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Branch Instructor

Instructor Ross Burden

4th Dan Black Belt

Hunter Region NSW

Singleton Dojang
Mount Olive Dojang

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

My first training stint was with my two brothers back in the mid 1980’s. We trained Rhee Taekwondo in the Sutherland shire. I stopped training when I left school.

Moving to Singleton for work in 2005 I struggled to get into any activity. I tried the gym but it was not interesting enough, and with only yourself to push you. My wife suggested that I start back at Taekwondo. I started with United Taekwondo in late 2009 and haven’t looked back.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

Achieving my 2nd Dan Black Belt in March 2014, seeing my daughter, Charlotte grade to blue belt in March 2017 and my son Angus to blue tip in May 2017.

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

I don’t think I was breathing in my patterns. Chris politely smashed me whilst sparring (thanks for being a gentleman). I hadn’t broken any boards for five months but my tension/nerves/trepidation and breaks chosen by Master Paul demonstrated my capability.

The hardest part for me and will be for the rest of my training was getting a ground dwelling being in the air. All patterns critiques in training were essentially about the gap between my feet and the ground. Nervous energy must have given me the height on the day.

It is strange mixture of relief and excitement when the belt is tied on you. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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

Monday and Wednesday in class – with children chasing on the weekends.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

Left turning kick, right spinning heel or a right ridge hand for breaking.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

“Never confuse movement with Activity”. It is a corporate style slant on the Hare and the Tortoise story.

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

Remember the three T’s – Technique Takes Time (my spin here)

Technique comes from practice and flexibility

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

Children chasing on Weekends.

Waiting for Cronulla sharks to win the NRL premiership (completed 2016).
Waiting for the Waratahs to win the Super Rugby title (completed 2015).
Waiting for the Wallabies to win the Webb Ellis Cup again (still waiting).

Favourite movie(s) and why?

“Rudy” – Sean Austin film about determination and desire overcoming physical capabilities to play gridiron for Notre Dame.

“Bloodsport” – JCVD – that man is flexible and as such has great technique

Favourite food?

BBQ Pork Ribs – messy but tasty

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

Training some of my children towards their black belts in 5 years. In 10 years having them train me for my next progression.