Fitness and Self Defence

June Aspley

Branch Instructor

Wollongong NSW Region

Bulli Dojang

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

I began training with United Taekwondo at Bulli PCYC since 2011.

My son and two grand-daughters had begun training when United Taekwondo had commenced operating at Bulli PCYC a few months earlier – they thought I would enjoy it.

Highlights of your Taekwondo success?

Breaking my first piece of wood with a side kick – I went home feeling very strong & pleased with myself!

Gaining my Black Belt was a big day in my life – I went home thoroughly exhausted (physically & mentally) but extremely happy – I still smile when I think of that day because I was surrounded by United Taekwondo people who cared and who gave me lots of encouragement and support.

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

Leading up to my black belt grading, I was training in taekwondo five nights a week.  It was hard work but my stamina, fitness & energy levels were pretty high when I got to grading.

I don’t actually remember what was involved in the grading process, it was all a bit of  blur really but I do know it wasn’t a stroll in the park – I was worked hard!!

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

I train in taekwondo twice a week.  In 2016 I got the yoga bug – I do yoga 6 days a week.  I walk my dogs every day – unfortunately, they are getting old now and we don’t walk for as long as we used to.

Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?

Back fist; elbow strike; front kick.

What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?

To perfect my patterns so they are coherent, balanced & flowing.

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

Taekwondo continues to be good for my general well-being and (believe it or not) relaxation!

Your favourite saying and what this means?

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”.
Or, as Dory said to Nemo “Just keeping swimming”
No explanations required.

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

Be patient and kind to yourself, but be persistent, and don’t be afraid to sweat a little or a lot.  And have some fun!

What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?

Yoga; walking my dogs; swimming; occasional golf; listening to music; and I’m an avid reader (but no romance novels!)  Favourite authors: Tim Winton; Peter Carey; Margaret Atwood; Marge Piercy; Thomas Keneally.

Favourite movie(s) and why?

The Monty Python movie series (The Meaning of Life; The Life of Brian; The Holy Grail) for their irreverent sense of humour.

ET; Planet of the Apes; the Terminator series – all of which, in their own way, seek to remind us of our humanity.

Favourite food?

Sushi & sashimi

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

I still see myself training with taekwondo.  I’ve been doing it for so long now that it’s a huge part of my life!

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