Taekwondo Black Belt Certificates

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Left to Right: Kevin Werner, Instructor Dave Adlam, Megan Bromley and Warren Thrush

After a lengthy wait, students who gained their 1st Dan or Junior 1st Dan late 2011 finally received their magnificent Taekwondo Australia and Kukkiwon certificates.

Left to Right: Haley Anderson and Instructor Dave Adlam

Senior Instructor Dave was delighted to present Hayley Andison, Kevin Werner, Megan Bromley, Warren Thrush and Ryan Freeman with their certificates.

Left to Right: Ryan Freeman and Instructor David Adlam

Birthday Updates

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Over the past year our little Wolves have had many MANY birthdays. We've finally had the chance to update our Birthday news section with all the pictures taken so far this year.  Below are the links to each month for 2012:









Haidong Gumdo National Championships 2012

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Braving the cold every Saturday morning, our NSW State team tirelessly train for the National Championships


Once again, our Nepean Wolves Haidong Gumdo contigent have been braving the cold weather for NSW State training sessions, in preperation for the National Championships being held in Queensland 20-21 October 2012.  This years Championships is simultaneously being run with the 2012 Australian Martial Arts Festival. This will bring together Akido, Hapkido, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Tai Chi and Haidong Gumdo for a weekend of amazing martial arts! 

Top Left: Brian McCabe practicing his papercutting and his killer look. Top Right: Instuctor Dave Adlam showing with his precision strips.
Bottom: Samurang and World Champion Liam Gray (Wolves Haidong Gumdo) serving the rest of the team with his skill.


Nepean Wolves has seven people also doing dan gradings whilst up in Queensland. Instructor Luke Adlam will be grading for his 4th Dan, Frank Tanti will be grading for his 2nd Dan, and Sue Adlam, Glenn Reynolds, Peter Mead, Ethan Bargh and Megan Williamson will all be grading for their 1st Dan. 


Left: Megan Williamson doing Ssangsu Gumbup Chil Bon. Right: Jeff Bromley doing Ssangsu Gumbup Il Bon

There are more pictures of the NSW State training in the gallery linked here. Good luck to all our Nepean Wolves competing in October!


Upcoming events 8 and 9 September

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8 September 2012
Tomorrow's Pattern Seminar - 10am to midday at Surveyors Creek Public School. All welcome.

9 September 2012
2012 Schools Championships - Sixteen NWTKD students will be travelling to Loreto College on Sunday to participate in the 2012 NSW All Schools Championships. Our players will be competing against TKD students from across the state. In 2011 we brought home a swag of medals and, with luck and great coaching from our instructors, team leaders and senior students, we hope to bring home another healthy haul.

Nepean Wolves in South Korea

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Instructor Luke Adlam and myself (Megan Williamson. Hi!) travelled to South Korea in July to compete in the 2012 Haidong Gumdo World Championships. Here is a little snapshot of the trip.

Left: Yong Pyong Resort. Right: The Australian demonstration team and their 5am practice. Our swords were already packed on the bus so they were using fans, given to us by Master Oh.

The first segment of the trip was situated at Yong Pyeong, the soon to be place to be for the 2018 Winter Olympics. South Korea had been experiencing their worst drought in 30 years. Luckily enough, Sydney’s weather seemed to hitch a ride in our suitcases and we brought the rain with us. Our previous hopes of getting a glimpse of Summer were washed away quickly, replaced with the overwhelming gratitude of not having to train in 100% humidity. The first two days in Yong Pyeong were a flurry of training, seminars and more training. Intensely fun and intensely exhausting is pretty much the only way I can explain the time we had here. Most of the money spent was on Baskin and Robins ice-cream breaks (totally justifiable calorie consumption before competition, I swear!)

Top: Instructor Luke Adlam and Peter Cook waiting for their competition to start. Middle left: Competitors waiting to start. Middle: Megan Williamson, also waiting for competition. Middle Left: Competitiors waiting for paper cutting to start. Bottom: Luke Adlam finding out from Master Kim that he has made it through to the finals.

Day three was Preliminary competition day. Luke had trained the Wolves contingent of the NSW team, and we were all chomping at the bit to show the world competitors our best and make the Australian team proud. For the individual gumbup we had Jack Cook and Amy Newland make it to the second round of their divisions, with Amy winning her division and a spot in the finals against the Korean competitors. It was amazing to watch. We may have in fact had a bit of a tear when they announced she had made it through. There may in fact be photographic proof of this below:

 Luke competed in his individual gumbup as I was getting my bronze medal for the preliminary competition so I don’t have it on film. But he made it through to the final which was exciting. Jumping and celebrating and shaking ensued.

By this time the Gyukgum (sparring) competition was about to start. We had three Wolves teams ready and raring to go. There were at least 20 teams for this competition so they split the group up onto separate courts and we all managed to end up together. Only two teams from each court went to the second round. The Wolves teams of Jamie Stammers/Liam Gray and Jack Cook/Rhys Smith made it through from our court. Both had different styles and elements in their spars and it was exciting to watch. The competition apprehension started to fall away as everyone “ooh” and “ahh”ed at the tricks that all the Gyukgum teams put up. A team from Kim’s Haidong Gumdo in the ACT made it to the second round on the other court as well as a Mexican team that had an awesome storyline with a Wanted man poster. The ACT team made it through to the finals with some amazing sword play and intense aerobatic tricks.

Top Left: Rhys Smith, Jack Cook, Amy Newland and Megan Williamson. Top Right: Rhys and Jack recieving their awards for the second round of Gyukgum semi finals.
Bottom Left: Jamie Stammers and Liam Gray recieving their award. Bottom Right: The second round group.


After lunch we had the start of the Sword dancing competition. The competitors choose their own costume and music, so there was this amazing range of cultural influences in their dances, ranging from traditional to hip-hop and everything in between. (One of the American competitors did a Middle Eastern dance that got him through to the finals. I’m sure it’s on Youtube somewhere. You should definitely check it out!) Once again, everyone stopped and watched and cheered on all the competitors. It was really lovely to see all the competitors show off their dances and for them all to be received so warmly by the countries competing.

After our dinner break we were back for the paper cutting and bamboo cutting. Liam Gray from Wolves absolutely creamed his paper cutting, scoring a perfect 10 the first rounds and backing it up with ANOTHER perfect 10. This meant we had another of our Wolves in the finals.

Then onto the bamboo cutting! The tension in the room when a live blade comes into play is palpable. Everyone holds their breath, waiting to see whether the competitor will make it through their cuts, or whether they’ll launch their pole from the stands. Due to the late hour and nerves, there were a lot of incomplete cuts, which is unfortunately the luck of the draw when it comes to bamboo. There are so many factors that can turn a good cut bad in an instant. I was so nervous watching Luke! I nearly jumped out of my skin when all his cuts were complete and all of them 45 degrees. It was magical. If anyone has seen the footage of these cuts, you can attest to my ability to freak out on camera. Due to his blisteringly accurate cuts Luke made it through to the finals.

Luke's preliminary Bamboo cutting. Beware of my screaming at the end.

By this time we had been going for twelve hours. Yes, that’s right, twelve hours. It was an amazing and LONG day. By the end of the night we were exhausted and delirious and EXCITED to see how our Wolves would do at the finals.

This is the Finalist Dance. It's pretty much self explanatory 

The next morning we were up at 4.30am to checkout and make our way to Daejon City. This is where the finals were to be held. After a three hour drive, we were rushed into the opening ceremony. The Australian team did a demonstration, with Wolves taking part, providing segments for Taekwondo and Hapkido.

Daejon City was our first real taste of Korean food, sourced by ourselves. After walking down a side street, the NSW team spotted some of the ACT guys eating food at a little hole in the wall place that exclusively sold pork belly. BEST PORK BELLY EVER! I would go back to Korea just to have my fill of the chilli pork belly wrapped in perilla leaves. So good!!




This brings us to the Finals day. The entire Australian team was apprehensive for all our finalists. For some of our competitors there competitions were over quickly. Unfortunately all the Wolves finalists had a long wait. This didn’t seem to phase Amy as she quickly made friends with her competitors. I can safely say, watching all the competitors sitting around, stoic in their preparation, her division were in a circle having a chat.

This is my favourite photo of the competition. It captures the intensity of the situation so perfectly between Luke, Master Oh and the judging team. 

There was an apprehensive five minutes where a decision was made to move Luke into a different division. The Australian team sat across the stadium, desperately straining to find out what was going on. Finally it was all sorted and he was up. You wouldn’t of known there were any issues before he stepped out onto the mat. He was insanely good. Smooth and elegant and precise.

Luke's finals video. The guy next to him won gold.Once again you are prewarned about my screaming.

Once he was done they called him over to do his bamboo. Unfortunately his first pole splintered, so on his third cut it launched out of the stand. Still, he did a fantastic job of the remaining two poles and we are so proud of him.  He won bronze in both of his competitions.

Luke was amazing on this trip. Not only did he absolutely crush his competitions with the grace and precision that makes him one of the best martial artists I know, he looked after each one of us and did his up most as team leader to make sure we had the greatest time imaginable.

Amy did her individual gumbup after a few court changes and some more waiting and did so well. She got bronze for her efforts and I know that in 2014, she will be a force to be reckoned with. Part Xena, part Sailor Moon, all adorably deadly, she is only going to get better.

And onto our final Wolves contestant: Liam Gray. This boy, this god amongst men WON his paper cutting division! Won it!

True story. He wasn’t going to enter the paper cutting when we first started training. Now he’s a world champion in it. A WORLD CHAMPION! Our second Australian Samurang of the day. We flew off the chain! I’ve never seen someone so flummoxed by a trophy before. He was speechless. For the final, he had to do two cuts. One left middle cut, one right middle cut. It sounds easy enough, but believe me, it’s not as easy as you think. Liam scored a 10 on his first cut, and a 9 on his second cut.

Top Left: Luke. Top Right: Amy
Bottom: Liam

In total Australia won three Samurang, four Gold, one Silver and nine Bronze.

After the competition we headed into Seoul for two and a half days of shopping and trinkets and food and shopping! We learnt very quickly that trying to get 14 people into taxis was difficult and we never got dropped off at the same spot, that Koreans love a good waffle snack and that the Mooto shop is quite literally the only place to buy Taekwondo gear. Also try and figure out what the meat is before you sit down in a place... no we didn’t eat dog, but we did get a healthy spam and hotdog jiggae. Funniest night in Seoul.

Too many amazing team memories.

I loved the atmosphere and the people and the competition. All the apprehension that I normally feel before a grading just didn’t seem to exist. I loved cheering for the other countries and making new friends. I feel I've gained so many more Gumdo family members. More brothers and sisters that are passionate about the same things I’m passionate about. And nothing compares to the feeling of walking into a competition and saying ‘Yes. I am competing at an international level.’ It’s a special feeling that I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted.

Top Left: Myself and Diego from Mexico. Top Right: Luke and Chris from USA
Bottom Left: Myself and Benny from Switzerland.Bottom Left: Myself and Hector from Mexico

I’ve said this numerous times, but it’s still true, my time in Korea was singularly the longest and the shortest of my life. It was so brutally exhausting and so amazing. We spent many weeks training and prepping and worrying about whether our technique would be good enough and your competition is over in less than a minute. You are so glad it’s over, but you want to do it again until your physically spent.

A big thank you to Instructor Rodney who selflessly gave his time and guidance to us at every early morning training session, to Master Andrew who gave us some vital competition advice before we left that I took with me into my competition,and of course Instructor Luke. We never would of done as well without his experience and training and shuttle sprints in 8 degree weather.

Just a few little pictures of our time in South Korea


So I hope this little snippet of our trip has excited you, whether it’s to start Haidong Gumdo, or whether it’s to join us in 2014 for a large and in charge Nepean Wolves team. It’s not a holiday, but the experiences gained in the few days we spent in South Korea have made me understand myself better as a martial artist and as a person.

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