Fitness and Self Defence

Andrew Parkinson

Branch Instructor

Branch / Region

Gymea North Dojang / Sutherland NSW Region

How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?

I have been training for 10 years and I started to support my children.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

Receiving my 2nd degree black belt. Seeing a student that I have trained receive their black belt. Being involved at the beginning of United Taekwondo.

Describe your first black belt grading and what it took to get you there?

My first black belt was one as a spectator. My son was a junior student at the time and I remember thinking about the dedication it would take to achieve this standard. I joined as a student several months later with the idea of maybe getting a little fitter without even thinking of being a black belt as a goal. As I trained and got encouragement from my instructors and senior students my confidence grew to the point where I felt achieving a black belt was a possibility. When I eventually got approval from Master Paul to apply for my black belt it was a day that gave me a lot of pride. From then I put my head down and trained harder than ever. When the big day arrived I was very nervous until a few encouraging words from Master Paul helped me calm down. The rest of the day was smooth sailing. My first grading dinner was also a highlight as I was now being accepted as a part of the Taekwondo family.

How often do you train in Taekwondo, gym etc?

Kostya Tszyu once said that every aspect of his life is part of his training regime.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

Back kick and jumping side kick.

What are your goals in Taekwondo?

I would like to become a 3rd degree Instructor. I have 4 black tips in my branch who I would like to get their black belts.

What would you like to see more of or less of in United Taekwondo that could benefit members?

I would like to see more inter-centre activities to cultivate the family feeling of United Taekwondo.

Has Taekwondo benefited home life? If so in what way?

My two children are students and my wife does the bookwork at my centre so Taekwondo is an activity that brings my whole family together.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

“Do unto others that which you would have done to yourself“
This means treat other people the way you would like to be treated.

Best advice you can give someone training and wishing to start training in Taekwondo?

Take small steps and enjoy every aspect of your training.

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

Going out to dinner or the movies or sometimes both. I enjoy a game of golf or tennis. But what I enjoy most is spending time with family and friends.

Favourite movie(s) and why?

The Matrix trilogy because of the action and the story line.

Favourite food?

Roast pork with crackling.

With regards to Taekwondo where do you see yourself in 5 years?, 10 years?

5 years – I would like to be an area instructor with centres in Brighton, Sans Souci and maybe Ramsgate.
10 years – I would like the live on the far north coast of NSW with a few centres around the Lismore / Ballina area.

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