The first gathering of the International Combat Hapkito Federation was held recently in Phoenix, Ariz. in November. Hapkito Black Belt earners came from all over the world marking the 20th Anniversary of the ICHF. Well trained Martial Artists from all over the globe including, but not limited to: Canada, India, Finland, Dubai, France, Italy, Germany, Panama, Mexico, Spain, New Zealand, and Japan joined our own residents: Master Ivan Jadric and other Tehachapi Combat Hapkito students for this historic gathering.
Many of the local students who joined Master Jadric and his wife, Maria Jadric, not only to receive their own certificates of accomplishments but were on hand to help honor Master Jadric for his 50 years of Martial Arts training and commitment.
Grand Master John Pellegrini, the man who introduced Hapkido to adult students beginning in 1987 at his Florida studio, presented Master Jadric with a plaque, a trophy and two certificates for Jadric's dedication and excellence of service as an instructor and a 50 year participant in Martial Arts.
"I am honored to be presented with the Award of Excellence," said Master Ivan Jadric of the Tehachapi Martial Arts Center in Old Towne. "But I am more proud that so many of my students have been recognized for their hard word and achievements."
Tehachapi Black Belts were not to be left out of this historical gathering. A wide range of Black Belts were earned: Derek Demus a 4th degree, Jeff Burchtold a 3rd degree, Kerstin Bassler-Fraijo, Frank Andrade III, Mark Oskay, Ida Tommysen, Matthew Trigo and Victoria Way all earned their 1st degree Black Belt and many have been included the first book of "Whos's Who in Hapkido."
Many people come to Martial Arts for different reasons: exercise, discipline, self improvement, are a few reasons. Master Jadric's Martial Arts training began after a motorcycle accident that nearly cost him his life when he was 19 years old. After spending a year in hospital Martial Arts, it was a way from Jadric to regain his body's tone, strength and it was his avenue to regaining his mental strength and discipline as well.
"It is a lot of pain, sweat and hard work, but I don't know how to quit," the Croatian born Jadric said to newer students.
Over the last 50 years Jadric has not only regained his physical strengths and abilities but surpassed many expatiations by studying, practicing and becoming a master in not one but two styles of Martial Arts: Hapkido and Ta Kwan Do.
As Master Jadric presented his students with their ICHF Black Belt certificates he reminded the recipients and the younger students sporting white, yellow, purple, green and red belts, "Certifications are more than a piece of paper, it shows your achievement, something you have earned. My son," Jadric went on to explain, "waited one full year to get his, I waited about six years for my first Black Belt."
"This is a big accomplish for me," Kerstin Bassler-Fraijo said with a well earned touch of pride. "Sometimes, when you are older you don't think you can accomplish things, but I am the mother of two, over 40 and I work a couple of jobs and I did it," Bassler-Fraijo said as she graciously accepted her 1st degree certificate for her Black Belt in Combat Hapkido. "It was most impressive, for me, having so many forms of disciplines represented," 4th degree Black Belt Derek Demus said.
Master Jadric was honored because he has earned a 7th degree/dan in Combat Hapkido and in Ta Kwan Do, he is an ICHF Charter holder, he is a certified ICHF Senior Master, an International Ta Kwan Do Association Charter holder, is a Certified ITA Senior Master, holds his 1st degree in Judo and Tai Chi.
And at 70 years old he has no plans of stopping.
"My next goal is to become a Grand Master," Jadric said as he encouraged others of all ages to keep setting goals and working towards them.