Branch / Region
Oxley Vale Public School / Tamworth NSW Region
How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?
I started training in Taekwondo at the age of 16 and trained seriously up to the age of 32 when in 1998 I moved overseas to Taiwan. My work schedule didn’t allow me to train as formally as I would have liked during my 15 years in Taiwan. In 2013, I returned to Australia and moved to Tamworth. This is where I found the Tamworth United Taekwondo club and joined up with my son.
Highlights of your Taekwondo success?
There have been many highlights in my years studying Taekwondo. When I first started Taekwondo, I couldn’t even touch my toes. It took me 9 years, but at the age of 25 I could do the splits. I have competed in competitions ever since I was a yellow belt competing in WTF full contact competitions. I have won NSW state titles in Yellow, Blue, Red and Black Belt divisions. In 1995 I started the University of Western Sydney – Macarthur Taekwondo club where I was studying my Sport and Exercise Science Degree. I competed in the 1995 National University Games and won a silver Medal. In 1996 I gained my Third Dan Black Belt with the WTF and Kukkiwon in Korea.
Describe your first black belt grading, and what it took to get you there?
I gained my First Dan Black Belt in 1990. I was previously training at WTF Taekwondo schools. However, I moved just before I was supposed to go for my Black Belt. The area that I was moved to had a WTF club but they practiced ITF patterns. I had to learn all the ITF patterns up to Chung Mu to take my Black Belt grading. At the grading, I had to perform all patterns. I was also asked to break seven roof tiles with a downward punch which I broke first attempt.
How often do you train? In Taekwondo? Gym? etc
When not teaching, I try to attend one formal class per week, but every day presents opportunities to train some aspect of Taekwondo. I try to hit the gym 1 to 3 times per week.
Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?
Taekwondo sparring can involve a lot of strategy, just like a game of chess, setting up your opponent so they will attack you how you want so you can counter and score a strike with either the hand or foot. I would like to think this old dog still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?
My goals for Taekwondo is to keep training. I am not too fussed with belt levels these days. If I can keep practicing and teaching, I am happy with my Taekwondo.
Your favourite saying and what this means?
Two sayings I learnt while living in Taiwan: “Don’t think too much” and “No Why.”
My understanding of these is not to dwell on things out of your control, just continue on with what you need to do…
Best advice you can give someone training and wishing to start training in Taekwondo?
Best advice I can give someone wanting to start training in Taekwondo is to go watch and try out at a few different schools and find what style best suits them. For someone training in Taekwondo, the best advice I can give is to practice some aspect of your training every day whether it be fitness aspects or technical aspects. Always try to keep challenging yourself with your training and have an open mind to keep learning more.
What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?
Other activities I enjoy besides Taekwondo are motorcycle riding, playing (trying to play) guitar, going to the gym and fishing. I raced for 4 seasons in the Taiwan Motorcycle Road Racing Championship while living in Taiwan. Now back in Australia, I ride motocross.
Favourite movie(s) and why?
My movie taste has changed over the years. I enjoy action movies and comedies. My favourite action movie would be “Terminator 2” and my favourite comedy would be “Kung Fu Hustle”. I also like “Leon the Professional”. They all kind of show someone who is seen as a bad guy but really turns out to be a good guy with a big heart. Have to admit that a tear came to my eye in the movies “Bridge to Terabithia” and “Pans Labyrinth”.
Chocolate, Chocolate and more Chocolate!
With regards to Taekwondo where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
I think I would like to be running my own Taekwondo Branch in the future, sharing the knowledge and experiences that I have gained while training. Otherwise, just training and keeping myself in shape.