The KMA Masters Hall Of Fame is the brainchild of Grandmaster Rudy W. Timmerman. The idea behind the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame is to induct only a few of the true Movers and Shakers of Korean martial arts at each event, so that their induction can be celebrated in a manner that befits their hard work. By having just a handful of inductees each year, we can truly focus on each individual. In addition, NO ONE can "buy" his or her way into the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame… the awards and dinner are free to all Inductees.
Having been inducted into a number of Halls Of Fame himself over his more than sixty-five years in martial arts, GM Timmerman noticed that most of these events are not worthy of being called a Hall Of Fame. In fact, many of them merely "sell" expensive dinner tickets that in effect "buys" inductees their honour, alongside of throngs of martial arts practitioners no one has ever heard of. GM Timmerman strongly believes that true icons of Korean martial arts deserve better than to stand in line in order to receive an essentially meaningless award.
Introduction by the Founder of the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame
GM Rudy W. Timmerman
Greetings, and thanks ever so much for taking the time to read this letter. Rather than bore you with my personal bio, I thought I would take this space to talk to you about my reasons for creating the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame. I have attended a number of Halls Of Fame, and I found most of them to be little more than a nice social where people pay a high price for dinner to be inducted (along with hordes of people no one has ever heard of). To me, that is just jot right. An induction into ANY Hall Of Fame should be much more than a fun evening and a plaque. It should be an honour that comes to the few who have risen to a particular height in their chosen field to stand head and shoulders above the rest. To be sure, there are LOTS of people who deserve accolades, but to be inducted into a Hall Of Fame is much more than that... it is the pinnacle of achievement that very few attain.
How we choose our Inductees:
This MUST mean that we can't just choose from the few people we are fond of or are close to. To be meaningful, it must come from the countless Korean martial arts practitioners around the world. Today, with social media reaching even the farthest corners of the world, this is possible, and I created several groups and a Page on Facebook where people from around the world can make their voices heard and nominate candidates. In addition to this, I have created an Ambassador Team of highly dedicated martial arts Masters who give freely of their time to help me sort through the many nominations, in order to ensure that we select the best candidates for induction. As the founder, I take their advice, mull it over, work out the logistics of the candidates, contact them to see if they are able to attend, and make the final decision on who is to be inducted for our events.
To be nominated is just a small part of the process, and even to be voted for in numbers is not enough. To be inducted means that a candidate MUST be able to attend. To me, there is absolutely no use in having a Hall Of Fame banquet where the inductees don't show up, as we are NOT a mail order Hall Of Fame. This can be a problem, because when the best of the best are nominated, we are dealing with a group of Grandmasters and Masters who have very busy agendas of their own. In fact, those nominated to be inducted are often too busy to attend. When this happens, we simply place their nominations back into our database for future considerations. Beside these logistics, we also have to deal with the egos of candidates. For example, we may have inducted a student of a Grandmaster before that Grandmaster himself is inducted. For example... even though it may have made perfect sense to induct a student into the Competitor category, for some Grandmasters, this is a blow to their ego, and they refuse to accept their own nomination later. As you can see, the entire process is NOT an easy thing.
After all of the selections have been worked out to come up with an Honour Roll for a given year, a Hall Of Fame does not just happen... it will take a LOT of people working very hard toward the common goal of honouring the icons and legends of Korean martial arts who stand head and shoulders above most. No one can BUY their way into the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame; and, while the inductee pays for his own travel and lodging expenses, WE pay for the inductees' dinner and awards. This means that we HAVE to have supporters who pay to attend our functions.
The KMAM HOF is more than just a Banquet:
To this end, the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame holds its banquet in conjunction with some other activity that attracts students. This may come in the form of seminars by top Grandmasters, or even a tournament. Naturally, we also hope that inductees themselves will bring some supporters who wish to celebrate their Grandmaster's achievement. As with any new event, it will take many years before we gain the kind of notoriety that will self fulfill the financial needs to make the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame a success. Even so, the inaugural KMAM event in 2014 was a complete sell out months in advance, and the 2015 event in Philadelphia, hosted by GM Ken MacKenzie, was also a huge success. So, even though we are a new adventure, our success HAS been significant.
Our upcoming event for 2016 is held in conjunction with the Korean Martial Arts Festival, hosted by Chiefmaster Thomas Gordon in beautiful Crestview, Florida. The KMAF, according to Black Belt Magazine and Tae Kwon Do Times, is one of the top ten MUST attend events of Korean martial arts. I am proud to say that this event grew from a one man show ( I was the sole presenter at the first KMAF), to an event that has a dozen or more of the very BEST Grandmasters and Master sharing their art. To have the KMA Masters Hall of Fame share the tenth anniversary of the KMAF is without a doubt going to be THE Korean martial arts event of 2016.
Chiefmaster Gordon and I are working very hard on making SURE of that, and I have personally designated the 2016 KMAMHOF to be THE Road Trip for members of the National Korean Martial Arts Association. I urge ALL our members, wherever you are located, to join our efforts. I will personally lead a Canadian group of students on our drive to sunny Florida (by April, I can't see anything more enjoyable for a Canadian than to get away from snow), and we will stop along the way in Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky to pick up more NKMAA members. Together, we will form a caravan and have a BLAST driving to join the fun in Florida. Contact me if you wish to join our NKMAA Caravan to Soar With the Best.
From our group of Ambassadors, we have selected those Ambassadors who have shown by example that they are Movers and Shakers. This elite Team will wear a special KMAM Blazer (adorned with a very special crest only available to this Team), nice grey trousers, and a red tie and pocket square. These Ambassadors will be a very active part of the event, and every single one of them will do his or her level best to make the evening a memorable one. I thank all of you for the dedication you have shown, and it is no wonder that many Ambassadors end up being inducted themselves... after all, it IS the Movers and Shakers of KMA that make icons and legends.
Learn more about our Ambassadors by visiting the Ambassador page on this site. If you are interested in joining our Ambassador Team, please contact me at email@example.com
Who Is Who In Korean Martial Arts:
To round out my efforts to honour the Icons and Legends of Korean martial arts, I have also created the Who Is Who In Korean Martial Arts Book. The first edition was made available at the inaugural KMA Masters HOF event in Canada, and it nearly sold out completely. I had eight copies left, and they have since been purchased. Like the KMA Masters Hall Of Fame, this book will grow as time passes, and I hope to have the second edition out by the time the 2016 event takes place. To write such a book is an enormous task, so I can't promise to have the second edition ready by next April. Suffice it to say, I will do my best.
How can YOU be part of the event?
In closing, many martial artists would love to be inducted into a true Hall Of Fame; however, to be inducted in THIS Hall Of Fame, you must be a true Mover and Shaker. Don't be content to sit back and let others lead... become a leader yourself. MAKE the waves that get you noticed, and BE involved. Above all, be the kind of martial artist whose word is as good as gold. Integrity is a MUST to Soar With The Best.
Here is how you can make a start. PLAN to attend the 2016 KMA Masters Hall Of Fame, JOIN us on the mats of the KMA Festival, LEARN from the best of the best, and CELEBRATE the achievements of those who have done all of that. Without planning, most people get a nasty surprise when the time comes to make their plan come true. For some it will be time, and for others it will be funds. BOTH problems can be avoided. First off, you need to motivate yourself and THAT is best done by getting others to come with you. Next, you MUST make sure that you set aside the time. Make sure to book your holiday, and take your family along ( Crestview has some of the most beautiful beaches in the World). Without funds, NOTHING ever gets accomplished, so begin NOW to set aside a few dollars each month. Take advantage of the discounts offered by CM Gordon, and sign up now. These discounts far outpace any interest you can get, so early enrolment is by far the best investment you can make.
By doing all of the above, we WILL see you next April in Sunny Florida. I look forward to seeing you there 🙂