The Return of the Warriors

4 min read

Reflecting on the Dutch Event 2023 with Haedong Kumdo workshops and activities
6 – 11 april 2023
It was a cool spring day in Amsterdam when the first students gathered around the Universum Science Park in Amsterdam for the kick-off of a whole series of workshops on Haedong Kumdo – the Way of the Eastern Sword. Special guest from South Korea was Grand Master Kim, Jeong Seong who is the president of the United World Haedong Kumdo Federation. We were so excited to see him again and pick him up from Schiphol Airport.
Four months of preparation had passed and the DHKA Leadership Team WhatsApp was regularly exploding with messages to get everything right. The team was so determined to organize this event as good as possible for our students and the future perspective of Haedong Kumdo in the Netherlands. Our goal was to learn more about Haedong Kumdo, strengthen our relationships and use the event as a catalyst for new motivation, gaining vitality and further study and practice of Jinyoung Ssangkum Ryu.
The final weeks before the event went by sooner and faster until suddenly it was there and we all met at once on Friday afternoon in Amsterdam Central. From there Michiel guides us all the way to Café / Brewpub ‘De bekeerde Suster’. Nine schools came together for an adventure of their lifetime sharing friendship and exchanging knowledge across four different facilities in USC Universum, De Ruimte in Amsterdam and even at the KDO vechtsportcentrum in Deventer. We were on the brink of a 5 day long event. Good for 12 hours of quality training time with our beloved Grand Master.

On Friday evening Master Kim created a special atmosphere of relaxation and energy flow through the complete Kibon Ki-Mu with all details and forms. We have seen all tension dissolve and transform into a blissful energy practice.

On Saturday we had a huge beginner group starting very basic and then progressing into the finer details of single sword sparring. There was such a great energy in the sport facility. It was really great to see everyone doing their best and work together and see new faces as well. We also welcomed guests like Master Frankovich from the USA, UWHKF Bulgarian Rep Victor Baytchev and his team, UWHKF German Rep Li Schlüter, instructor Ben de Busser from Belgium and Master Mike Fox from Taekwondo Academy Parkstad.
In the second intermediate workshop that day Master Kim raised the bar with a complete set of ‘drawing and sheathing’ the double swords. Wonderful techniques we can practice many many more times in the coming years. Thank you all so much for your best effort and showing beauty in your techniques!
In the evening we all got together for diner at A2 wegrestaurant for an ‘all you can eat’ experience which was very cozy and delicious. Many students at that time where also wearing a special Event T-shirt delivered by our sponsor Firetecs. Thanks Pia! So far so good, but there were many more things to come and this made the event so special: the camaraderie and the diversity of the workshops and activities.
Next was Sunday morning with a Black Belt testing. An honorable testing for 1.Dan and 2.Dan candidates where Master Kim extended the jury with Bulgarian, USA and Dutch Representatives. We have seen many great techniques, attitude and spirit. Also we are trying to learn and grow in live cutting techniques where Master F took the lead. After a short break we continued with 15 Black Belts into a top speed double sword Jiri session. Try to keep up or move aside!
At Sunday lunch was at BAUT Amsterdam (very tasty!) and perfectly timed we went on to the much anticipated location De Ruimte to surprise Master Kim and participating students. A great atmosphere was created once again with many healing experiences through Vipassana Acupuncture. It was a very unique experience to watch and see up close how Master Kim balances the energy and see how the students are regaining their strength back.
Monday morning we started a sparring workshop which was super fun! One of our goals was to offer more tournament experience and so we run a sparring poule and let our new Black Belts gain experience as a referee. I still remember the strong and confident voice of Bas and the sharp eye of Michiel. They had everything under control. Very well done guys.
After that we head on to La Place for a bite and so we went off to the boat for a tour on the island Pampus, to see an authentic defensive fortress. There we learned more about Dutch history on defending the city of Amsterdam known as ‘the secret of Amsterdam’. We closed this tour running through complete dark tunnels into a huge virtual air balloon. Something to remember for sure!
In the meantime we should remember Dominic en Kelly accomodated Master Kim and continuously provided transport with the black A-Team bus for all foreign guests driving them from the hotels to the training hall and vice versa. What an excellent service!
Last but not least, on Tuesday Master Kim went shopping for Dutch cheese and sweets in the fine streets of the city of Deventer. A very generous final training was given by Master Kim in the Kum Sarang Dojang to all instructors who showed their best from beginning to end in the spirit of Haedong Kumdo.
In a few weeks we hope to surprise you with sweet memories on Tjardo his video compilations. We will share ASAP. See you all soon again at the Bulgarian workshops in August and the German workshops in October. Let’s get some training there!
DHKA Leadership Team wants to thank everybody involved for joining, participating or otherwise contributing to this event. I’ll tell you a small secret. In my mind this was never the Dutch Event 2023. In my mind this event was known as ‘The Return of the Warriors’… And they have all woken up now!
With humble and deep respect,

Frank Heininga

UWHKF Dutch Representative

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