A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY ON
Brian Hamlet, Chief Instructor
By Dara Durell
As many of you may know, the Chief Instructor and founder of our successful programs at the American Taekwondo Academy is Mr. Brian Hamlet. But you may not know his background or the history of his success in martial arts.
Mr. Hamlet began his martial arts journey as a white belt at the age of 15 at Robinson's Taekwondo School in Citrus Heights, California. Since that time , Mr. Hamlet has trained with many high ranking masters from various martial arts. From Taekwondo, Mr. Hamlet has trained with Grand Master H. U. Lee and Master Jee Ho Lee. Master Kim in Tae Ku Mul Sul. Shihan (Master) Mikio Nishiuchi in Okinawan Kobudo. However, his most memorable moments of training were from Master Robinson himself, now a 8th degree black belt. From black belt classes, awards ceremonies, to instructor camps harder than many military training camps, Mr. Hamlet has fond memories of Master Robinson. One example was at an awards ceremony held in one of Master Robinson's Sacramento schools. Out of three instructors assisting at the awards ceremony, only two were told what their board breaks were to be. Master Robinson then said, "Don't worry Mr. Hamlet, you'll find out at the awards ceremony." During the ceremony the other two instructors broke their boards, then Master Robinson directed a student to sit on top of another student's shoulders and hold a board. Mr. Hamlet had to break the board that was two feet above his head with a jump roundhouse kick. No problem! Master Robinson smiled as he then uncovered his next surprise. Under a towel he had placed three 2" bricks with NO spacers (small sticks placed between the bricks to make the break easier by causing a chain reaction type of break) At this point, Mr. Hamlet had never even seen anyone break bricks, but with his indomitable spirit and enthusiasm, his break with an elbow strike was a success! (there is an 8" x 10" photo of this feat in the Vacaville Taekwondo office) Master Robinson will always remain a guiding light in Mr. Hamlet's martial art career.
Some of Mr. Hamlet's successes in his over 28 years of training include being
a certified instructor with the American Taekwondo Association and Taekwondo America. He has won many regional tournaments from the Sacramento area to Oceanside, as well as being a winner in the World Championships with the American Taekwondo Association, and a national champion with Taekwondo America. He has held several organization offices, such as Regional Chief of Trainee Instructors, Regional Chief of Tournaments, and Regional Vice-President. Mr. Hamlet also has black belt ranks in other martial arts such as Kobudo, an Okinawan weapons martial art. In 1989, he began, along with 24 other black belt instructors from various martial arts, his training with Shihan Nishiuchi, who has been training in martial arts for almost five decades. For one year, these instructors committed their Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for grueling weapons training. Out of the 25 that began, only 11 made it to testing, and then only three passed the five hour long test and graduated 1st degree Black Belt. Mr. Hamlet was one of those three that passed the test.
Of course, Mr. Hamlet believes his biggest reward comes from passing on his martial arts skills to those willing to learn. These dedicated students need not be or ever become National Champions, because the qualities and skills that Mr. Hamlet wants his students to achieve come from consistent training, not from competing for prizes. Since 1987, when Mr. Hamlet started teaching in this area, he has been sharing his skills and martial arts knowledge with his students. He has also helped several students to become teachers of Taekwondo. So, now you know a little bit of history and the experiences of the dedicated Taekwondo Instructor that will teach you or your children.