On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

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Grandmaster G
Hae Jang Nim
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On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Grandmaster G » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:18 pm

2018 Europe +

“Highway to …..”

Tick Tock and the clock strikes World Tour 2018, time to hit the Martial Road for the 25th Anniversary seminar tour. Of course, like any world tour it has to start with the hiccups, this time a fairly challenging one as the Black Belts I need for all the testing don’t arrive in time. So, plans are put in place to hopefully get them express mailed to Spain for the first group of students who are testing. Check in goes smoothly and I head to the lounge for one of my last good coffee’s, one benefit of the Air New Zealand lounge is that they have a barista on hand to make coffee. The world tour this year includes 38 flights and 18 countries, not quite a record for flights but definitely for countries covered. It will also be my first visit to 4 new countries, Portugal, Morocco, Romania and Cuba.

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Flight #1 Sydney – Bangkok (Thai Airways Boeing 747-400) [Map Key: Red Dots are transfers or breaks, Yellow Dots are seminars, Blue dotted lines are long distance drives]

I always like to take a break during the Australia – Europe travel and prefer Bangkok, Thailand, due to the cheaper cost to stay, the friendly people, the ease of getting around (BTS/MRT), and of course the fantastic dining opportunities. There are now 3 two Michelin starred restaurants here as well as a bunch of single star ones and the lunch pricing makes them amazingly affordable. Beyond that there are some of the other benefits to a stop in Bangkok, in this case a chance to get a new suit made. I am getting a Tuxedo done for the Hall of Fame in the Netherlands, for a fraction more than renting the suit when I am there. Of course, while I am here I also spend a large amount of time in my hotel room working on the veritable Tsunami of videos that are uploaded from those testing for Black Belt levels and completing Instructor Qualifications.

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If you are a fan of amazing burgers and pies Aussie style, this is a must visit!

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Chunky Beef pie, with chips and handmade tomato relish, a little bit of home on a plate

*Side Note* Airport Transfers – My advice is to always pre-plan them. Of course, there are places where you can grab a cheap cab, or train but in general having someone waiting with a sign to pick you up and drop you at the hotel just makes for such a nicer arrival. Adding to that, a nicer ride in a better car without crowding or a crazy taxi driver. In most cases a little research can make the transfer almost as cost effective as the local taxi option. I am not talking about booking a limo, but a standard car that is clean, has AC, is roadworthy, can fit your luggage easily, and actually knows where your hotel is.

I didn’t have many dining plans this visit, of course I hit Chef Bar for a great pie, and I had a reservation for the newly 2 Michelin Starred Gaggan (regarded as Asia’s #1 Restaurant), along with a booking for Dining in the Sky, more for the experience than the food. Gaggan had changed up its menu from my last visit and now you got a list of Emoji’s that referenced each course, some with cutlery and some without, even 1 course came with its own soundtrack.

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The tasting menu @ Gaggan

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This course was meant to be actually licked off..


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Some courses are just interesting to look at, it tasted good too.

Dining in the sky was interesting and not for those that don’t like heights. The view was ok but I imagine doing this over the Sydney Heads to be more amazing, and there would definitely be some places in the world where the view + dining would be incredible.

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Dinner in the Sky

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Strapped into your Dining Racing Chair

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Part of the view

Bangkok went well, lots done on video reviews, a couple of good meals and lots of very affordable foot massages, funny how something you never do at home is the norm when travelling. I hit the road with my next flight on the A380 courtesy of Lufthansa, a little bumpy heading out of Asia but it quiets down over Europe for a on time arrival into Frankfurt. To give you insight of this day’s travels, it was a 11 hour 30 minute flight then 6 hours in the airport for another 3 hour flight, so 20 hours travel today. I do notice at Frankfurt airport that they are now using a totally new scanning system, not longer the X Ray or the Rotating Body Scan, now is a flat walled unit.

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Scan Time

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Flight #2 & #3 Bangkok - Frankfurt - Seville (Lufthansa Airbus A380-800 + Lufthansa Airbus A320)

The flight to Seville was delayed due to the snow and each plane having to be de-iced before take off which caused a queue of jets waiting, so just over an hour later we hit the skies for the flight into Seville. I am met at the Airport by the Senior Team SBN Jose, BSBN Alex and KSN Eloy, we then head into Seville where I will be staying at the prospective hotel for the next ITS.

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A bit of work De Icing a 747-8

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First 2 bags, winner!

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Exterior of the ITS Hotel

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ITS Hotel Room

Of course we need to lock in details but from my first impressions the hotel is quite nice and located in a good area, walkable to all the sight seeing in Seville as well as being easy to get to for transportation. I grab dinner with the local instructors and we catch up over some plans for my visit along with details about the ITS, they have a dossier prepared with a lot of early work already done for ITS8. The next morning, we catch for Breakfast before meetings with the town’s sporting council member, the mayor and a visit to the facilities we are planning to use for the ITS. The local government is getting behind the event and along with some help with venues, we will be invited to enjoy a local festival during the ITS week.

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A typical local breakfast, bread+ Ham or Tomato or Pate in this case

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The local pool area (now closed for winter) but one venue we will have exclusive access to as part of the ITS

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Beer is cheap here, Coke is about 3x the price for the same size

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A local Theme park that will be part of the ITS #1

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A local Theme park that will be part of the ITS #2

In the evening it was time to head over to KSN Eloy’s new dojang for a couple of kids seminars, with over 70 kids it was a crazy class but Bag Fu kept them in line and everyone had some fun. After the seminars I also had the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open this new location. I do have to say it is a very nice looking Dojang, lots of light and plenty of space!

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The main training area – KSN Eloy’s Dojang

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Junior Kids Seminar

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Senior Kids Seminar

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Everything gets Hapkido affected here
As part of this world tour I will be adding Video Tours of all the IHA Dojang’s so you can see where our International family train, the link will take you to a YouTube video.

https://youtu.be/W9CPBHP9fGE

Video tour of KSN Eloy’s Dojang

The next day it was time to hit the mats at SBN Jose’s Dojang for some Concept training with the adults. We worked through White, Orange, Yellow and part of Green as well as covering the new syllabus changes/additions. After the seminar we had a brief break before some Black Belt testing for the local students, we had 2 testing for Junior Black (13-16yrs old) and 2 testing for 2nd Degree Black Belt, with the results being given out at the 25th Anniversary Exhibition the next day.

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SBN Jose’s Dojang training floor

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Adults Seminar

https://youtu.be/YdGrmy5gh8c

Video tour of SBN Jose’s Dojang

Oh of course how could this be the World Tour without a Provisional Black Belt challenge, and this year the challenge is to get a pain face picture from each of the seminar visits. For each one the Provisionals will do 25 Hapkido’s (Like a modified Burpee) as part of their Black Belt preparation. So without further ado. Here is number 1, KSN Juanma.

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KSN Juanma – Dan Bong Choke (Spain)
Challenge Count - 25

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It seems this restaurant wants you to have more Pate!

Some of the local Black Belts decided to truly celebrate the 25th Anniversary so they had Hapkido in Hangul and the number 25 shaved into their hair. Now that’s taking it to a new level, welcome to the Crazy Hapkido club BSBN Alex, KSN Eloy and KSN Juanma!

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I told your everything gets Hapkido here

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Heart Attack in a glass – definitely not mine

The next day SBN Jose had arranged an exhibition in a local training venue (the same we are going to use for the ITS). With around 200 students on the mats do a lot of different demonstrations to celebration our 25 years. As part of the final series he had students hold up a number from 1 to 24 and then do a technique, of course #25 was missing and I was asked to ‘fill’ in. Poor KSN Eloy got to enjoy some impromptu Dan Bong as part of the show. After the show finished I had the pleasure of announcing the results of the Black Belt testing, congratulations to Junior Black Belts, Juande and Paula as well as new KSN’s Juanma and Francisco. After the exhibition it was back to the Dojang for a meeting with the local ITS committee, the plans are well in place and there are lots of great surprises instore for all those making the trek to ITS Spain. Start saving and planning now to be part of what will be our biggest and best ITS to date!

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Lighting was horrible, but you can see most of the exhibition team

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Congratulations - Paula, Francisco, Juanma and Juande

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Local meats, cheeses and breads, simply yumm

On my final day in Seville, we finalise a few plans for the ITS before a mini Dojang tour with a 45 min visit to each Dojang with a kid’s seminar (this time pressure points) and finishing up with a last class for the adults. We start at KSN Eloy’s, then over to SBN Jose’s, then BSBN Alex’s and then back to SBN Jose’s for the Adults where I cover Ground Defence to wrap up this visit. It was another good visit to Spain with lots of good work being done for the ITS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgnPlHLU3Gc

Video tour of BSBN Alex’s Dojang

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Flight #4 Seville - Frankfurt (Lufthansa Airbus A321)

The flight is Lufthansa smooth into Frankfurt, again my bags are the first 2 off the luggage carousel, there is no way this can last. Still good when it happens, I do notice on the way out that the Red Channel to declare items was closed, so I guess you can just bring what you want in today. I meet SBN Jens (SBN Jens is from a different Hapkido style and opened his door for me to visit during some spare time I had) and as well as Laura who is a Mexican Hapkidoist visiting Germany on holidays and we head out to his training hall for a small class on Dan Bong with the local students. For dinner it sounds like a Joke when an Australia, a German and a Mexican who study a Korean Art walk into an Italian restaurant. But in this case, it was just a late dinner at the only open option after class.

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Nothing to Declare here

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Small but dedicated Dan Bong group

The next day we drive North towards Ronsahl for the next seminar group, it gets a little colder and you can see more snow around the area. It is a quite picturesque town and the hotel I am staying at is very charming. I get to spend some time with SBN Stefan the local instructor before the class where I cover basic self defence for the kids and Dan Bong for the Adults. The class goes well, and the German’s appreciate the pain of the angry short stick, well I think so. Dinner was yet again at one of the open options and this time Chinese/Thai was the choice.

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German Seminar Group

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A view from the Hotel #1

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A view from the Hotel #2

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Chris Berrios
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Re: On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Chris Berrios » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:14 pm

Thanks Sir, sorry to hear about the black belts.

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Grandmaster G
Hae Jang Nim
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Re: On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Grandmaster G » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:00 pm

Updated 15 Feb 2018.

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Chris Berrios
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:04 pm

Re: On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Chris Berrios » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:02 pm

Hi Sir,

Dinner in the sky? Not for me, what happens if you drop your fork?

Thanks

Chris

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Grandmaster G
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 1:18 pm
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Re: On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Grandmaster G » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:50 am

Luckily, no one dropped anything. But I imagine they had spare cutlery on hand ;)

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

Re: On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Dean Evangelista » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:18 am

Sir, how long did the dinner go for and what happens if you need to use the bathroom :shock: ?

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Chris Berrios
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:04 pm

Re: On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Chris Berrios » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 pm

Sir,

Looks like a great turnout for the seminars, what was the food item with Hapkido written on it? Hotel looks really good.

Thanks

Chris

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Grandmaster G
Hae Jang Nim
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 1:18 pm
Location: Moorebank NSW Australia
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Re: On the Road World Tour 2018 - Europe + Morocco

Postby Grandmaster G » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:55 pm

@Dean - We were briefed to go to the toilet beforehand and it was only an hour long.

@Chris - Think large bread roll with some cheese/meats inside.

Log Updated 22 Feb 2018.

Regards

GM G


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