WHEN applied by the experts, the martial art of Hap Ki Do is a ferocious form of controlled aggression. So to find an Aussie priest teaching it to parishioners seems at odds with a couple of Christian edicts.
“That depends on your interpretation,” says Rev Dave Smith, 31, Anglican minister of the Holy Trinity Parish, Dulwich Hill. “Hap Ki Do can be can be taught to be a defence against attackers and I teach non-destructive moves. We work towards co-operative techniques and in class no one is trying to hurt anyone.”
As for the eastern philosophies that go with Hap Ki Do, Rev Smith says he starts and ends his classes with prayers to God (not Buddha). “The sport came from the Buddhist Monks but so did sweet and sour pork and we don’t frown on eating said that.”
Rev Smith has been teaching in the Dulwich Hill/Marrickville region for two years and admires the work boxing trainer Johnny Lewis has done with street kids in Newtown. “A constant prayer of mine is to get kids off the street and into the classes,” he said. In October, Rev Smith, who has been in the ministry for five years, will compete in a Hap Ki Do tournament. “I haven’t competed for many years but over the past year I have been training six days a week and I’m keen to improve past my black belt stage.”
Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday nights in Dulwich Hill Parish Hall.