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Hapkido Graduation

November 19, 2019       PRSU Grounds

The Deputy Commissioner of Police,  Mr. Rusiate Tudravu;
The Chief of Staff - Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Captain John Fox;
Your Excellencies, Heads of Missions and Members of the Diplomatic Corp;
The Unit Commanding Officers;
Players and Officials of the team;
The Good Reverend, Sakaraia Gonelevu;
Captain Tevita Korovou and Members of the RFMF Unarmed Combat Academy;
The 19th Black Belt - Hapkido graduates from the Fiji Police Force, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces;
Spouses, Dependents and Friends;
Sponsors – Voko Industries Ltd, Pizza King & Wishbone Restaurant Ltd, and Jah Hing Enterprises;
Ladies and gentlemen.

Ni sa bula vinaka
and a very good morning to you all.

At the outset, I wish to acknowledge and thank Reverend Gonelevu for his short and Divine inspirational presentation and prayer which has started us off this morning.

Ladies and gentlemen let us continue to acknowledge and thank Almighty God for His Mercy and Blessings upon our beloved Nation and People.

As your President/Head of State and Commander in Chief, I deem it an honour and great pleasure indeed to be invited and officiate as your Chief Guest during this morning’s auspicious occasion when we gather as an extended Family to celebrate the remarkable achievement of today’s 19th Black Belt Graduation Class of Soldiers, Policemen and Women.

To the Graduates, today is not only an ideal opportunity to congratulate you individually and collectively on an important milestone in your careers as Law Enforcement and Peace and Security Officers, but, it is also to acknowledge and commend all those who have played a pivotal role in supporting and training you to be a part of this momentous achievement.

To this end, I would like to pay tribute and thank your coaches, Captain Korovou and his team of instructors, your sponsors, mentors, families and friends for their encouragement and invaluable support. Your success and achievement today is testimony to your commitment, but more importantly to your loyalty in upholding and remaining true and resolute in your desire and passion to improve your state of physical fitness and confidence in the performance of your primary role as members of the Fiji Police Force (FPF) and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

As members of the Disciplined Forces, it is imperative that you fully understand your role and responsibilities at all times as our beloved Nation’s guarantors of Law and Order and Peace and Security. With your newly acquired qualification and experience, I am certain that you can now effectively deal with violent and unruly members of society who unfortunately have become very hostile and violent against members of the FPF in recent times.

However, with your skills and ability as ably demonstrated, you must always remember to act within the ambit of the Law and only react defensively when your life or the safety of others under your care are being threatened or put at risk.

As your Commander-in-Chief, I strongly urge you to be very careful when you interact with members of society and remember that – You must Never over-react nor abuse your power and newly acquired skills.

As you all know, Hap Ki Do is a discipline of coordination, a way of strengthening the mind and body, of fusing the individual’s physical and mental powers so that an individual can become a more fully integrated human being – someone who can confidently and effectively defend him/herself and at the same time protect others.   The word ‘Hapkido’ in fact means; Method or Way (DO) for the coordination Harmony (HAP) of mental Energy or spirit (KI) – ‘HAPKIDO ’!

Ladies and gentlemen, Hapkido was introduced to the RFMF by Grand Master Captain Dong Jin Kim in 1988 to 2000 when he was enlisted into the RFMF and conducted combative and defensive tactics training initially for the Soldiers who were to be posted on Peacekeeping Duties, before this training was further extended to include various law enforcement agencies, the Fiji Corrections Service, the Fiji Intelligence Service, the Fiji Police Force, and the Close protection detail for the President of Fiji.

It is indeed pleasing to note that since then, martial arts training has continued to be part of the upskilling and professional Training Programme for both FPF and RFMF with the establishment of the RFMF Unarmed Combat Academy under the able leadership of Captain Tevita Korovou in 2008, with the aim of also teaching Martial arts techniques of the nonlethal variety which has over the years proven to be most useful here at home and during peacekeeping operational duties, in disarming agitated civilians, dispersing angry mobs and the transfer of unruly prisoners, to name a few tasks which qualified and trained servicemen and women can perform.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a sad reality that a new and unacceptable trend has emerged in today’s society, whereby government officials and law enforcers are being subjected to violent physical and verbal attacks by drunks and hard-core criminals in the course of their work in protecting properties and innocent members of society and ensuring that harmonious social cohesion and law and order are maintained at all times.

Attacks against members of the FPF in the performance of their work in recent times should be condemned in the strongest terms and with the demonstration which we have been privileged to witness today, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Commissioner of Police and Commander RFMF for taking on the challenge of combatting Lawlessness by preparing our present day Servicemen and women well to meet these Present, Real and Dangerous Threat with the infusion of these personnel into the Rank and File of the FPF and RFMF.

Ladies and gentlemen, the government in collaboration with the Heads of the Disciplined Forces are committed to ensuring that the members of the FPF and RFMF are kept abreast of all current security matters and they are also well trained and equipped in terms of capacity and capability to assure and maintain the confidence of our people that the rule of Law will always be maintained at all times.

As the Nation’s Champion and Lead Advocate in promoting Government’s Wellness Programme and our National Campaign against the Threat and Prevalence of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) related ailments, (Hypertension, Diabetes etc), I would like to conclude my comments/presentation this morning by once again reminding All Ranks, in particular, the Command Elements/Echelons of the FPF and RFMF to keep Physically Fit in order that we can continue to honour our allegiance to serve our beloved Nation well – Let us be the role models, like today’s Graduating Class – of well trained, qualified and motivated fit individuals.

To Captain Korovou and his team of officials and instructors, Thank you for a job well done!

To the Graduates, Congratulations once again – your display this morning was undoubtedly enjoyed by all, but more importantly you exuded Confidence, great teamwork, coordination and discipline – much desired traits of a well trained and motivated professional.

Well done and may I wish you well in your work and future endeavours.

Vinaka vakalevu, Thank you and may Almighty God continue to bless our beloved Nation and People.