Upper Hutt martial artists Nevan and Susan Stevenson will share new training concepts and skills with their hapkido members learned on a trip to the United States late last year.
"We learned exciting new training concepts and skills that will benefit and add to our members' skill base in self defence and are looking forward to introducing them to our members," the Stevensons say.
They met and trained with their American counterparts and other instructors from around the world, including Panama, Spain, France, Italy and Finland.
While there, they cross- trained in other arts including taekwondo, tai chi and Filipino martial arts.
They were also fortunate to train alongside and circulate with celebrity martial artists and and actors specialising in martial arts films such as Cynthia Rothrock, Bill "Super Foot" Wallace and others whose first question usually included something to do with The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.
The Stevensons were presented with their combat hapkido 4th dan black belts by the art's grand master, John Pellegrini. The couple, head of combat hapkido in New Zealand and its chief instructors, attended an anniversary banquet in Phoenix, Arizona, for the Korean martial art.
"It's usually us doing the presenting, not the other way around, so it was an honour to be the recipient rather than the presenter.
"It was a jam-packed weekend, we had an incredible time and feel truly blessed to be part of an incredible martial art family."
- Upper Hutt Leader