Fitness and Self Defence

Mykl Devlin

Branch Instructor

Branch / Region
Toowoomba / Qld

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

I have been doing martial arts for 3 decades.  Most of that has been Taekwondo.

My martial arts started when my Mum suggested I go and try it out while I was in high school…. I took to it straight away and have always been doing some sort of training since.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

I still look at my first black belt grading as a major highlight.  It was something I had put many years into, and I was proud of the achievement.

There is a particular move in one of the patterns I am learning at moment (a slow side kick that is held up while I rotate my body through 180 degrees).  Once I finally get that move right, it will be an achievement I will be proud of too!

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

As I got closer to my black belt, I was training at least once a day, and then running through all my patterns each night. Even after that much training I was still not sure I was ready, but I trusted my instructor when he said I was.

The grading was exhausting, and I was definitely pushed hard.  There were times during the grading when my techniques felt awesome, and other moments where I had to convince myself to keep going.  In the end, I felt I had really earned the belt – and that made it worth so much more.

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

I do some sort of training every day.  Whether it is Taekwondo, going to the gym or just playing and moving.  The playing could be jumping over things, learning to move a different way, wrestling with my sons (which is MUCH more taxing now that they are nearly as strong as me).

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

Probably the step in side kick, although at any given time it is likely to be whatever currently-impossible-for-me move I am trying to get right at that moment.  (jumping 360 turning kick from a kneeling position?).

What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?

Right now I am concentrating on getting ready for my third dan grading.  My other goals are around training other people to be the best they can be.

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

Absolutely!! Taekwondo is how I met my wife!  It is something that my wife and two sons and I all do as a family.  It really is an important part of who we are.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

“The more I learn, the more I realise how much I still have to learn.”  This applies to Taekwondo, and to everything else in my life.  Luckily, I really enjoy learning.

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

Things take time – practice.  Don’t expect to be able to do something well the first time, and it might not even feel quite right by the hundredth time.  Keep working on it.   Even then, once something is good, deliberately practicing can make it better.

Have goals, but enjoy the process.  Enjoy having something that you cannot do, knowing that it is up to you to practice and revise until you can do it.

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

I am happy to join in most other sorts of physical activity, and normally enjoy it – from bouncing on trampolines through to going for bush walks or paddling on a river.  I consume a lot of books: fiction and non-fiction.   I also enjoy photography and occasionally some electronics and programming.

Favourite movie(s) and why?

The Princess Bride”.   A wonderful movie that anyone can watch… and with a quote for every situation!  I have lost count of the number of times it has saved my life by dealing with ROUSs and avoiding iocane powder.

Favourite food?

There is no competition: My wife’s home made pizzas!

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

Still training, still moving, still enjoying watching the improvements in the people I teach.

 

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