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Branch Instructor

Instructor Kim Wadey

3rd Dan Black Belt

Canberra ACT Region – Gungahlin Dojang
How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?

I’ve been a student of Taekwondo for 22 years and been part of United Taekwondo since opening in Canberra 15 years ago. I started with my sister because her work colleague at the time taught Taekwondo and she knew it would be something we’d like.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

Recently earning 3rd Degree black belt has been my greatest achievement in Taekwondo for sure. Having the opportunity to demonstrate a pattern with my daughter who is in a wheelchair at that grading however was my proudest moment. Seeing students achieving their training goals and successfully grading is a huge highlight and a tremendous privilege as well.

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

I was so nervous at my first black belt grading, but it was an excited nervous!
I coloured my hair red and styled it to look like a dragon’s tail for courage (yes – that actually happened!) First came patterns (which I love) and completing those helped lose the nervous knots. Next came board breaks. The boards broke but I think MP’s fingers did too with my first attempt at the spinning heel kick. (Sorry again MP!!) Lastly came sparring. That was so hard… by the end I had no fuel left in the tank and no breath left but everyone was so pumped, and I loved every exhausting minute!

Injuries and insecurities were a part of that journey of course, but my Branch Instructor had absolute confidence in me so with his and everyone’s encouragement and support, I pushed hard, grew more confident and put everything I had into improving what I was doing.

I’ve been wearing a black belt so proudly ever since!

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

I train 3-5 times a week but practice at home too. I also have three monster dogs who need monster walks everyday so I count that as 7 days a week “outdoor gym-ing”.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

Turning/spinning heel kick combo. Hands down.

What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?

To be a better martial artist and become a more knowledgeable, high quality Branch Instructor. To bring dedication, hard work and a fantastic attitude to every new day and demonstrate these qualities in every aspect of my training and instructing.

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

It absolutely has! Taekwondo keeps me centred and strong, changes negative energy to positive, and helps me be the best person and parent I can be. Most everyone in my life is a part of UTKD so being surrounded by these amazing people is a huge benefit in my personal and professional life.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

“You are a star… so do your job and SHINE!!”. To me it means it means know your worth. Value yourself. Be proud of these qualities and share them with the world.

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

Never stop trying and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as they are the best way to learn and improve. It’s also a great opportunity to laugh and enjoy yourself!

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

Hanging at home with my favourite people (this includes people with fur), catch ups with friends, hanging out with my cool and very funny family, watching movies, taking the puppies for long walks and shopping on eBay!! Everything else I love doing has to do with Taekwondo!

Favourite movie(s) and why?

Everything Johnny Depp – because one day we’ll get married, and he needs to know I’ve always supported him!! Anything with comedy, and everything Muppets, Marvel, DC, Disney, Star Wars, old school monsters, Vikings, Pirates, Dragons, and imaginary adventures.

I love these kinds of movies because they bring back my childhood, make me laugh and cry, connect me to a memory or sweep me into imaginary places where I can unwind for a few hours after a long week!

Favourite food?

Home-made veggie soup, chicken schnitzel with chips and gravy, fresh fruit, ice cream and jam donuts.

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

In 5 years, I would love for Campbell Dojang to have grown bigger and be thriving, and for me to still be training at a level worthy of a third degree.
In 10 years, I’ll be close to 60 so I would just love my body to not crackle like a glow stick when I get out of bed in the morning…