Father and Son get Black Belts

Some fathers go fishing with their sons. Others go hunting in the bush. Not Shayne and Noah!

Shayne Robinson and his 16 year old son Noah have been training in Haidong Gumdo for three years, and last night they achieved their Black Belt together at the Ohope Hall. It was a physical grading that included over 20 patterns, arranged and choregraphed sparring, and of course many burpees, press-ups and tuck jumps.

They were joined by Chris and Brooke Power who graded to their Red Belts and will be preparing for their Black Belt test next August, as well as Mike Harland grading to his Blue/Red Belt, James Clark to his green belt, Tom Alton-Hermiston to his Yellow belt, and Danyel Degenhardt doing a partial grading towards his 2nd Dan Black Belt May 2020.

This grading had special significance for another reason as well. Head Instructor Danyel Degenhardt and his wife Ashley lost their baby Oliver only hours after he was born on December 8th. Oliver was with the club last night with each of the members wearing an arm band in his memory.

The Whakatane Haidiong Club’s main value is Whanau, and that was evident in last night’s grading. It’s important to bring attention to the love and fellowship that martial arts like Haidong Gumdo can develop in difficult times like these. Through the sweat, kihaps and cuts, a great deal of healing occurred.

Master Garry Carpenter who oversaw the grading said “Gradings are meant to be remembered.” For many reasons, last night’s grading will be remembered for years to come.

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