Branch / Region
Oyster Bay Dojang / Sutherland Shire NSW Region
How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?
I have been training with United Taekwondo since January 2014. Previously I trained overseas in WTF style Taekwondo for 2 years.
I started with United Taekwondo when my eldest son wanted to learn a martial art. I took him to his first class he asked me to join too. How could I say no!
It has been a great decision and opportunity to develop skills, self -discipline, focus and physical fitness through the art of Taekwondo
Highlights of your Taekwondo success?
There are many highlights of my Taekwondo success but the top three were:
1. Starting and surviving the first lesson;
2. Being able to compete again in a Taekwondo tournament and earning 3 medals
3. Earning my black belt.
Describe your first black belt grading, and what it took to get you there?
My first black belt was quite exhausting, but satisfying.
There were only three us grading – one for his second degree and one other for their black belt. We ran through our patterns several times after sparring to warm up.
We then had our board breaks. I was able to break the boards first go except the turning kick which I broke on the second.
Then came sparring. We had to do nine single spars, nine spars against two opponents and three spars against three opponents. At this point I thought we might be done, but no! We then had to execute our grading patterns again while fully exhausted, what an excellent test!
After years of dedicated training taught by experienced and qualified instructors I put in extra effort to practice for my black belt grading. I trained 5-7 times a week for 2-3 months before the grading. To increase my stamina, I ran on the sand dunes and cycled to Saturday training sessions.
How often do you train? In Taekwondo? Gym? Etc
I train in Taekwondo 3 times a week. My job can be physical at times, but on slow days when I am not training I will go for a walk.
Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?
Any move that works against my opponent. There are so many moves and I keep learning new ones and how to perfect old ones that it is hard for me to choose a favourite. However, although the fancy moves are fun to execute I always like the basics so I would have to say that the front kick is my favourite move.
What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?
As a student my goal is to keep learning and perfecting the execution of the basic moves and to achieve my second degree.
As an instructor my goal is to help my students achieve the best performance that they can achieve. To motivate or help inspire a student to achieve their best and/or feel better about themselves is the ultimate goal
Your favourite saying and what this means?
I don’t really have a favourite saying however I came across this quote from one of my favourite writers; RA Salvatore that I would like to share.
“Found the truth of competition, that there is no better challenge to be found than one a person can make with themselves. The personal competition outweighs any other, and by great magnitude. Simply, the rise of a rival challenges each of us to do better and be better, and that is to be celebrated, not feared or prevented.”
This quote is similar to the mantra that I hear a lot:
“Everyone has their own journey and their own pace”.
Basically the challenges/goals you set for yourself are what matters most. If someone comes into your life with the same goals work with them to achieve your goal. Learn to improve yourself rather than waste energy on bringing others down. Learn to realise your own journey and learn respect for others and confidence and self- discipline to face challenges in life along your journey.
Best advice you can give someone training or wishing to start training in Taekwondo?
Start! Once you take that first step the rest becomes easier. The first step is the hardest. Set short term obtainable goals. I have found that getting to a long term goal can be made easier by setting shorter goals that must be met before achieving the final goal.
What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?
Physically I like to walk and cycle. I also love playing basketball.
To rest and relax I like to read and play video games.
Favourite movie(s) and why?
At the moment (2017), anything from the Marvel genre. I like the old comic book stories and Marvel seems to have been able to transform them really well, into movies with good stories, high action and a bit of comedy.
Where I grew up Bratwurst was the king of the barby, so my favourite meal which I can can’t get much of these days is:
A bratwurst sandwich cooked on the barby then simmered in an (onion, beer, butter) broth. On a hard-roll with mustard. Corn on the cob cooked on the grill with the green leaves still on and warm German potato salad. It just reminds me of my youth.
With regards to Taekwondo where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
In 5 Years time I see a thriving dojo in Oyster Bay with many energized students;
and personally I hope to achieve or be ready to achieve my 2nd and 3rd dan
In 10 years time I would love to look back and feel satisfied that I may have inspired others to achieve their dreams also. I hope to be at the point to achieve my 4th dan.