Master, Quest Martial Arts
Hapkido (6th Dan), 1994 - present
Tae Kwon Do (1st Dan) 1988 - 1994
When people think of a martial artist, they generally think of Bruce Lee or another martial arts superstar. So, when they discover that Master Debbie Bannister is a martial artist, too, they’re generally taken aback – she simply doesn’t fit the expected profile. Master Debbie is female, not exactly young anymore, (she’s over 60 yrs. old), and has 3 grown sons! What they don’t realize is that martial arts training isn’t about being able to perform the fantastic, sometimes aerial feats that the superstars can do. Rather, it’s about doing your personal best in martial arts and in life in general.
Master Debbie began studying martial arts in 1987 when her son, Jim, (Master Jim) and she signed up at a local Tae Kwon Do school. Jim, then 5 years old, had been identified as having an attention deficit disorder and was dyslexic. Master Debbie and her husband hoped that martial arts would help with Jim’s focus and confidence. And, it did! However, just before their 2nd Dan black belt test, after 6 ½ years of training and 10 frustrating Instructor changes at the school they were at, they decided a change was in order.
Master Debbie and Master Jim discovered Global Martial Arts Academy in 1994 and began studying Hapkido under Master Joe Borucki. They became Assistant Instructors in 1997 and were promoted to full Instructors in 1998, after they passed their 1st Dan black belt test in Hapkido. They’ve since been promoted up to 6th Dan (on October 14th, 2017) and have been teaching and training in Hapkido now for quite a number of years!
In addition to her excellent training under Master Borucki, through our affiliation with The United States Korean Martial Arts Federation (USKMAF), Master Debbie has had the opportunity to train under some of the most renowned Masters in the world including Grandmaster Bong, Soo Han - the “Father of Modern Hapkido,” Dr. He-Young Kimm - Hapkido and Kuk Sool Won Grandmaster and Founder of Han Mu Do, Grandmaster Kim, Jung Soo (Korea) - one of the three original students of Choi, Yong Sool (Founder of Hapkido), Grandmaster J. R. West - President of the USKMAF, Master Geoff Booth (Australia) – President of the International Hapkido Alliance and the Australian Hapkido Group, and Master Rudy Timmerman (Canada) – President of the National Korean Martial Arts Association.
Master Debbie enjoys teaching because while we teach the kicks, falls and self-defense techniques that students come here expecting, Quest also focuses heavily on helping its students become better people through their martial arts training. Our instructors emphasize personal development: tenacity, confidence, focus, self-discipline, and the setting and achieving of goals – lessons that will serve them through life and help them make better choices at home, in school, at work and with their peers.
Another thing Master Debbie loves about martial arts training is that it has always helped to keep her grounded when life doesn’t go as planned. It’s given her an inner strength that she hopes she’s passing on to her students.
In addition to being a Hapkido Master, Master Debbie has also been trained and certified as a Reiki Master. Reiki is a type of energy (Ki) healing.