Pandemic Can’t Stop Whakatane Sword

Could you perform 1000 cuts with a sword?

How about one hour of Dan Jeon Ho with arms held overheard in a horse-riding stance?

Chris and Brooke Power performing Dan Jeon Ho

Chris and his daughter Brooke Power performed both of these tasks as part of their Chodanbo (Black/Red Belt) Grading on the weekend. They also performed over 20 patterns to pass their grading, taking them one step closer to getting their Black Belt in October.

Brooke Power performing Long Pattern 3

“I am proud myself,” said 12 year old Brooke showing insight beyond her years about successfully accomplishing the 1000 cuts and one hour Dan Jeon Ho. Her father Chris was more relieved than anything saying “I’m glad I don’t have to do that again.”

Chris Power performing Long Pattern 7

The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the first grading of the year, as well as forced the club to adapt to different training. This didn’t stop this small, but mighty, club to rally together and achieve their goals.

“I am grateful for our club sticking together and supporting each other through a very challenging year,” said Danyel Degenhardt, the Head Instructor of Whakatane Haidong Gumdo. Danyel achieved his 2nd Dan Black Belt over the weekend, something he’s been working towards for over 4 years. “This wouldn’t have been possible without my sword whanau. Physical sword training has been an outlet for stress related to the pandemic. The laughs and smiles we have each and every training keep all of us coming back for more.”

Danyel Degenhardt performing Long Pattern 9

More success came with Mike Harland getting his Brown Belt after a physical grading with too many burpees to count. His son Alex also graded to Blue Belt, along with James Clark. Shayne and his son Noah made steps towards their 2nd Dan Black Belt too.

Whakatane Haidong Gumdo Rear: Dave and Matthew Van Dijk, Shayne Robinson, Master Garry Carpenter, Danyel Degenhardt, Noah Robinson, Chris Power, Mike Harland, James Clark; Front row: Alex Harland, Brooke Power


You can follow their club’s journey on Instagram @whkhaidonggumdo and on Facebook at Whakatane Haidong Gumdo.

If you want to find out how to safely use a sword yourself, they train out of Ohope Hall on Tuesday evenings at 6PM and they welcome all levels and ages with the first two weeks free!

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