Fitness and Self Defence

John Tomic

Chief Instructor

St George & Bankstown NSW Regions

Branch / Region

Oatley Dojang / St George NSW Region

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

I have now been involved in Taekwondo for over 30 years. I started training in Taekwondo in Concord West in 1984 at the tender age of 21. A school friend of mine convinced me to take it up as a good form of exercise. I trained for approximately 4 years at that branch which consisted mainly of adults. We also entered some tournaments which I enjoyed at the time.

I moved out of that area when I got married and over the next 10 years dabbled in other martial arts. It was in the late 1990’s that I joined Master Paul and started training at the Penshurst Branch. I then moved over to the Oatley Branch and achieved my 1st Degree Black Belt in 1999. I have been teaching at that branch ever since.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

While achieving my 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dan Black belts have been personal highlights, nothing gives me greater joy than for one of my students to achieve their Black Belts. I have instructed over 50 students in achieving their Black Belts over the last 13 years including two of my own children.

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

My first black belt grading was nerve-racking. I remember sparring lots of the instructors and even found myself on the ground at one stage with two burly instructors hovering over ready to “continue” the “massage” session. It took a lot of hard work and lots of extra training, but it was well worth it.

How often do you train in Taekwondo, Gym etc?

I teach 2 classes, two nights a week and attend other senior training sessions whenever they are on. With a big family, it is not always easy to fit instructing and training into home and work life, so I try to do extra curricular training activities at night (patterns/stretching) and local exercise classes.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

Double kicks – various
Spinning heel.

What are your personal goals for the future?

To build up the three regions I am responsible for.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

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

Stick with it, you will improve and be able to do things over time that appear hard now.

A lot of new students think that the Four Directional Punch (White Belt Patterns) or Tan Gun pattern are quite difficult, but later on they appear quite simple. The same applies with your sparring and even board breaking. I did not break my two board side kick on my first attempt during my 1st Dan grading. I also thought that this was sometimes beyond me. However with more experience comes more confidence and at my 4th Dan grading I broke a 4 board side kick on my first attempt.

Remember, achieving your black belt is really the start of your training.

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

I enjoy golf especially getting away for a weekend to hang out with my mates.

Favourite movie(s) and why?

All the Star Trek movies – just because. All those really silly comedies – because I like a good laugh.

Favourite food?

Pizza and steak.

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

To continue doing what I love doing – Instructing.

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