By Sonia Ahmed  |  18 July 2020    

New Zealand is known as the land of peace. It’s one of the safest countries in the world and a  tourist’s dream destination with its lush green landscape, beautiful coastlines, nature carved caves, fertile countryside, and the dazzling snowy mountains.  

Did you know New Zealand is the only agricultural country in the world where sheep have outnumbered the human population?

New Zealand Totem Poles | Fighting Arts Health Lab

New Zealand consists of northern and southern islands divided by the ocean. Due to its geographical location, the temperature in New Zealand remains temperate, neither too hot nor too cold any time.

Besides being a tourist hotspot, the country is credited with practicing many martial art forms that came to this country during the twentieth century.

The northern island is most popular among tourists because of the natural beauty and the iconic landscapes of the Hollywood blockbusters, The Lord of The Ring (LOTR), and The Hobbit Trilogy.

Yes! Peter Jackson’s masterpieces were filmed in this peaceful land, which is the reason for the dramatic increase in tourism in the country.

Hobbiton - The Fairy Land of New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the few countries that are called the land of enchantment. The northern islands are home to the dreamlike Hobbiton, the Shire of LOTR and The Hobbit trilogy. It’s a sheep farm turned into a premier destination where these movie series were filmed. 

New Zealand Hobbiton | Fighting Arts Health Lab

You can reach Hobbiton from Matamata, which is only 15 km away from the Hobbiton, at the center of another magnificent destination, the farming area of Hinuera cliffs.

The entire area will tranquilize your curiosity-filled heart with the teeming green pastures and heavenly beauty of Alexander farm precisely as you have seen in the movies. The most exciting moment is when you visit Hobbit's favorite bar, the ‘Green Dragon,’ and have a complimentary beer from the Hobbit Southfarthing range. 

This guided tour will surely make you feel like a part of the Hobbit family. The Hobbiton offers many suitable tour plans for tourists according to their interests and budget.

Northern Islands - the Cluster of Magic and Fantasies

Another place not to be missed is Waitomo. Hire a boat and begin the timeless journey to behold magical glow worm caves, one of the most visited natural sites in New Zealand.

Once you enter the caves, you have to walk through the underground water under the glow worms’ twinklings, an experience known as the blackwater rafting

If you’re afraid of the dark, you will fall in love this time.

That was just the appetizer, though!

The dramatic journey to exploring New Zealand starts from Tongariro National Park, home to three major volcanic forces, emerald lakes, old lava flows, and steaming craters.

New Zealand Wai o Tapu | Fighting Arts Health Lab

If time is short, grab the cable car’s ticket, the waka gondola, and behold the beautiful rugged pathways of Mt Ruapehu, the world heritage site, and the country’s largest mountain.

The famous Ruapehu mountain is popular for adventurous skiing called the Whakapapa Ski. These trails are LOTR sites of Mountain Doom and the wasteland of Sauron, the main antagonist in the series. The rough exposure of the mountain scenery was a perfect depiction of his adversary and Frodo’s struggle to destroy the ring on volcanic Mountain Doom.

Tongariro National park is a sacred place for the Maori people. There’s a 1000 years’ worth of history to discover and a unique chance of experiencing the Tamaki Maori experience.

The park is also blessed with Taupo Lake, the second-largest freshwater lake in the pacific region. The popularity of Taupo also lies in the increasing interest of people in martial arts. Today many martial arts dojos are established in this region not far from these natural sites.

You can stay at the finest tourist lodges around Lake Taupo, which are quite near Whakapapa ski fields and at the center of so many exciting activities. You can even practice martial arts in the best dojos in the Taupo district.

Kiaido Ryu Martial Arts - The House of Future Martial Artists

Kiaido Ryu Martial Arts (KRMA) is one of the finest martial arts institutions with many branches in the country, including Taupo. The KRMA institution was founded in 1983, headed by grandmaster Lance Strong, 9th Degree Black Belt, and his wife Ava Strong, 8th Degree Black Belt.

Being affiliated with Grandmaster Leo Fong's Wei Kuen Do, World Martial Arts Federation, and Dillman Karate International USA, KRMA is authentic in its teachings and methods.

New Zealand Kiaido Ryu Martial Arts | Fighting Arts Health Lab

The popular course Self-Defense by KRMA can empower you through nonviolent strategies and combat tactics, joint-locking, throws, and takedowns. Traditional Karate Kata is an added accomplishment.

At KRMA, you can also learn the internal Qigong and meditation system to improve the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of life.

However, KRMA’s most popular course, The Warriors Wisdom, personally developed by Lance Strong, is the finest of all. The grandmaster penned down his knowledge, experience, and wisdom in his book Warriors Wisdom. The content for the Warrior Wisdom course is taken from this book.

This program can enable you to learn self-mastery through principles of concentration, focus, and self-development by the Warrior Wisdom mentors. It’s a rigorous program so if you think you have achieved the best of your potential, you must try it. 

Grandmaster Lance Strong - An Inspiration for the Youth

Lance Strong has been a passionate martial arts practitioner for the last six decades, with 35 years of experience as a senior mentor at KRMA. He is also a senior instructor for Dillman Karate International.

Lance Strong | Fighting Arts Health Lab

Source: stuff.co.nz/waikato-times

He received his 9th-degree black belt from the famous Grandmaster Leo Fong, a 10th-degree black belt. Master Leo Fong appreciated Lance Strong’s commitment to the martial arts community in these words:

"Lance is a visionary who sees martial arts as a continuous journey toward self-improvement. He is a true teacher who can guide students to the door of knowledge and inspire them to enter and discover themselves."

Did you know, Lance Strong also helped choreograph combat stunts for the famous Hollywood programs like Hercules and Xena? 

Lance started his martial arts journey in 1958 from New Zealand. He is regarded as the top practitioner of Budokan Karate, Shito Ryu Karate and Zen Do Kai forms of martial arts. 

Grandmaster Lance attends many international seminars for the development and progress of martial arts and shares his knowledge with the upcoming generation. If you hope to meet him during your New Zealand trip, make sure to contact KRMR headquarters to confirm his presence. 

If you plan to visit the northern island, make sure you burn the boats before coming because you don’t want to regret leaving any area unexplored.

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About the author

Sonia is a holistic health and fitness writer who believes that we cannot lead a happy and fulfilling life unless we treat ourselves and the environment with equal care. Being a mum and a full-time professional writer, she knows how everything else takes a back seat when duties call. As a professional writer, she considers it her duty to inspire, motivate, and educate people about the miracles of a healthy and fit lifestyle, one that's in sync with the environment.

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