioti MMA) – great place to train – back to the beginning – wearing a white belt – good for the ego!! Have been learning so much about grappling, MMA, Judo, Thai Boxing and Boxing. I feel like a kid again standing in front of a giant smorgasbord!
I really like the honesty and reality of the way they train at Carioti MMA – no resting on laurels for anyone – you are only as good as your ability to execute. I have been dominated in both groundwork and standup sparring by young guys who have been doing this for only 6 months. Very impressive!
Of course, I have snuck in an occasional tricky Hapkido kick or wrist lock – but on the whole – I need to get a whole lot better at working out the chess game of grappling. In sparring I am trying to work out how to string together my techniques and control distance and angles. Very real – very scary! I am definitely still a one-hit wonder in sparring and that is just not working here!!
There I am in line waiting to challenge the King of the Mountain!
2016 Dec Awarded 6th Degree Black Belt by Grandmaster Matthew Sung Su Kim alongside Master Matt Geister. A humbling award that is difficult to wear – but I will try- might make me train harder.
2017 Mar – Resigned from my position as Vice President of the AHA Committee. Can now focus on my training even more! Watch out!
Some videos of me in action – from the days when we thought our self defence was magic!
Here is a link to my channel in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/excellentbeginner1
Instructors who have positively influenced my Hapkido:
Hapkido Master Matthew Sung Su Kim (Sydney, Australia) (my main teacher in Hapkido 1980-1996)
- Hapkido Master Lee Jeong Seo (Yong-In Korea) (a genius in finding the path of least resistance and most effect) – now teaching in Frankfurt, Germany.
- Komdo Master Byung Ku Song (Burwood, Australia) (a wizard with a sword)
- Master Yun Sae Kwon – from Gwangju – South Korea
- Gong Kwon Yusul Master Kang Jun, Seoul
- Hapkido Master Choi Suk Kwan, Seoul
- Dojunim Kim Yun Sang (Hapkiyusool, Taejon, South Korea, direct student of Choi Yong Sul)
- Prof. Don Jacobs (Jujitsu Trinidad and Tobago)
Prof. Hee Yung Kimm (Hanmudo, Korean Martial Arts Historian
Proj Wally Jay (Jujitsu)
Master Jin Ho Kwak (Hapkido) – teaching in Sydney, Australia
Kwang Sik Myung (World Hapkido Federation)
Myung Jae Nam (International Hapkido Federation)
Jan de Jong (Perth, Jujitsu and Pentjak Silat) – no longer alive
Larry Papadopoulos (Jujitsu) – owner of Boxing Works in Sydney, Australia
John B Will – Brazilian Jujitsu instructor in Geelong, Australia
Tony Blauer (Chu Fen Do – predator/prey interaction)
Warren Hickey (Karate) – still teaches in Bathurst, Asutralia
Jim Sheedy (Freestyle Taekwondo)
- Alex Carioti (MMA/BJJ)
and of course Bruce Lee
Students/Peers who have been an inspiration to me:
Scott Wetherell, Sonya Featherstone, Elizabeth Brown, Trish Butterworth, Hwan Jin Cho, Brett Butterworth, Mitchell Wetherell, Paul Mystakidis, Paul Janisewski, Kevin Brown, Matt Geister, Jamie Bennet, Ron Seeto, Tup Moeka, Michael Barrass, Jae Uk Kang, Phil Eizenberg, Andrew Byrnes, Gana Muiandy, my wife Annette, my children Natalie and Christian and many people who I know your face and your warm heart.