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SaBomNim Tom (Chief Instructor)

Posted on January 25, 2010

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About SaBomNim Tom Adam

I started Hapkido Canberra in 2011 after moving from Queensland with my wife and young children when my wife took a job offer that could not be refused.

I always tried to keep my ambitions for the Dojang small, with my students always seeing the potential for a huge Dojang. We started in January 2011 with 3 students and by January 2015 we have grew to over 150 students from 4yrs - 60yrs and a permanent facility in Philip.

As you will see from below, and if you meet me in person, I am always willing to discuss my personal Hapkido journey and personal life freely as I believe that Hapkido should be part of your life - not just an extra curricular activity.

Without the students of Hapkido Canberra, simply put the Dojang would not exist. I will always try to remember to thank each and every student for their contributions to this Hapkido Community that we have developed.


October 1979



Born in Sydney, raised on the Gold Coast. Attended University in Canberra and relocated to Canberra with my family in December 2010.


Previous Martial Arts Experience:

  • Judo
  • Tae Kwon Do


Why you started Hapkido:

Honestly, the moment I decided to start martial arts again happened before I started Hapkido.

A few years before I started Hapkido, my wife and I were enjoying a night out with a old friend. Happened that he had a few of his friends - who we didn't know - at his house also.

As it got late, my wife and I decided to leave and one of the people we didn't know made a smart remark as we left. I brushed it off, but in doing so I somehow enraged him. We started to leave and his colleague pushed me off him and offered his hand to shake..... He then pulled me in and tried to headbutt me and broke my cheak bone.

I knew the next day that my Judo and Tae Kwon Do training couldn't do anything to help me during what had taken place. 

I started looking for a martial art that could help, and one day came across Hapkido. I started my first class and years later I am a Master of Hapkido and SaBomNim of one of the largest Dojangs in Australia.


Favourite part of Hapkido:

This is a hard one as I enjoy so much of and about Hapkido. Honestly my favourite part is the flexibility of the syllabus. So many martial arts have a fairly limited list of available techniques, where as Hapkido has such a depth (with 3,600+ techniques) that there is more than a lifetime of learning available.

Not only that, one person can focus and develop a whole range of techniques specific to their physical abilities. Someone with bad knees can develop techniques that work other areas, where someone with great kicking skills can work that strength.

For me, at my current level, I am focusing on Hapkido as a conversation. Where the techniques will lead me based on how my opponent will react and or interact with me.

All up, I think I just have fun - that's most important of all.


What you think the most important thing/lesson you've learnt doing Hapkido:

That I don't need to show anyone what I can do! I will avoid confrontation at all costs.


Your thoughts on Martial Arts in General:

Hapkido Canberra is my thoughts on Hapkido, this website is full of information about my thoughts, beliefs and understanding of martial arts and hapkido.