Lyneham Dojang / Canberra ACT Region
How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?
I’ve been a student of Taekwondo for 16 years and been part of United Taekwondo since opening in Canberra 11 years ago. I started with my sister because her work colleague at the time taught Taekwondo and she knew it would be something I’d like.
Highlights of your Taekwondo success?
Achieving my 1st Dan black belt and opening my first branch are the big highlights of my Taekwondo success. I’m working towards grading for 2nd Dan now and every milestone I’ve made so far is another great success too!
Describe your first black belt grading, and what it took to get you there?
I was so nervous at my first black belt grading, but it was an excited nervous!
I coloured my hair red and styled it to look like a dragon’s tail for courage (yes – that actually happened!) First came patterns (which I love) and completing those helped lose the nervous knots. Next came board breaks –the boards broke but I think Master Paul’s fingers did too with my first attempt at the spinning heel break. (Sorry again MP!!) Lastly came sparring. That was so hard… by the end I had no fuel left in the tank and no breath left but everyone was so pumped and I loved every exhausting minute!
Injuries and insecurities were a part of that journey of course, but my Branch Instructor had absolute confidence in me so with his and everyone’s encouragement and support, I pushed hard, grew more confident and put everything I had into improving what I was doing.
I’ve been wearing that black belt so proudly ever since!
How often do you train? In Taekwondo? Gym? etc
I’ve been training 4 to 5 days a week for the last few years as I’m hoping to achieve my 2nd Dan soon, but my long-term goal is to be healthier, fitter and faster so now I train 3 to 4 times a week and run/weight train at the gym 2 to 3 nights a week. I also have three monster dogs who need monster walks every day so that happens too!
Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?
Turning/spinning heel kick combo. Hands down.
What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?
Most of my family does Taekwondo (two of them are Branch Instructors!) so opening a branch myself is a huge personal goal for me. Another personal goal is changing my physical self so I can be healthier, stronger and able to maintain the energy needed to keep up with three dogs, two cats, training and the coolest 14 year old in the universe!
Has Taekwondo benefited home life? If so, in what way?
It absolutely has! Taekwondo keeps me centred and strong, changes negative energy to positive, and helps me be the best person and parent I can be. Almost everyone in my life is a part of United Taekwondo too so being surrounded by these amazing people is a huge benefit in my home life.
Your favourite saying and what this means?
People say, “you made your bed, you have to lay in it”. I’m all about taking responsibility for your words and actions, so my favourite saying is “if you don’t like the bed you made for yourself, get out and remake it”.
Best advice you can give someone training and wishing to start training in Taekwondo?
Never stop trying and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as they are a great way to learn and improve, and sometimes even an opportunity to laugh and enjoy yourself too!
What other activities apart from Taekwondo do you enjoy?
Hanging at home with my favourite people (this includes people with fur), catch ups with friends, hanging out with my cool and very funny family, taking the puppies for long walks and shopping on eBay!! Everything else I love doing has to do with Taekwondo!
Favourite movie(s) and why?
For the record, you asked…
Firstly everything Dwayne Johnson – because one day we’ll get married and he should know I’ve always supported him 😊 Then everything Muppets, Marvel, Star Wars, Vampires, Zombies, Vikings, Pirates, Dragons, Pitch Perfect and directed by Tim Burton!
I love all these movies because they bring back my childhood, make me laugh, connect me with friends or take me to a place where I can unwind for a few hours after a long week!
Home-made veggie soup, chicken schnitzel with chips and gravy, fresh fruit, ice cream and donuts.
With regards to Taekwondo where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
In 5 years I see myself running a successful Dojang – two actually!
In 10 years I see myself more established in schools helping to eradicate bullying. This is where it starts for a lot of kids so to still be training and teaching in schools with United Taekwondo is exactly where I’d love to see myself further down the road.