The Main Event


Following the completion of the KSB test, it was time to start the first seminar sessions. Despite bodies that were arguing against it, John  & Angela took part in two very useful seminars. It would be very easy to write pages about each seminar that the couple attended but we have resisted that temptation and restricted ourselves to a few lines about each.
There were other seminars going on at the same time so unfortunately KJN John and KSN Angela had to choose. All of the teachers were of the same high standard so this was a difficult choice to make. but as they could not attend all the sesions, not all are covered by this article.
The first was on sword techniques and was run by KJN Dickson Kunz from Costa Rica (shown in the picture). This was a very helpful sesion which helped to sort out a couple of problems for KJN John as well as showing some interesting variations on older techniques.


The second seminar showed how to use hip torque to increase power in kicks, blocks, handstrikes and even throwing techniques. This was run by Tang Soo Do Master KJN Zak Woon from the UK. Both of these first sessions were very helpful and have been used already in lessons since the return of our instructors.
These sessions were followed by a very welcome pasta supper to replenish the energy spent over the previous two days.


Saturday 14th August was the main day for seminars and was also to be the day of the evening meal and promotions ceremony. This day had instructors literally from all over the world who had come to share their art with those attending this great event.
It is not possible to put into words the quality of the tuition available that day. Basically it was the best of the best. The picture shows the promotional poster with photos of all who were featuring that weekend ( incuding our own instructor KJN John)


The first session was held by Jeremy Tillman from Calgary, Canada (about 2500 miles from SSM).
The session  showed how to use finger locks to control an opponent, should they be daft enough to let you get hold of their finger in the first place.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the techniques, they actually were quite complex but extremely effective. There was a LOT of screaming and massaging of hands going on that day!
Jeremy was a great seminar tutor who got his point over effectively to all ranks and ages of students.


The second session was taken by NKMAA Grandmaster (Saja Nim) Rudy Timmerman and consisted of very useful tips for training with Dahn Bong (short staff). This is an often neglected, but actually very practical weapon as it can be replaced by a cane, umbrella, and on certain techniques, even a pen!
Saja Nim explained the history behind the dahn bong and why the KSB weapon has a number of ridges and grooves on it as opposed to the smooth version used in other styles.
The class then went on to practise some of the KSB dahn bong techniques, which were very effective (and painful!).
The picture shows Saja Nim demonstrating on KJN Chris Demeneous.


Grand master Mc Muray is the head of Moo Hahp Sool and is from Texas. He has taught martial arts for many many years and much of his experience comes from teachng the elite 5th special forces. He showed the group some extremely effective roping techniques using a martial arts belt. These techniques could just as easily be done using a regular belt, tie or ladies scarf.
He has a very entertaining way of teaching and and ear splittin "war cry" which has to be heard to appreciate, which he uses to bring everyone to attention.
This was a very practical session which was useful for those who had no previous weapons experience, but was also helpful to those who had done some training with ropes previously.


Grandmaster Baubil hails from Montreal Quebec and leads Hoshin Kido.
He took a fascinating seminar on knife defence techniques. Some of these were familiar to John & Angela whilst others were competely new and some seemed based on empty hand techniques taught in Kuk Sool. It was great to learn these alternative methods of practising to defend against weapons.
Despite having to speak through an interpretor (GM Baubil is French speaking) the seminar was entertaining and informative. Anyone getting the chance to train with GM Baubil should jump at the chance!


Although he doesn't claim the title Grandmaster, Marlin Sims was "awarded" it for this event as he heads his own organisation and has organised his very own system of teaching what we know as Kuk Sool.
His approach is a very scientific one and in fact his organisation is known as the United Martial Science Federation.
KJN John had trained with Master Sims on several occasions in the past when they were both members of the WKSA and would happily have travelled to Canada just to see Master Sims in action again, let alone to see all the other Masters and Grandmaster present!
Master Sims journey to the event was not uneventful and at one point, halfway there, he had to return home and then fly back to Canada! That shows the committment of someone who truly believes in keeping his word. His section  was on the science of joint locks and was enjoyed by all who attended. Everyone was disappointed when his time came to an end as Master Sims has so much to give!
But KJN John and KSN Angela were fortunate enough to spend time with him the following day at Saja Nim's home, when they attended the remaining seminars.


Grandmaster De Alba teaches a very wide ranging system of martial arts which incorporates a lot of Kuk Sool as well as systens from other parts of the world. Skilled in all areas he is best know for his effective knife attack & defence techniques, in fact his nickname is "The knife man".
Having survived a knife attack in his younger days GM De Alba set out to make sure he could understand how a knife attacker might work, and therefore be able to effectively defend himself against future attacks and teach others to do the same.
His session was both entertaining, very helpful and informative. You could tell from the way that the other Grand Masters applauded his teaching that he is well respected in wider martial art circles.
At one point, when he was used as a partner, KJN John did wonder if he was going to escape with his life that day, but he needn't have worried. In fact he now feels that little bit more confident of his own abilities to survive such an attack.


Grandmaster MacKenzie of the Sin Moo Hapkido organisation is an extremely well respected and well liked instructor who has been teaching for a great many years.
Under the direct tutelage of Do Ju Nim Ji, Han Jae, Grandmaster MacKenzie is one of the few Westerners to earn the esteemed and prestigious 9th Degree Black Belt in the art of Sin Moo Hapkido.
His session on Sin Moo Hapkido was truly inspirational and enjoyed by all (except perhaps those chosen to be his partners!)
It was indeed an honour to experience his tuition.



Grandmaster Geoff Booth from Sydney Australia, is one of the most inspiration teaches around. He holds 8th dahn which was awarded him directly by Do Ju Nim Ji, Han Jae on his last visit to the USA.
His teaching style is both amusing and effective.
His teaching of variations of a "soft" block, which he had renamed a "Wallaby Block" helped to make sense of a great many techniques which had to many students previously seemed impractical in "real life". It was possibly one of the most helpful seminars attended.
Each Year GM Booth does a World tour teaching seminars around the globe and we are hopeful that he will actually be able to visit our own dojahng on Sunday April 10th 2011 so keep watching for more news of that!


Following the last seminar of the day, there was just time for a quick photo shoot, so that all the presenters and students could take pictures to remind them of this great event. The picture shows all the Instructors who took part in the event over the whole weekend. KJN John can be found third from the right on the front row.


As well as being the main seminar day, Saturday was also the day when new dahn grades would be awarded. This was due to take place at the same location during an evening banquet.
However, it was not all good news. During the seminar sessions, all those who had taken part in the grading tests were called into a private room for a meeting with GM Timmerman. At that meeting he announced that not everyone had passed their tests. Those who had not made the grade were then given the bad news along with what they needed to improve to succeed next time. Others who passed were also told that they still needed to improve in other areas. Saja Nim was visibly upset when he gave out the bad news, but most people understood that for a test to mean anything, then some had to fail if they weren't up to standard. The unsuccessful candidates included Juniors and seniors testing for all ranks from 1st up to 8th dahn.
Most who recieved bad news went away determined to come back again and do better next time.


Saturday evening and any disappointments were forgotten, or at least set aside as everyone prepared for a party!
First off was dinner for which everyone dressed in their finest. This was well enjoyed apart from an incident with the soup which occurred when KJN John decided to play "Mum" for the rest of his table! (Photo censored)
Dinner was followed by a truly inspirational story told by Master Robert Ott. It was his own story of how he had become a martial arts instructor and now that career was altered one night after class when he was attacked and shot, the bullet lodging in his brain causing permanent blindness. The audience listened, spellbound as he told of his struggle to regain his confidence and how he now heads a huge company and still teaches and trains in martial arts.
The phrase which dominated his speech was "Indominatable Spirit & Certain Victory" . Listening to him was one of those times that you never ever forget and his speech left all of the audience with lump in their throat or tears in their eyes.
The photo shows Master Ott making his speech, which received a standing ovation.

To find out more about his incredible story, click here.


Following the speeches, a number of presentations were made to Grandmaster Timmerman and to the visiting Grandmasters.
There then followed a "quick change" for those who were to be presented with their certificates for passing their grading test. It was the first time that KJN John had worn his new uniform with solid red stripes, signifying "Master" level instructor and he admitted that it felt a bit strange. KSN Angela also had a new look uniform as, like John she now has the NKMAA dragon logo on the reverse. Very smart!
Receiving a new rank is always a special moment but to recieve it from so many Masters and Grandmasters made it even more special. The only regret that both John & Angela had was that they had none of their family or students there to celebrate with them. Hopefully this section of the website will help to put that right.
The photo shows KSN Angela receiving her certificate from Grandmaster Timmerman.
During the presentations, KJN Kevin Jannisse was presented with his 8th Dahn Certificate for Kong Shin Bup, his wife Debbie recieved her 5th Dahn in Kuk Sool Hapkido and Saja Nim also officially passed over control of Kong Shin Bup to KJN Kevin, which was a momentous ocasion for him.
The presenatations were followed by one of the most entertaining demonstrations of martial arts that the pair had ever witnessed. It was started by a group led by KJN Chris Demenous and was a lighthearted demonstration which involved a LOT of action with students of all ages and really wowed the audience. The remaining demonstrators probably didn't relish following such a good "starter" but being of such a high standard they did not disappoint anyone and the demonstration was a real success.
The evening finished with music and dancing which was enjoyed by all.


This picture shows KJN John and KSN Angela just after receiving their certificates.
The presenatations were followed by one of the most entertaining demonstrations of martial arts that the pair had ever witnessed. It was started by a group led by KJN Chris Demenous and was a lighthearted demonstration which involved a LOT of action with students of all ages and really wowed the audience. The remaining demonstrators probably didn't relish following such a good "starter" but being of such a high standard they did not disappoint anyone and the demonstration was a real success.
The evening finished with music and dancing which was enjoyed by all.


However, the weekend's events were not over with on Saturday night.
The following day in Saja Nim's garden there was yet more martial arts teaching available.
Our couple started off with a seminar on Korean Fan techniques, taken by Chiefmaster Kevin Janisse.
The fan is a fascinating weapon and not as innocent as it seems and much more painful than most people would expect. KSN Angela is bound to be using her newfound skills with a fan in demonstrations soon!
The picture shows KJN Janisse demonstrating the alternative use of this seemingly innocuous implement.


After the fan seminar KSN Angela had a dilema. Her instructor KJN John was taking a seminar on restraint or "come along" techniques at the same time as Ollie Batts (who visited our own school in 2009) was teaching another seminar on ground techniques. Which one should she attend? In the end KJN John said she should go to Ollie's so as to get the benefit of extra tuition. This may have been a mistake, as so many people came to KJN John's session that he could really have done with some assistance! But it actually all went very well for him and everyone seemed to enjoy his session. In fact it was a bit daunting for our new Master as some of his "students" had been training in their various styles longer than he had in Kuk Sool! He found this a very humbling experience. Angela meanwhile, was enjoying Ollie's particular blend of humour and a high degree of knowledge and skill.
The picture shows KJN John demonstrating a technique on KJN Zak Woon.

And this picture shows KSN Angela with Ollie, after the event.


The final seminar attended by John & Angela was the introduction to the Korean Bow by KJN Doug Custer. KJN Doug has a lot of experience with archery and so his knowledge was really appreciated by the participants at this popular seminar.
KJN Doug's expertise was further augmented by KJN Marlin Sims who added his thoughts on the subject at the end of KJN Doug's session.
The picture shows KJN Doug watching whilist Mehdi Zoroufchian from Texas lines up his shot. Mehdi met KSN Angela on Facebook and it was her invitation that led to him attending the event. He became good friends with them whilst in Canada and most of the photos of events during the seminars were taken by or supplied by him. So, many thanks Mehdi!

And this shows KJN Marlin Sims having a go himself!

Now some Rest and here...