About Whakatane Haidong Gumdo
Whakatane Haidong Gumdo started in July, 2016 under the leadership of Sean Cromwell. Back then, we were known as “Tumatauenga Sword”. We had humble beginnings and started our training at the Whakatane Town Football Club. However, due to Sean’s passion and leadership we quickly outgrew this space.
At the beginning of 2017, we moved our training to the Ohope Hall where we have been ever since. Our club has continued to grow and has an excellent mix of both junior and senior belt members.
2018 brought about big changes for our club; we grew to be the largest club in New Zealand and we were fortunate to host the Second Annual New Zealand Mulimpia. The Mulimpia is a multi-sport competition where athletes perform a variety of skills including patterns, paper cutting and sparring.
In 2018, we also had a change to our head instructor. Sean has left the Whakatane area to pursue new opportunities and left the club in the hands of 1st Dan Black Belt, Danyel Degenhardt.
About Our Head Instructor
Danyel was born and raised in Canada. He moved often throughout his life and quickly grew to understand the importance of good friendships, and developing friendships through sport. Prior to moving to New Zealand, Danyel joined his local Tae Kwon Do club in Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada. He joined to try something new, meet new people and challenge his mind and body in a new way.
When he moved to Whakatane in 2015, he was keen to continue his Tae Kwon Do journey. However, this was not to be. It was too difficult to get to local trainings with his work schedule and he focused on other things.
Danyel began his Haidong Gumdo journey in 2016. He was one of the first members of Tumatauenga Sword when Sean started his club. It didn’t take long for Danyel to develop a passion for the art of Haidong Gumdo. His personal highlights of Haidong Gumdo have been becoming the irrefutable paper cutting champ and achieving his 1st Dan Black Belt in October, 2018.
When Danyel took over the club at the end of October 2018, he was both nervous and excited. He has combined his passion for learning, his knowledge and experience from personal training and physiotherapy career to design his trainings.