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Chief Instructor

Instructor Brett Canning

5th Dan Black Belt

Canberra ACT Region

Duffy Dojang
Macquarie Dojang
Mount Stromlo Dojang
Wanniassa Dojang

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

I started Taekwondo in 1989. I started with a few friends and I wanted to be able to jump and spin and kick like in the movies!!!

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?
  • Achieving my Black Belt in 1992
  • Being in charge of my own Branch in 1993
  • Joining United Taekwondo in 2007
  • Watching my wife achieve her black belt and then continue to become the first female 4th degree instructor in United Taekwondo
  • All four of my children achieving brown belts and 2 of them going on to become junior black belts at the ages of only 9 and 10!
  • Achieving my 5th degree black belt and being inducted into the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame, both in 2017

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

I had 6 months of preparation training leading up to my Grading in 1992. It was VERY hard and I gave blood (literally) and sweat to reach that day. My Grading was in the evening, and due to the venue having a leaky roof, the Grading was moved to another school. I finally turned up to the right place… 45 minutes late !!!

At the time I thought the grading was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I had never been more tired in my life ! I got through all of my board breaks, some on the second or third attempt. When the Grading was over and I got my Black Belt, I really did feel like it was one of the biggest achievements of my life. However having now trained for another 25 years since that grading I have definitely trained harder, and smarter for my more senior gradings. I can honestly say that training for my 5th dan black belt was the hardest physical thing I have ever done……so far.


How often do you train in Taekwondo, Gym etc?

I instruct 2 days a week and try to train in Taekwondo another 2 times per week, either at a dojang or in my garage. I also train at the gym 3 or 4 times a week.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?
  • Jumping back kick
  • All patterns
  • Any dynamic kicking combination although I admit I am not as good at them as some of my black belts which although a little frustrating at times is very motivating and inspires me to keep practicing!
What are your personal goals for the future?
  • To continue to oversee United Taekwondo in Canberra. We now have a very strong region with many dedicated and talented instructors and students.
  • To continue to train and improve my own Taekwondo and set a standard that will encourage and inspire my students and other members of the art.
What would you like to see more of or less of in United Taekwondo that could benefit members?

To be honest I think we are doing extremely well and I wouldn’t change much. United Taekwondo provides a happy and supportive environment where people of all ages and walks of life can strive for something awesome. But – one thing – a bit more focus from senior instructors in making their patterns correct so students will do the same.

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

Yes. I can be more focused in the things I do. Also because all of my family either still train or have trained in the past it’s something we all have in common which is so great.

Your favourite saying and what this means?

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

To me, this means if you want something to change, you have to do something about it, which can be very scary and very hard to do – but so worth it!!!

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

To commit to regular training and remain patient – but complete the journey, because the rewards will be worth it.

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?
  • Spending time with my family – love these times.
  • Socialising with friends
  • Having a relaxed coffee in the sun at a nice café
  • Exercise
  • Watching good action/comedy movies with my beautiful wife
Favourite movie(s) and why?
  • Star Wars – brilliant adventure story with heroes you love
  • Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle – The new version with ‘The Rock’. I absolutely loved it!
  • Ace Ventura, Pet Detective – incredibly funny
  • Rumble in the Bronx – completely inspirational because of what Jackie Chan can do
  • Never back down – inspirational because of the training and what you can achieve when you train hard
Favourite food?

Pizza, Chinese and hot curries!!

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

5 years – Hopefully still Chief Instructor in Canberra and still heavily involved in training and teaching – hopefully my other two children will have achieved their black belts…………
10 years – haven’t really thought that far ahead but hopefully some challenging personal journeys along the way