Fitness and Self Defence

Gary Thyregod

Branch Instructor

Branch / Region

Lugarno Dojang / St George NSW Region

Branch Instructor Gary Thyregod

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

I have been training in Taekwondo for at least 25 years. I started in 1983 with a few friends that I used to play squash with. The squash centre we attended started Taekwondo classes, so we tried it out and I have been doing it ever since.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

Receiving my first Dan black belt was a highlight, then receiving my second Dan even a bigger highlight, then receiving my third Dan was even bigger still ! Once you have received your black belt your highlights continue every time one of the students you instruct receive their black belt.

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

My first black belt grading was a bit of a surprise because I went to grading as a grade 2 going for my grade 1, but I was selected grade for my black belt. I hadn’t broken many boards at all, so it was going to be very interesting to see what all my training was able to do. All my breaks went well except the 2 board side kick which I attempted several times, until the Master said “if you don’t break this time , you will have to break 3 boards !” With a lot of determination I broke them. I do remember being totally exhausted at the end after all the sparring.

How often do you train? In Taekwondo? Gym? etc.

I instruct two nights a week, where I will try and get involved with the class, that way I get a work out as well. I also try to get to the Gym to do a boxing class or spin class on a weekly basis. I also Cycle 100 to 200 kilometres per week on a regular basis. I also try and attend other halls whenever possible.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

My favourite move would have to be Crescent kicks. Inner! Outer! Reverse jumping! Bring it on!

What are your goals in Taekwondo for 2012?

To train as much as I can, and to stretch more. Try and focus on getting the students a better result in their training, and those going for their black belt better prepared.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

Hips Square! This means in a forward stance your hips are perpendicular to your feet.

If you cheat, you’re only cheating on yourself! Self explanatory.

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

Great sport to do to keep mentally & physically fit! Great for the family to do together! Starting off, work to your own ability, listen, look and persevere! Also good as a stress release as well as many more benefits.

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

I’m a Jeweller by trade and enjoy designing & making Jewellery. I have my wife and three children who I enjoy spending time with. I enjoy lots of things, Holidays, Movies, Cars, Surfing, Building things, Living!

Favourite movie(s) and why?

I enjoy a cross section of movies, but do prefer action! I did enjoy Face off, great concept, John Travolta & Nicholas Cage. Kill Bill, action flick with great fight scenes & Ulma Thurman. Slumdog Millionaire, great music and true to life, a reality check. I also enjoy futuristic movies like Water World & Avatar, they make you think what may be a reality in the future.

Favourite food?

I enjoy a medium rare steak! A good Pizza! Fettuccine Gorgonzola & Prosciutto! Seafood! A good cheese! Chocolate!

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

Hopefully still training !

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