June 2000

Maui, Hawaii

By Mr. Bell, Sam Dan

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the instructors, students, families and friends for such a warm welcome to Maui, Hawaii (May 27, 2000)!

After a five hour delay at San Francisco airport and a four-hour plane trip, I arrived at the Kahului, Maui airport about 3:00 pm to be greeted with my second flower lai, by Mr. Roy DeLyon. Mr. DeLyon, the owner and instructor of Up Country Tang Soo Do, assisted me with my bag and rental car, got me on the highway to Kihei. I arrived in Kihei and checked into my condominium, across the street from the beach, on the property of beautiful Kamaole Sands. After a quick stroll on the beach I decided to have dinner and call it an evening, for I was now in vacation mode.

Friday, the only sense of time was sunrise and the continuing flow of energy of the Island, I found myself walking that beautiful beach. After a while I returned to the property to find Dr. Tim Schroeder, from Tahoe City, California, and his two younger children, waiting for me. We had to talk about the plans for the black belt testing scheduled for 6:00 pm. I think Dr. Schroeder picked up on my mode and offered if I wanted to follow he and his family to the testing. I accepted. The test was to be held at the Maui Marriot Kaanapali Beach Hotel in Lahaina, Maui. After relaxing most of the day we decided to leave around 2:00 pm so that we could stop and hook up with Mr. Darrel Pellen, World Tang Soo Do Head of State for Hawaii. After a warm greeting and quick visit with Mr. Pellen, we were on the road to Lahaina. We got to the hotel in time for a late lunch with our Regional Director, Master Jim DeBaca. Time was closing and everyone was coming together. It would be a time that would change six young peopleís life forever and we all knew that. Master DeBaca had the "Master Plan" - he knew it would be exciting for the instructors from the main land to proctor the test. Mr. John Maris, instructor of Truckee Tang Soo Do, Truckee, California and I were the chosen proctors. The panel of examiners was made up of Master DeBaca, Dr. Schroeder and Mr. Pellen. I would like to congratulate those six students as they start the journey of their new life. A special congratulation to Mr. Roy DeLyon for hosting the event and successfully testing for his 2nd Dan. The effectiveness of his teachings was obvious though the support of his students and their families.

When the test ceremony was over I got to meet the third instructor of the Island, Ms. Ruth Lockett, who also lives in Kihei. Ms Lockett teaches in three different locations under club status. It was very interesting talking with her over light dinner and she made sure I was back to Kihei safely.

Saturday, again moving with the flow of the Islandís energy, sunrise walking that beautiful beach, "Iím on vacation... no... Tang Soo Do Clinic 8:00 am...!" Again hooking up with Dr. Schroeder on the road to Lahaina. We arrived on time and everyone was there, the whole Tang Soo Do family kids and adults, all belt levels. Again Master DeBaca had the plan: he wanted the students to be exposed to the mainland instructors. So, after the opening ceremony he divided them into four groups of different ages, named each group and rotated us between them to share our different teaching styles. This was fun. We had lunch at noon on the beautiful lawn at the Marriot Hotel facing the beach and the deep blue ocean. After lunch we dismissed the kids, Master DeBaca took the senior adults and gave us some serious Bong training. The clinic was very inspiring. I think everyone left with something new.

Iíd like to thank a friend of Ms. Chase Traphagen, one of the new Black Belts, for opening her home for a party and inviting the whole Tang Soo Do family and all of us visiting the Island. The party: Good food, nice music, swimming for the kids, warm commonality for all and a view of the sunset that was truly unforgettable. "Pattie, you are truly one of the guiding spirits, Thank You!" Itís time to hit the road back to Kihei, this time no one to follow. Iím on vacation!

Watching the sunrise on the beach quickly became the norm; Sunday was no exception, but it would be the first day to totally relax and I did just that. Hawaiian coffees, California wines and Chinese tea were the beverages to accomplish the mission. I spoke with Ms. Lockett, inquiring about the rain forest, she suggested right away the drive to Hana; but warned me it would be an all day trip.

Monday morning started the same, but about 10:00 am after a stop at the post-office to do the post card thing, I decided to take that trip to Hana. I had circled a couple of towns on the map where I would stop, but I was simply amazed by the breathe-taking scenes this trip gave me. The deeper I drove into forest the more astonished I became. I had heard about "The Road To Hana" though Iím not even sure if I connected it to Maui; however, it seemed to offer at least thirty different waterfalls that came right out of the dark green hillsides. It seemed like every half mile I was stopping to enjoy the view and practice my Qigong. The magnetic flow of the earthís energy on Maui is more spiritual and powerful than any Iíve witnessed. This day was the easiest to feel the oneness with the earth. About twelve miles from Hana on one of my many little excursions off the main road, I came upon this little white church, that I found myself very drawn to. A lady there waved for me to come and introduced herself as a native Hawaiian. She described the little church as St. Gabriel, named in honor of the Queen Gabriela, built in 1862 from the coral off the ocean floor. The lady described two miracles behind the story of the retrieval of the coral... After talking with her about a half hour, she said to me, "youíre on the right path".

Maybe an hour later I was in the little town of Hana. It was at that time I think I finally understood the saying "the road traveled is sometimes more interesting than the destination". After an early dinner in Hana I headed back, not knowing the most spiritual moments were still ahead. I decided to make the circle and see the other side of the Island. About five miles on the drive I came to another narrow bridge, "The Seven Sacred Pools of Hana". This was by far the most exquisite place I had seen, seven waterfalls into their own pool, teardrop right into the other with the last one right into the ocean. Just when I thought it couldnít be any better! A twelve-hour drive Iím sure Iíll never forget: "The Road to Hana"!

Meditation, sunrise and walking the beach, Tuesday started no different. I started to feel my body chemistry changing. This was proven to me when I went back to the condo to shower up for breakfast. I looked in the mirror and the white of my eyes were the brightest Iíve seen them in years. This was good. I decided to take this feeling and this beautiful condominium, that was costing me a small fortune, and enjoy this day just doing nothing. Ms. Lockett called in the afternoon to remind me of a promise to work out with her and meet some of her students, about 5:00 p.m. We were visited by Ms. Traphagen to invite us to a dinner party that would turn into a little celebration for Dr. Schroederís birthday. The evening ended with a long walk on the soft sandy beach enjoying the stars in the warm Maui sky.

After the normal morning routine, Wednesday would bring yet another unforgettable adventure. Ms. Lockett suggested a drive up to the "crater" in Haleakala. We stopped along the way to send an Exotic Tropical Flower Arrangement to my parents in South Carolina and one to my office in California. This drive would summit 10,023 feet. Practicing Qigong at this level was simply electrifying. Mr. DeLyon invited us all to his Dojang Wednesday night for what would be my last workout on Maui. The stage was set for some serious bonding: Black Belts from other styles and other associations of Tang Soo Do were all there, all friends. Mr. Pellen arrived last. I called the group to attention to recognize him as Head of State, in hope that he will remember that moment and the energy he has around him on the Island of Maui. Mr. DeLyon, Ms. Lockett and Mr. Pellen, for letting me be a part of your world, Thank You!

I watched the sunrise and the waves of the beautiful blue ocean, having Hawaiian coffee, from my balcony that Thursday morning. This will be the morning to leave. I am sure Maui will be one of the places I visit again, in what form or time, who knows!

Click here for the Maui picture gallery

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