Sa Bom Nim
“If the teacher has a selfless attitude and is truly concerned about the welfare and development of the artform and the student they will be able to inspire them with limitless opportunities.”
Master Spielkamp is the Sa Bom Nim of Tang Soo Tao. This Korean title is the highest possible in the Tang Soo Tao Organisation, and translates to ”Honorable Teacher Father”. The Sa Bom Nim is therefore both someone who instructs and someone who cares for the student like a parent.
Master Spielkamp credits his Tang Soo journey to his two main teachers, Master Robert Caputo and the Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche.
Master Spielkamp first arrived in Australia from Germany at the age of 21. He wanted an adventure, to discover more about the world and its people and thought Australia would surely provide this. After all, where is the place as far away from anywhere else?
He began his journey in Sydney and subsequently moved to Darwin. That is where Master Spielkamp met his first teacher, Master Caputo whom he helped recover from injuries and coral poisoning sustained on the voyage from Indonesia to Australia. This unique meeting was the beginning of an inspirational friendship and teacher / student relationship.
Through Master Caputo, Master Spielkamp saw that with clear vision an enlightened mind can be achieved through the link between Martial Arts training and Buddhist philosophy. This started Master Spielkamp on his journey, training with his lifelong friend and teacher.
In the mid 1970’s Master Caputo met Zasep Tulku Rinpoche who requested he have an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to demonstrate Tang Soo Tao. At this time, the sharing of ideas between Tibet and Australia was virtually unheard of, but after His Holiness the Dalai Lama observed the artform he gave permission for other meditation masters to give teachings to Master Caputo. Thus the continuing link between Tang Soo and Buddhist philosophies was forged.
In 1979, Master Spielkamp returned to India with Master Caputo and received meditation empowerments from both His Holiness Ling Rinpoche and His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche. This further cemented the connection between martial arts and Buddhist philosophy found in Tang Soo Tao.
A martial art and meditation Retreat Centre was then established by Master Spielkamp on a 108-acre block in Country Victoria. This provided martial artists with the opportunity to immerse themselves in all the physical and mental aspects of Tang Soo Tao.
After Master Caputo’s death in 1985 Master Spielkamp continued his teaching in Melbourne for some years before relocating to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, where he led other Tang Soo practitioners in establishing the headquarters of the Australian Tang Soo Tao Federation. In the late 1990’s Master Spielkamp reconnected with Grand Master Andy Ah Po who further inspired the development of Tang Soo Tao.
Master Spielkamp has subsequently completed many traditional retreats under the guidance of his Root Guru Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche who bestowed the title of Lama (teacher) on him in 2018.
Master Spielkamp has been a leader of the Organisation for almost 50 years and continues to guide and mentor its Instructors to ensure Tang Soo Tao continues to live and grow across Australia, in line with the philosophy and principles that were established in the early years.