I was asked to write a review of my time at Hapkido Brisbane as I am leaving the club almost six years after I first joined.
The reason why I am leaving is that I and my family have decided to return to Ireland (my first home) and in a way this decision is connected with what I have learned during my time at the club.
I could not have explained why it was important to me that I learned self-defense when I first decided to learn, I just knew that it was important and something I needed to do. Sometime later when I read the student manual something that Sabumnim wrote gave me the answer to that question.
Sabumnim wrote that self-defense is a right, not a privilege. This straightforward point resonated with my own attitude. And this affirmation it makes it clear for people who have a certain way of looking at things that in fact no explanation is needed for why you would want to learn self-defense.
This attitude and so much else about Hapkido and about our club has been a perfect fit for me.
When I decided to join Hapkido Brisbane it was not because I knew anything about martial arts or what to look for in any style, but I did know that I would be able to say I had found the right club judging by the atmosphere during the class and by the character of the teacher.
I knew after my first Hapkido class that both of these conditions were present at Hapkido Brisbane and I knew I had found what I was looking for.
During the past six years what I have seen is that every student has had the opportunity to improve in every class that he or she attended. The only question was whether that person took the opportunity or not.
Our Sabomnim has created the conditions that allow for each student to grow as they need to whatever their individual goals are.
In any field of human endeavor there are certain values that are sought after and there are those who set the standard in those values.
And just as it is true that no river can rise above its own source, our Sabumnim’s example is that which we aspire to and in truth it is why we are part of Hapkido Brisbane.
The values of integrity, respect and discipline are the values that people respond to and seek out most commonly and are values that can only be delivered by people. But answering how these values are delivered, how well and by who, is not such an easy task.
At Hapkido Brisbane it is clear to every student that we have the standard; our Sabumnim is the example that we aspire to and every student knows that without doubt.
As my time at Hapkido came to an end I began to see what the single biggest change that had happened for me over my years at the club was and what it is that now has contributed to my decision to return to Ireland.
When I first joined the club I attended class each night expecting to get something, to take something away from each class. Eventually I came to see things differently.
I began to see that this was my club and it was no longer about what I could get from the club but what I could give to my club, like my Sabumnim’s example I resolved to offer what I could give to other students.
Hapkido Brisbane has given me a sense of power which I never had before.