On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

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Grandmaster G
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On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby Grandmaster G » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:23 pm

2017 Euro Travels

“Willie Nelson chimes in – On the Road Again”

How fast a year goes. Before it is time to saddle up the luggage and head for the open skies with the 2017 World Tour. Planning the tour has become easier on some fronts, it could be all the experience, and harder on others as I try to get each stop lined up for seminars. Beyond that the evil logistics monster rears its ugly head with pesky limitations, how much stuff can I carry in my luggage, why doesn’t my airline alliance fly to that location, why is that flight 4x more on that day (Mother’s Day in this case), ok I get to city X on a Monday but can’t connect until Tuesday, you get the idea. Of course, throw into the mix a bunch of Instructors who sometimes leave orders and requests to the last minute which always makes it fun trying to squeeze the extra stuff into already crammed luggage, taking into account that some items will be with me for a couple of months. Still it all comes together literally on the night before the flight, except for a hiccup with the Black Belts I needed for testing, after all they told me it is a 2 week turn around and I ordered them 5 weeks out, go figure that they aren’t ready except for 4 of the 25 belts that arrived the day before I left. Still I grab my bags and thanks to Dean make the trek to the airport to grab my first flight of 25 (I know it’s a short tour this year, no sarcasm intended). First stop the Land of Smiles, Thailand where I get a couple of days to finish my preparation for the next 3 months, basically reviewing Black Belt and Instructor Videos in Dropbox for all those last-minute seniors who are either testing when I visit or wanting to wrap up the next instructor level. Considering that we have record Black Belts testing this tour you know I will be spending a lot of time glued to the laptop. Still I look forward to some good food and a little down time before the Flight into Europe.

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Flight #1 Sydney – Bangkok (Thai Airways Boeing 747) [Map Key: Flight legs go Black to Red when taken. Train legs are blue and Drives Green]

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One benefit to being an Air NZ frequent flyer, coffee waiting in the lounge

*Side Note* Luggage – After having tried and broken a large number of bags, I have finally settled on what in my opinion is the road warrior must have. To put it in perspective, last year my bags took 70 flights which is more than most people will ever log in a lifetime, my bags take far more of a beating during the world tour than an average traveller does in more than 10 years. I have been using for some time now the Samsonite Cosmolite series which is basically made of a woven plastic fibre for flexibility, strength and durability whilst being amongst the lightest available. One of my bags has safely travelled for close to 200 flights and is still in excellent condition, add TSA Zips, separate internal compartments, inside straps, a good handle and 4 multi wheels to make it easy to move. They are more expensive but in general not having to replace a bag every 2 years more than makes up for it.

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Close but no Cigar.

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Bangkok Traffic is something special

So, my stop in Bangkok gave me the chance to prepare mentally and physically for the tour, lots of foot massages to prepare the feet for fighting, off to the movies to learn new techniques from John Wick + King Kong + Guardians (Russian) and of course fuel for the body with some excellent restaurants (which included a Modern Australian Restaurant – Excellent too). The food scene in Bangkok is impressive with its range from street food for less than $1 through to high end Fine Dining, after all the city has an approximate population of 8.3 million making it twice as big as Sydney. It seems the hotel I normally stay at has been infected with Aussie-ness as they just changed the lounge into a Coffee Club, hmm if they are willing to do that for me, it could have been a Black Rose branch instead!

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Australia everywhere.

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Still my favourite, but how stunning does it look?

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Flight #2 Bangkok – Frankfurt (Lufthansa Boeing 747)

A smooth flight on the 747 into Frankfurt with a 5am arrival locally, as I have an overnight here I am looking forward to using the Lufthansa Arrivals Lounge for a change. However, it seems my luggage (and everyone else’s) doesn’t want to leave the airport. After some 30 minutes, we hear (well I sort of guessed from the German only announcement) that the bag conveyor belt from our flight was out of action and a repair man is sent, we are then directed to another belt where it seems my bag wins the roulette with a lucky Red 5. About an hour to get my bags, a new record, and anyway it killed some time that I had before check in at the hotel opens. I head off to the Arrivals lounge for breakfast and a shower, another one of those nice to have Frequent Flyer benefits.

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Captain we have a problem!

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Red 5, a winner, I get some luggage

I head to the hotel (near the airport) and check in at 10am, it seems that I chose the night that there is a major convention in the area so everything is chaos with people from all over the world. What convention you may ask, Bathrooms and Bathroom furniture, exciting. So, with some time to kill in Frankfurt, what do you do? Find a Michelin 2-star restaurant with an amazing lunch offer, and finish it with a Michelin 1-star restaurant for dinner! Of course, I also enjoy the taxi driver hitting 180kmh on the Autobahn to and from the restaurants, now this is the way to fly, ah drive.

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Almost too nice to eat, nah it was yummy.

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Caught him as he accelerated, only 165 at this stage

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One of the local Hotels

Up early for the relatively short hop (near 3 hours) from Frankfurt into Seville, again with Lufthansa. I do have to admit that the Lufthansa lounges are pretty good, lots of choice for snacks or a light meal, decent coffee, and the fastest lounge internet I have used. Also, the inflight meals whilst small are always good quality and full of flavour.

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Flight #3 Frankfurt - Seville (Lufthansa Airbus A319)

SBN Jose and BSBN Alex meet me at the airport where we grab a quick coffee and catch up before driving straight to the Dojang for the evenings seminars. SBN Jose had a special surprise at the Dojang to help celebrate my 40th Anniversary with a display along the wall of the Dojang with lots of flags and pictures showing the IHA family as well as a carnival cut out for the kids to stick their heads through, of course I had to back up the ‘other’ GMG. This afternoon and evening I work through 3 seminars, the first group is the junior kids, followed by the senior kids and then adults to wrap the day up around 10:30pm. Of course, it is Spanish time so that means heading out for dinner until around 1am, they eat late around these parts.

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A wave of Spanish Kids waiting for some Hapkido

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SBN Jose’s idea for some fun

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Junior Kids a Group Shot

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A display to celebrate my 40th Anniversary

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Notes on the Evasion Concept for the locals

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Senior Kids Group Shot

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Adults Group Shot

The next day I get a chance to visit BSBN Alex’s Dojang, help with an interview for SBN’s new book and spend some time working with the local seniors before another round of the 3 seminar classes at night, followed by the 1am dinner. No wonder they need a Siesta around here, they are still digesting dinner. Oh, I should mention the challenge that I am on for the world tour as well, some of you might remember that I have had different challenges to undertake during the world tour, like the Cultural clothing one. This year the ITS Spirit Test team have challenged me to get a picture doing a kick in front of a local landmark at each Seminar location, if I can do that they get 25 burpees’, if I can add some locals into the picture I get an additional 25 burpees’, so lets just agree it will be 50 each stop.

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Spain Challenge - Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 50

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BSBN Alex’s Dojang

The next day I get a chance to spend some time with the local Black Belts covering what they need to do for progression in rank as well as some information about the Instructors course before another Adults Seminar. Sunday was a free day with one event in the evening so we headed into Seville for a surprise from SBN Jose, of course he got a raised eye after he asked if I had swim wear. He then promptly presented me with a set that have the IHA logo as well as stripes for rank, and then showed me how the entire senior team had a matching set, nice way to catch me out. Of course, the surprise was a good one, we all headed to some old Roman baths to soak in numerous pools of water from Iced to Heated, as well as a good steam room (Finns would be ok with it) and then a massage, overall a very relaxing stop with a little sightseeing around Seville. In the evening, we headed back to Alcala del Rio for SBN's latest book launch.

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Spanish Six-packs and IHA swim wear

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Seville is a very pretty place

Let me get back to SBN Jose’s book, he has written a book with a focus on how Hapkido can help kids, along with parents and proper schooling. It is a passion project of his and I know he will be talking with some other IHA instructors as he works towards filming a documentary as well. As always, a good to visit Espana where Team Spain have been working hard and are taking a systematic approach to learning the Kwan Nyom system, it is good to see. They are also planning on bringing a team to the ITS in Australia, so say Hola when you see them on the mats. For me it was time to grab the high-speed train from Seville into Madrid and then the flight into Munich for the night, where I made sure that I had a good seat for the flight by using one of my favourite travel apps, Seat Guru. I grabbed the seat which technically isn’t an exit row (so no charge) but is behind the crew seat so it has huge space to stretch out.

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High Speed Spanish Rail

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Seat Guru is your travel App friend for seats with extra

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Flight #4 Madrid - Munich (Lufthansa Airbus A321)

Wandering around Munich airport I get to see a new Napping offering with mini bed capsules, and of course the Lufthansa Nespresso and paper rack to keep you on the go, some nice additions to make travel a little smoother. Also, free Wi-Fi as you travel throughout the airport.

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Nap Cube

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Coffee and News please, thanks Lufthansa

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Flight #5 Munich - Graz (Lufthansa Embraer 195)

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Seriously we need a bus to cover that distance?

A night in Munich before an early, then delayed flight into Graz to meet up with Sin Moo Hapkido Grandmaster Perry Zmugg. I always enjoy travelling to Graz as it must be one of the most picturesque cities I have visited in Europe, simply a delight to walk around and of course it features schnitzels and my favourite salad dressing Pumpkin Seed Oil. I have 2 nights of seminars with GM Perry, first up Punch Defence and some miscellaneous techniques, then rolling hands and Dan Bong. The local Austrian students all work hard and enjoy the pain, I mean techniques. As always, I make sure to test out as many schnitzels as I can, but always with salad on the side. One of the local students who is a farmer brings me in a gift of Pumpkin Seed Oil, now to see if I can make it home with it intact.

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Seminar #1 group

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Seminar #2 group

On the second day, I had some free time so GM Perry and I headed out to see one of the local attractions, the house where Arnold Schwarzenegger grew up, it is now a local museum with rooms dedicated to his youth, politics, movies, etc. Where else in Graz would you take the kick challenge photo except for at the Terminator’s house of course! Now is there any bonus for not only completing the challenge but getting another Grandmaster in the photo as well as having the bystander (he was a tour guide for Arnie’s House) kicking or trying to as well?

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Austria Challenge – Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 100

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Arnie’s House #1 – Thumb Lock

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Arnie’s House #2 – Terminated

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Arnie’s House #3 – One Hand Techniques

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Arnie’s House #4 – See you later

Not far from Arnie’s house is a rather unique church as well, so we dropped by there. Firstly on the outside it has a strange colour and design but the inside is very retro concrete and diamante fish bowl styled. Apparently it is still a fully operational church in the local community, psychedelic anyone?

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A house of the Lord, which one you might ask

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Now that is some styling

Vlado arrives to collect me from Graz as it is a relatively short 2 hour drive from Zagreb and we all grab a last schnitzel before hitting the road. Then it is onto the highway for the quick drive into Zagreb, I get a chance to add to my passport stamp collection as we enter Croatia, and then check into my normal hotel haunt the Zig Zag. Zagreb looks wildly different this type due to spring, normally I am here when it is drab and grey, but with the new leaves, some flowers and the addition of green it really brings the city alive.

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Zagreb Sightseeing – Funicular 1

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Zagreb Sightseeing – Funicular 2

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Zagreb Sightseeing – Good renovation idea

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Zagreb Sightseeing – The Museum of what?

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Zagreb Sightseeing – Old Town

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Zagreb Sightseeing – Central Square

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Zagreb Sightseeing – Old Church, Yep

So I got the chance to see a bit of city at night as we caught the funicular, which is actually a type of tram up to the old town and walked through the recently opened underground tunnels before grabbing a good dinner. I also had a chance between seminars to check out some of the city in the day as well. An incredible transformation between the seasons. On the Hapkido front I dropped in to help for a couple of classes before 2 days of seminars over the weekend where I worked on everything from basic white belt techniques through to Dan Bong. Everyone had a good time and the local students all enjoyed the Short Stick of Vast Pain. As a surprise Vlado arrange a party in the Dojang for my 40th Anniversary including a Ying/Yang cake, thank you sir. To wrap up the visit we did some testing for the local students and I am happy to say they are all on the right path to become Kwan Nyom Black Belts in the future.

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40th Anniversary Cake

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Zagreb Seminar Group

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Zagreb Grading

On my last day, we headed up into the surrounding mountains for an excellent lunch at a restaurant that overlooks the city, it was good food with a great view. Some local Roast Duck with pasta and to wrap up Lemon Crepes, how could I say no. An excellent way to wrap up another excellent visit with Team IHA Croatia. We are also expecting a team at the ITS with between 3-5 making the long haul to join us in Australia.

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Restaurant with a view

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Straws in a hot Latte, hmm

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Zagreb Dojang 1

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Zagreb Dojang 2

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Zagreb Dojang 3

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Zagreb Dojang 4

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Croatia Challenge – Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 150

We headed to the new airport, apparently, my timing was perfect as today was the very first day of the New Zagreb airport, well either it was good or not so good. Still the new terminal looks great and it was pretty empty except for the Queue for the one counter to check in for LOT (Polish Airlines). Once that was done I headed off to clear security with no line, and straight through immigration to grab another stamp. All was good until now, as I followed the signs to my gate I realised that the steps I wanted were locked off behind a glass barrier, so I asked some of the ground staff wearing High Vis Info vests, and was directed to an elevator that wouldn’t let me click any lower levels, then onto a supervisor, then back to immigration to knock on the back of the immigration booth, then he took me to another person and eventually I was escorted to the very hidden steps, I am sure that they will quickly work out it will need signage and better directions. From there you board a bus to the flight, but the bus literally moves 20 meters, sometimes you wonder. Still the flight was smooth and it was touchdown Warsaw.

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New Zagreb airport, a little quiet on day 1

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We caught a bus from those windows you can see

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Zagreb Airport from the air

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Flight #6 Zagreb - Warsaw (LOT Embraer 175)

A couple of days free to get up to date with the Video Signatures and the trip report. I also grab lunch with SBN Jaakko to catch up on how things are going now he has a new addition to the family with baby Luna, at a couple of months she is still a little too young to start combat training but I imagine that will begin soon, especially with help from her big brother Attila. I also had the chance to head out for dinner at the newest Michelin 1-star restaurant in Warsaw (there are now 2 restaurants with 1 Michelin star here) before the action begins. The dinner was excellent with a stand out being the Deer Burger, I also got a couple of visits from the Chef as I was the first person to taste his new desert, a mixture of Rhubarb and Yoghurt.

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Deer Tartar Burger – Very nice

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Special Effects for desert

Over the next couple of days, I got a chance to spend some mat time with the seniors as well as a chance to do some sightseeing before the open seminar day. Warsaw is a much nicer city to visit this time of year, just one month difference and the extra greenery makes so much of a change, the weather brings out a better attitude and energy in everyone as well. In the evening, I get a chance to put some off the local students through a coloured belt grading. Most of the group were successful in earning their new ranks, and I am happy to see the level of Hapkido as it is developing here in Warsaw.

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Polish Military Museum #1 – Tanks R Us

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Polish Military Museum #2 – Amour All

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Polish Military Museum #3 – Weaponry

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Polish Military Museum #4 – Blades

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Polish Military Museum #5 – Old School Hapkidoist

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Team Poland grading group

The next day is the open seminar where the topics included, S Locks, Kick Defence, Knife and miscellaneous techniques. Of course, for lunch we continued the theme with a visit to a new Korean restaurant located nearby, the food was good if not quite authentic. On Sunday I get another chance to work with the local students fixing some techniques from the grading as well as taking steps forward with some more work towards integrating Kwan Nyom here. After the day ends I get to see another of the local sites, King John III's Palace at Wilanow. It has had some touch ups but still looks in good shape for over 600 years old.

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Miss Kimchi for Lunch

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Korean lunch box

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Team Poland Seminar

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Palace grounds

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Some of the Palace decorations

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Warsaw Challenge – Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 200

The next morning I am back on the road after another good visit with more of our International Hapkido family, this time with Team Polska. Back into the skies with a couple of flights, this time Poland to Finland via Germany. I get questions on why some of my flights don’t go direct, but in an effort to keep to my preferred flying alliance some routes are via transfer connections. It works out cheaper in a lot of cases as I get my luggage benefits and can get better prices buying a combination ticket with one alliance.

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Flight #7 & #8 Warsaw – Frankfurt - Helsinki (Lufthansa A321)

As the flight descends into Helsinki I notice that there is no snow and a lot more greenery, I look forward to a warmer climate that when I normally visit. Of course, that idea evaporates as fast as my breath condenses in the 7-degree air. It is a bit nippy, lucky I had packed a scarf just in case. The next day it steps down to 3-degrees and I am happy that I will be mainly inside the Dojang teaching. I also find out that I am not the only VIP (chuckle) visiting Helsinki as the President of China is in town for a day as well. So parts of the city are shut down with military and police as his convoy travels through.

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Almost looks warm

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Hello to the Chinese President

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What do Finns do at 5-degrees, queue for Ice Cream of course

One of the first things I see as I enter HMAC (Master Tapio’s Dojang) is a speed sign for 40 and some signs recognising my 40th Anniversary, thank you sir! Day one on the mats in Finland and I am on the mats working striking, with a focus on distance, power, and targeting. Then onto some concept linking with Strikes integrated into Locks without extra movements.

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Finnish Group Shot

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40th Anniversary in Finland

Day 2 moved onto kicking, with topics including targeting, distance with a focus on power and use. In the second session, we covered a bunch of kicking variants and then onto both locking with the leg and locking the leg (Toe locks anyone?). To wrap up the day I headed into the city to complete my World Tour Challenge.

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Helsinki Challenge – Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 250

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Reindeer which surprisingly is quite similar in flavour/texture to Kangaroo

The last day in the series at HMAC, starting off with a Black Belt Physical Challenge and Senior Black Belt Testing, I also get some time working with the Kodanja (4th Degree+). The afternoon seminar included Locking Reversals, Ground Defence and Turbo Topics. I also had the chance to congratulate KSN Siru Heromaa-Karjalainen on earning her promotion to IHA Senior Instructor! For dinner, we headed to a Viking themed restaurant with some of the Team.

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Day 3 Group shot in Helsinki

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If your car breaks down here, tough

The final open day is at Sisu Gym which is further out of town in Jarvenpaa. The Finns surprise me with a 40th Anniversary cake and some coffee before we hit the mats. On the mats, today we start with Finger locks before moving onto Lock Flows, movement transitions and then adding strikes to lock flows. Everyone on the mat works hard and gets stuck into the techniques, lots of tapping and smiling. I also get the pleasure to hand out some grading results with Congratulations to our new 3rd Degree's BSBN Pertti Varjola and Tommi Vainikka, new 2nd Degree's KSN Harri Kekarainen and Nico Lindh. Then onto some Instructor promotions, Chief Instructors - SBN Daniel Anis, SBN Kim Aaltonen, SBN Pauli Harju, BSBN Pertti Varjola, Senior Instructors - SBN Janne Toivanen and Instructor KSN Nico Lindh. After the seminar wraps up I get a chance to catch up with SBN Kim (current Finnish Hapkido Federation president) and we talk more about plans for the next ETS being held here in Helsinki. Then it is back to the Gym where I get a chance to put 8 new seniors through the IHA Instructors course. Overall a very successful visit with promotions, recognition and lots of good motion forward in both standards and instruction.

*Event Note* ETS – Last year we did a launch of a new IHA event the ETS (European Training Seminar) in Croatia and the next host in 2018 will be Team Finland. The idea is to have a family event for all the IHA schools in Europe (a similar event is happening in the US as well), where all the locals can connect with each other and get to know the other Euro IHA members. A tentative date was set during my visit and plans are now underway for ETS II in September 2018.

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Hapki Cake

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On the mats ready for action

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Congratulations!

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Sisu Gym seminar group

This wraps up another excellent visit to Finland, and I grab an Uber to the airport for my short hop to my first visit to Norway. The world tour normally includes visits to the same IHA countries so this will be a change, and it also adds to my country count making it 53 countries that I have now visited on my travels. It is amazing how differently you are treated by different airlines, overall my 2 bags are under the weight limit but in this case 1 was overweight and the under light, SAS just waved it through without a blink, whereas some airlines are really strict on either charging or making you move weight.

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Flight #9 Helsinki - Oslo (CRJ 900)

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Norway fjord land from the sky

A short flight into Oslo and my first visit to the land of Vikings. SBN Erik meets me at the airport and we head into Oslo for a driving tour on the way to the airport, one of the things you first notice is that the city is located on the edges of a fjord with lots of hills, and water in the centre where the oceans edge is, a quite picturesque city. It reminds me a little of Seattle, hopefully there is some decent coffee located amongst all the smoked salmon. I get a chance to see a lot of difference parts of Oslo during my days here, so enjoy the sightseeing pictures before I return for the Hapkido update. Amongst the sites we saw, Vigeland Park for the statues and view, the Oslo Ski Jumping ramp (you need your head checked to do that), the palace, town hall, harbour, Viking ships, Kon-tiki ships, an escape room and more. It was a busy 2 days filled with lots of local experiences, even including some decent coffee and good food, yes lots of smoked salmon here as well.

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Oslo Touring 1 - Vigeland Park

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Oslo Touring 2 - Vigeland Park & Begone annoying Bird

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Oslo Touring 3 - Vigeland Park & Hammer Lock

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Oslo Touring 4 - Vigeland Park & Shoulder throw

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Oslo Touring 5 - Vigeland Park & Some angry SBN’s

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Oslo Challenge – Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 300

*Side Note* Norway – I liked Norway, the people are friendly, the food good and the environment although cool at this time of year enjoyable. However, it is also one of the most expensive with fuel costing an incredible $2.60Au a litre (that’s cheap apparently) and one coffee was $8. Also, some of the restaurant food was quite incredible in its pricing and that is compared to Sydney which in itself is quite pricey. However, Norway ranks very highly on the best places to live with great education and social programs to complement its overall positive community, now with IHA Hapkido is most be getting closer to being perfect.

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Fuel at $2.60 a litre, ouch poor White Noise (My mustang)

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Not Horse Power, it is Deer Power

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Oslo Touring 6 - Jump Here

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Oslo Touring 7 - Ramp me up

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Oslo Touring 8 - Still some snow

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I-Coffee anyone?

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Oslo Touring 9 - Vikings R Us

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Oslo Touring 10 - Royals live here

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No Hand Attacks

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Oslo Touring 10 - Kon-Tiki 1

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Oslo Touring 11 - Kon-Tiki 2

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1/3rd of World Tesla production comes here

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Hmm Cobra or little Electrical Car?

The first night on the mats I broke the seminar into 3 parts covering Circular Releases + Strikes, Hand Attacks and S Locks, then on the 2nd night we unleashed the Dan Bong + Turbo Topics. The local Norske all trained hard and celebrated their bumps and bruises acquired with Kwan Nyom Hapkido. Lots of happy smiling faces and lots of good questions from the local team. After class on the 2nd night everyone brought in a plate of food so we could eat together, and Team Norway made sure I got some local goodies to enjoy, thank you all for your hospitality! The final day I headed out of the city with SBN Carlos to SBN Erik’s summer cottage for a home cooked BBQ meal and to enjoy some of the local scenery. I also got the chance to welcome the local SBN’s into the Kwan Nyom Hapkido family as they joined the International Hapkido Alliance as our newest Representatives.

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Norwegian Group

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Dojang 1 – Australian Flag sneaks in

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Dojang 2

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Dojang 3 – Insert Australian Flag here

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Welcome to the IHA Family!

Up for my next flight and the weather changed with some snow to see me off and a cool -1 on my way to the airport. As it was Easter Friday it was quiet and the drive went smoothly, the plane wasn’t crowded and I took to the friendly skies for a quick hop across to the UK. Thank you again Team Norske for an excellent first visit to Norway and I look forward to possibly having some of you join us for the ITS in Australia, but definitely next year for the World Tour and ETS events!

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Flight #10 Oslo – London (Boeing 737-700)

Another smooth flight, this time in London to meet my ride and break over Easter. I get a couple of days off to enjoy some good meals, and spend some time with a friend of mine who lives here. Then it is back on the mats with a visit to Omar’s Dojang in Wembley for a class with the kids and then adults. We work on mainly syllabus material so the locals can slowly work on their IHA progression. The next morning, I catch the Train to the airport for my cross-channel flight into The Netherlands for their 10th Anniversary Celebrations and seminars.

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Wembley Kids

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Wembley Adults

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Google building in London

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Doctor Who?

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Once you leave your car aren’t you then a pedestrian?

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There is Milk in the Milk, go figure

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Flight #12 London - Amsterdam (Airbus A319)

SBN Ron and CGN Robert meet me at the airport for the 90-minute drive south to where the events are going to be tonight, up first is an intro to Hapkido class in the Best area which is where my first visit was 10 years ago. A combination of students, including adults jumped on the mats for some basic self-defence techniques with some Q & A after. For dinner, we headed to a nearby Steak restaurant where both SBN Ron and I were presented with Certificates for recognition from the International Dutch Hall of Fame for Martial Arts.

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Dutch Celebration Cake #1

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Students, Parents and more involved

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Aussie’ness everywhere

The next day we head out to see the Desert of The Netherlands, well not quite, it is the National Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen, and these dunes are unique and not found anywhere else in NW Europe. It is quick amazing to drive for 5 minutes and then you are basically out in the desert but still in The Netherlands. After that stop, we hit the road north to Spijkenisse for the nights Black Belt grading, it is funny but Master Henrie turns up in a classic Jeep to meet us, we could have used that for the Dunes. Tonight, we are testing 4 candidates for 1st Degree, 3 for 2nd Degree and one for 4th Degree, so a big night for Hapkido in Holland.

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Are you sure this is The Netherlands

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Master Henrie Jeep style

The testing gets underway and is slowly inching closer and closer to the Australian standard, lots of sets make sure that the locals are working hard as we cover all their material and then push them with the multiple grabs. After we welcome 4 new CGN’s to the family there is a break before we start the senior testing. I am proud to say it was a good night with 4 new 1st Degree’s CGN’s Randy, Priscilla, Sebastiaan and Christine joining the Kwan Nyom Black Belt family. The rest of the seniors find out their results during the seminars on Saturday.

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Congratulations new Black Belts

The next day is a chance for some Combat sightseeing, as I am not normally here this time of year I have my first chance in 10years to see the celebrated Dutch Tulips in full bloom. So first up is the drive to the Keukenhof, a huge Tulip park. Along for the drive is CGN Marcel, CGN Robert, SBN Ron and we meet up with Master Roddy, BSBN Hans (visiting from Finland), and KSN Henk at the park. Some fast walking later we have seen thousands of tulips, dodged thousands of tourists and taken 1 kick picture for my challenge. Now we take a break from the trip report for you to admire some flowers and relax before we resume our normal programming.

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Keukenhof #1

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Keukenhof #2

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Keukenhof #3

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Keukenhof #4

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Dutch Challenge – Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 350

After all the peace, it was time to reset the balance so time to enjoy some mechanical pursuits, so off to the nearby classic car museum, the Louwman. An amazing museum for car lovers, well laid out, an easy path to follow and an incredible array of automobiles from the beginning. The entire museum is privately owned, now apart from Jay Leno’s garage this has to be one of the biggest ones in the world. Beware lots of car pictures are coming, if you want to see more, check out my Facebook album with the rest.

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Louwman #1

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Louwman #2

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Louwman #3

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Louwman #4 – Same colour as Henk’s shoes, he just needed a 2nd one.

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Louwman #5

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Louwman #6 – Police Porsche Style

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Louwman #7 – Booth, Geoff Booth

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Louwman #8

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Louwman #9

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Louwman #10

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Louwman #11 - hmmm

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Louwman #12

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Louwman #13 – A must for Petrol Heads

After the balance was resumed, ok maybe a little skewed towards metal and petroleum, we headed to nearby Delft for a late lunch before travelling south to Hellevoetsluis for the nights Sun Bae training. Some work on Kicks, Locks, and Lock Flows before the late drive home. From where I am staying at SBN Ron’s to where most of the events are this time is just over an hour each way, logging some extra kilometres on the road this time. Also, Master Tapio joins KSN Hans on mats as Team Finland starts arriving to be part of the Dutch 10th Anniversary events.

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Team Sun Bae

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Seniors @ Sun Bae

*Side Note* Drop (Dutch), Liquorice, Salmiakki (Finnish) – Liquorice is a major sweet in both The Netherlands and Finland but a salty style is very prevalent alongside the sweeter version. Here in the Netherlands it is a large part of road trips and at the local service station there is a complete display of the many different types you can buy, salty, honey, soft, hard, mint, coated, part gummy bear, etc, etc

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Liquorice anyone?

The next morning I am off to Hoogvliet for the full day seminar, on the topic list is techniques from the clinch, takedowns, ground controls before lunch, then Master Tapio takes the locals through some Ground techniques before I wrap the day with an introduction to Bag Fu and finishing with Turbo Topics. I also get the chance to present the promotions for the senior Black Belt tests, congratulations new KSN’s Andre, Robert and Marcel, with a special congratulation to our newest SBN Paco who completed integration testing from our newest Dojang in The Netherlands. We also recognise KSN Robert’s Instructor Certification and KSN Marcel’s Senior Instructor Certification, as well as presenting the Black Belt certificates from last year’s testing. Afterwards we head to Hellevoetsluis for the official 10th Anniversary party celebrations.

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On the Mats

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Master Tapio takes charge

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Congratulations!

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Seminar Day #1 Group

A quick drive to the Celebration dinner where there is a slide show running from the last 10 years as well as some drop-in photos from the IHA family. Some good speeches and presentations, along with lots of positive energy for the future of the IHA in Holland as well as working with the other European family members. I want to thank the whole team as well as the group from Finland that flew in for the fun. Here is to the next 10!

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Dutch IHA family

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Dutch Celebration Cake #2

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Dutch Celebration Cake #3

Home for a brief sleep stop before the next morning and Day #2 of the Celebration seminars, this time at SBN Ron’s nearby Dojang. When I say nearby it is literally 2 mins walk from his house. On the topic list was Concept Linking, Circle Releases + Strikes + Locking, then in the afternoon Reversals before we wrap up the Hapkido part of this excellent 10th Anniversary visit to The Netherlands.

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Day #2 in Action

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Frites (Fries) with Beef Stew, a lunch thing

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Seminar Day #2 Group

SBN Ron drops me in the Centre the next day where I get a day free to enjoy some of the local restaurants, and work a little more on signature videos before the short flight back into the UK. I am creating a FB album for the World Tour Food pictures so keep an eye open for that!

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Amsterdam at Night

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Amsterdam by Day #1

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Amsterdam by Day #2

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Who needs service at a service station, just the pumps here

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Had to visit the Knife shop

A quick walk to Amsterdam Central station, and a smooth ride out to the airport before grabbing my 55 minute flight across the channel back to the UK, where Master Nick meets me at the airport for the drive to where I am staying.

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Flight #12 Amsterdam - London (Airbus A319)

A couple more days of free time and a chance to catch up with a friend in the UK, before hitting the mats at Master Nick’s Dojang for some Ground defence and Clinch work. It has been a good Euro/UK visit and next up is the Atlantic crossing as I head over to the US. I use some Expedia points for a free hotel stay near Heathrow to save some time, with a 7am flight to Munich, that would mean leaving where I was staying at 4am, blargh, mornings should be much more polite. I am flying via Munich to pick up my long haul as part of the special ticket I am on, it also means a direct flight into Charlotte, North Carolina where my next 6 seminars are going to be held.

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Of course

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Maybe for Gradings

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That looks like my number plate

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London Challenge – Complete

Kick Challenge Burpee Counter = 400

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Warming up with falls

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Some of the Moo Sool Group

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Flight #13 + #14 London – Munich – Charlotte, USA (Airbus A320 + Airbus A330-300)

Time to head to the US of A and Mexico. I hope I get there before the wall is finished. Check out the USA/Mexico report.

User avatar
Nathan McDonald
Chief Instructor
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:41 am
Location: Bayside QLD Australia

Re: On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby Nathan McDonald » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:07 am

Thanks for the update Sir. Looks like it is going well. Nath, SB

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Dean Evangelista
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:27 am

Re: On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby Dean Evangelista » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:15 am

Hi Sir, the deer tartare burger looks very interesting. What were the green buns made out of?

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John Baade
Kwan Jung Nim
Posts: 498
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:35 pm
Location: Croydon VIC Australia
Contact:

Re: On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby John Baade » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:14 am

Great travel log Sir, I love the fun idea in Spain :D
John Baade
Power Hapkido
Melbourne Australia
AHG VIC
"Discipline is a Warriors Safety Catch"

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Kelvin Zeini
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:39 pm

Re: On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby Kelvin Zeini » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:50 am

Amazing photos. Thanks for the updates sir.

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Luke Dilonardo
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:11 pm

Re: On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby Luke Dilonardo » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:32 pm

Wow! Those photos are amazing! Seeing all the different dojangs, the international students, various and interesting food and the kick challenge is always a pleasure for me to see and read about, Thank you for the update Sir!

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Jehad Batta
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:04 pm
Location: Parramatta NSW Aus

Re: On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby Jehad Batta » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:41 pm

Thank you Sir in the efforts and finding the time to articulate your journey and experiences. Its great to see the IHA family members in Spain, Poland, Croatia and Finland are doing strong with a healthy future ahead. Kudos to all.

Its also amazing how 4 weeks between winter and spring can make such a difference. And really looking forward to Norway and seeing the emerging opportunities for the IHA family.

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Kelvin Zeini
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:39 pm

Re: On the Road World Tour 2017 - Europe + UK

Postby Kelvin Zeini » Tue May 02, 2017 12:42 am

Thank you GMG. I love all these cakes and IHA cookies. And Kicking challenge scenes are awesome.


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