8 DAN KUKKIWON CONFIRMED - GM BRADLEY - SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE VIDEO
GM LEE DONG-SUP
...for inviting me to your office to meet and your heartfelt support for all grading applicants. It was an honour to meet you. I wish you the very best fortune for all your future plans with Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo.
GM LEE SEUNG WAN
4TH KUKKIWON PRESIDENT
...for inviting me to the Jidokwan headquarters in Gangnam and for warm welcome and support. It was an honour to meet you.
GM LEE SUNG SOO
JIDOKWAN PRESIDENT (AUSTRALIA)
...for your many, many years of support and guidance and for being a pioneer of Taekwondo in Australia. It has been an honour to train under you.
GM MICHAEL TAN
...for your many, many years of support and guidance and for your efforts to make Taekwondo in Australia successful and also for your life-long friendship. It has been an honour to train under you. A special thank you for accompanying me to Kukkiwon for my promotion test.
(& Past Poomsae World Champions**)
GM KANG IK-PIL** (at Kukkiwon)
GM SEO YEONG-AE** (at Muju)
GM SEO MIN-HAK (at Muju)
GM KIM HEE-DO** (at Auckland)
GM CHOI SUNG JOO (at Auckland)
Thank you for your tireless effort and devotion as Kukkiwon Grandmasters and thank you for teaching me leading up to my 8 Dan promotion test. Your instruction was invaluable and inspiring. I hope to meet again soon.
SUN BAE TAEKWONDO INSTRUCTORS
Master Mark Buxton
Master Shirly Sieh
Thank you for your support and your dedication!
SUN BAE STUDENTS
Directly or indirectly, you have all assisted me personally in my efforts to promote to (Kukkiwon) grandmaster, to which I humbly thank you. I sincerely urge you to continue your Taekwondo journey, the path of which may surprise where it leads. I hope for your lives to be fulfilled and happy.
Bradley John Tatnell
Sun Bae Korean Martial Arts
Kukkiwon 8 Dan Promotion Test
Grading for 8th Dan Kukkiwon requires the applicant to attend at Kukkiwon in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea and physically test in front of a panel grading. It is usually preceded by a four hour warm-up notably conducted by Kukkiwon grandmasters.
GM Bradley attended Kukkiwon on Wednesday 18 January 2023. The temperature was a modest -5c, some other days rising between -9c and -17c (very cold). It had been quite a year of training for GM Bradley, his training program for 8th Dan commencing and intensifying 12 months earlier in February 2022. All was going well: Jidokwan test conducted by GM Sung Soo Lee passed in June 2022, Kukkiwon 3rd Class Master's test at Muju, South Korea, passed in July 2022, Kukkiwon 2nd Class Master's test at Auckland, New Zealand, passed in September 2022 and finally a live performance in front of all the Sun Bae black belts (with 1st gup red belts also invited to attend). Definitely it was no less than a most thorough preparation for a most important milestone in Taekwondo life - Kukkiwon grandmaster.
However, with the plane flight only 7 days away, GM Bradley suffered a horrendous lower back injury to the point where a walking cane was immediately required. That was a Saturday afternoon. The next morning he was graciously accepted by Master (that's master of Asian therapy) Sam Masui into his therapy room. Master Sam was confident and estimated a recovery with 7 days (that's Sunday and the flight was Saturday). Still unable to properly stand in Taekwondo stance, during the week GM Bradley returned to Master Sam and also attended physiotherapist Scott Schulte at Ashgrove Physioworks, also consulting with Doctor David Hunt (an old student and past doctor). Exercises were methodically performed four times per day in between therapy. A final stress test was performed on Friday (the day before the flight). No more walking cane and kicks were going at least to face height.
The grading was on the following Wednesday. Arrival at Kukkiwon was for 10 am training, one hour for lunch, concluding with the exam at 3 pm. This was good, because GM Bradley had not been able to practice any patterns since the accident. Happily, GM Bradley was personally trained (one to one) by the renowned GM Kang Ik-Pil (author of poomsae texts — Director of Poomsae for Kukkiwon and WT). Four hours training — it was an incredible honour.
After meeting Kukkiwon President Lee Dong-Sup, grading was next. The applicants would go in order of country. Hoju is Korean for Australia and unfortunately H is the last letter in the Korean alphabet, meaning GM Bradley would be last on the floor. There were five applicants scheduled for 8 Dan, but one pulled out leaving four. Notwithstanding, it would thankfully not be long to wait, perhaps the low temperatures a deciding factor. The Kukkiwon ceiling soars into the sky actually, but heating was not a problem with large boxes sitting every few metres pushing out hot air.
This grading also marked the introduction of the new basic 8 Dan pattern, GM Bradley having the honour to be the first in the world to perform it at a Kukkiwon test. It is a long wait thereafter of course, news of the successful result coming directly from President Lee Dong-Sup, received by email on 23 March 2023.
Please enjoy the commemorative video which includes action footage and also many photos of the year-long journey...