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Branch Instructor

Instructor Nikhil Rughani

1st Dan Black Belt

St George NSW Region – Brighton-le-Sands Dojang
St George NSW Region – Carlton South Dojang
How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?

I started in 2016 with my daughter to support and encourage her.  I did not intend to be doing it this long or achieving my black belt.  But here I am!

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

The first was a few months after starting Taekwondo and there was a tournament held.  We won the senior team pattern competition and so getting a gold medal was really a memorable moment… I remember when the five judges unanimously awarded us the win, I think my heart stopped in excitement.

Going for my black belt grading was also a BIG highlight for me and was really a chance to prove to myself that I could really do this.  Breaking through two boards with my kicks, and completing all of my breaks first time around was a fist-pumping moment for me.

For me the biggest highlight was having 3 generations of my family attending classes – myself, my daughter and my father.  It was a real family thing and one that I’ll always remember!

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

I was preparing for my grading just before we went into Covid lockdown, and even during that time my daughter, my father and I still practiced at home.

A series of injuries meant that I kept delaying attending my grading… that was a little frustrating, but I persisted!

3 months before grading I was training 4 days a week, and the two weeks before the grading I drove to wherever Master Paul was teaching so that I could get even more insight in to how I could be better.

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

I aim to get 3 Taekwondo trainings in each week.

I get out for walks every day, and do yoga and weights at home for 3 the days I don’t go to Taekwondo.

I take one day off for R&R.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

Spinning back kick for kicks

Spinning back-fist for hand strikes

And the whole of the Po Eun pattern (black belt)

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

Learning that a slow, strong and impactful pattern is more powerful than just rushing through has helped me to be more precise, more patient and committed to slowing down in life in general – which is fantastic when we live in such a fast-paced world.

What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?

Taekwondo has become a self-expression for me and I enjoy the opportunity to give back through teaching, and passing on the wisdom that my own instructors and Master Paul have shared with me through my journey so far.

The more I can learn, the more I can grow and develop myself, and give more back as well.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

“Embrace the light, it shows you the path.

Endure the darkness, it shows you the stars.”

Nothing is absolute, and even in the hardest and most challenging of times, there is always good but we need to look for it.

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

Have fun, experiment with what you learn, and always keep your guard up.

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

Cooking with reckless abandon,

Super deep and mind-blowing conversations,

Travelling, exploring and immersing myself in new experiences,

A good book and a vanilla latte.

Favourite movie(s) and why?

The Matrix – it’s an oldie but a goodie.

I really enjoy it because of the sci-fi, and special effects, but also because it has some amazingly deep philosophy which prompts us to question the nature of everything we know.

Favourite food?

Pizza with ALL the mushrooms!  On a gluten-free base please :)

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

This is a hard one!

I can see myself still training, still teaching, and maybe with a few more stripes on my belt.

But most of all, enjoying my taekwondo journey wherever it takes me.