Matt Geister, Northern Beaches Hapkido

Matt Geister, 5th Degree Black Belt with 35 years of experience in Hapkido, runs Northern Beaches Hapkido Martial Arts, a friendly, family orientated Traditional Martial Arts Dojang/School which teaches Self Defence, Personal Development and Empowerment whilst developing fitness and flexibility.

How did you get started in your business?

My Martial Arts journey started 35 years ago, when I was in year 9, a visiting Tae Kwon Do master came and did a demonstration at my school. This inspired me to commence Martial Arts then and I haven't stopped training since. Kids are our future leaders, our future Black Belts and our future generally. I am passionate about helping them improve so many facets of their life by teaching them values, skills and self confidence, which transfers into all aspects of their lives.

 What is the most challenging aspect you face running your Hapkido School?

One of the big challenges in running a Martial Arts School is being able to blend the business aspect of paying the rent and expenses, yet still maintaining a high standard of Instruction and Technical skill, without rushing students up the ranks towards Black Belts. The younger generation does expect fast results and are less patient to spend many years working tirelessly towards a long term goal such as Black Belt. Patience and persistence are important skills that get re-inforced along the Martial Arts journey in Hapkido.

What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received?

From the feedback I receive, I am hoping that I am keeping a great level of enthusiasm and motivation for all age groups learning Hapkido.

What community events have you been involved in?

Over the past 20 years I have been heavily involved in helping out the local community at Sporting Events, Local school fetes and functions, running Womens Self Defence courses in the area. Our club has raised over $40,000 for the Starlight Foundation by Training Hapkido non-stop for 48 hours , testing our stamina, fitness and concentration in aid of helping those Kids less fortunate than ourselves.

Who inspires you the most?

I have been inspired by some amazing Martial Arts mentors and masters. Grandmaster Matthew Sung Su Kim is my 9th Degree Hapkido Grandmaster, he has been teaching me since I was 16 years of age. There were many times over those years he would push us to our physical and mental limits, but always have a caring, respectful presence. 

The past 20 years it was my direct Master Kevin Brown 7th Degree Hapkido who took over the reins of the Australian Hapkido Association who still now leads us as President and Technical Director. I now hold office on the Committee of the Australian Hapkido Association, along with a dedicated group of Senior Black Belt Masters and Instructors, devoting their passion and valuable time towards the betterment of Hapkido in Australia and around the world.

How do you handle stress?

Stress is such a subjective phenomenon affecting so many of our society. They say if you want to get something done, give it to the person who already has a full plate. It undoubtedly gets done by them.

Stress is a positive driver in many cases, providing we learn how to harness it. Martial Arts has taught me meditation, mindfulness, tolerance and patience . These skills help me divert potential negativity into a positive outcome and the end result can be contagious often finding ourselves surrounded by like minded individuals.

What keeps you busy when you're not working on your business?

When I'm not training Hapkido, you'll find me anywhere there is sun, sea, water and snow. I love to remain active and fit to be able to do all of the fun things in life. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and two awesome children. You'll find us all on the lake or in the surf Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Surfing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Snow Skiing or snowboarding whenever we can.

When I'm not wearing my Martial Arts hat, I run a busy Physiotherapy practice helping people recover from injuries and painful conditions, giving them advice and guidance to stay fit and active well into their older years. Once again I feel grateful that my Physio career, my Martial Arts and love of sports form a continuous circle, none of them feel like I am going to work. The old adage "Take your passion, make it your profession and you'll never have a bad day in your life" rings true in my ears.

What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you?

The terms OCD often get brought up when people describe me. I remind them that there is a difference between taking pride in what I do, and following the words of my late father that "Good enough is just not good enough". My kids would often comment how it's pretty tough having a dad who is so particular, but as they are becoming young adults themselves, much to their horror I see them following the same path in taking that extra care to go above and beyond.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

I have been lucky to have travelled to many wonderful countries and places in our amazing country, but there remain so many adventures for my family and I to go and visit and experience. Amongst them is the majestic Icebergs of Antarctica, tropics of Madagascar and Alaska.

If you could invite any three people (living or dead) to dinner, who would they be?

I would love to have an evening sharing some stories with Bruce Lee, Galileo and the selfless Nelson Mandela and his quest for world peace. I'm not sure how they would all interact, but it would make for an interesting night nevertheless.

What do students enjoy most about your Hapkido teaching?

My Hapkido School teaches Martial Arts to all age groups from Kids 6-12 years old, Teenagers 13-17 years old, and Adults up to 60 years of age. We are never too old to learn, and what is best is that they all enjoy training in a strict yet enjoyable family orientated environment.

Why should students choose Northern Beaches Hapkido?

Northern Beaches Hapkido is still a traditional Korean Martial Art, which does not focus so much on ego, competition and fighting skills, rather on self improvement and confidence resulting in effective Self Defense skills and a strong Spirit.

Find out more about Northern Beaches Hapkido...

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Red Compass Pty Ltd

ABN 47 136 980 777
PO Box 516, Roseville NSW 2069, AUSTRALIA

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