Fitness and Self Defence

Steven Cain

Branch Instructor

Branch / Region

Campbell Dojang  / Canberra ACT Region

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

I always was interested in learning a Martial Art and I was also looking for avenues to increase my fitness. I have been training for about six years in Taekwondo. I started in another school but then moved to United Taekwondo when my other school closed in Canberra.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

Obtaining my Black Belt after a major set back and disruption in my training was a major success. After being about a month off my Black Belt training date, my original school had to close down. I then joined United Taekwondo, but had to re-learn a lot of what I had just spent many months ingraining into my training and techniques. But then being able to perform to the level required to receive my Black Belt after this set back, I was ecstatic. And then being promoted to Instructor to show that I had been able to learn the skills and be able to teach them was another great day in my Taekwondo life.

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

It was a very long road to get to my black belt grading. Having trained hard in preparation, only to have that pulled from my grasp about a month out was a huge blow. And then starting my training again took a lot of perseverance to continue. Luckily I had an amazing Instructor in Chief Instructor Brett so that was a huge help to my training. But when I was told that I was ready to start training again for my black belt, I put in a lot of work and it was a hard road of training and preparation, but I do believe it made me a better black belt for it. Also my hand was injured a few weeks before my grading during a training session. This meant that I had to complete a combination board break instead of a hand break. I was nervous about the combination break, but I was able to successfully break the combination and I was very proud of what I had achieved.

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

I try to train most mornings at the gym before work, either doing a weights or cardio workout. I then instruct with Instructor Tamara two nights a week and train under Chief Instructor Brett one night a week. I also try to get to the other Dojangs in Canberra during the week for an extra training session or two. I also don’t mind a game of squash if I can fit one in at lunchtimes.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

My favourite Taekwondo move is a spinning, jumping inward crescent kick and I think always will be. But I really enjoy learning new techniques and then being able to execute them correctly.

What are your goals in Taekwondo for 2009?

I would like to see my and Instructor Tamara’s Dojang numbers increase. I also plan to train hard in the lead up to my next grading.

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

I would like everyone to be aware that the greatest attribute you can bring to Taekwondo is patience and a calm mind. No one is intrinsically born being able to do Taekwondo and everyone’s learning curve and abilities are different. Being happy with your own pace and looking to develop what you can achieve and not comparing yourself to others.

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

I’ve found that I’m fitter and stronger and feel better about myself because of Taekwondo. It’s also great to be doing Taekwondo with my wife who is also my instructing partner at our branch in Curtin, who is a wonderful partner to have for my branch.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. – Dalai Lama

“I have done my best.” That is about all the philosophy of living one needs. – Lin Yutang

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

Remember that training for Taekwondo is an individual process and there is no timeframe or skill level you have to achieve, just improving your own skill is all you need to do. And then practice what you’ve learnt. I know I am still working on things I learnt as a white and yellow belt, so there is always more you can learn

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

I must admit that I love my Playstation, but I also love movies, TV shows and spending time with friends. I really enjoy a game of tennis or squash if I can fit one it.

Favourite movie(s) and why?

As President of the largest Film Society in Australia, I see a lot of movies so I have a lot of favourites. City of Lost Children, Dave, Batteries Not Included, True Lies, Star Wars, Willow and many more. But I love any film that has someone achieving something they never thought they could do.

Favourite food?

I have a mouthful of sweet teeth, so anything sweet is great, but I also love Asian food.

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

With a thriving branch of mine and Instructor Tamara’s students striving to do their best and myself doing the same.

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