Canberra ACT Region
How long have you been training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?
I’ve been a student of Taekwondo for 17 years and been part of United Taekwondo since opening in Canberra 12 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?
Earning my 1st and 2nd Dan black belts were my proudest moments in Taekwondo for sure. Becoming a Branch Instructor was such a successful highlight too! I opened my first branch last year and moved over to Campbell this year – it’s been such an exciting new adventure!
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 Master Paul!!) 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 a black belt so proudly ever since!
How often do you train? In Taekwondo? Gym? etc
I train in Taekwondo 3-4 times a week but practice all the time at home. I had a few injuries to work through after my last grading so I haven’t been to the gym as much as I’d like this year. That’s about to change though… I’ve got big plans to prepare for ? I also have three monster dogs who need monster walks every day!
Favourite Taekwondo move or moves?
Turning/spinning heel kick combo. Hands down.
What are your personal goals in Taekwondo?
To be a better martial artist. I have some amazing people around me and no matter what belt is wrapped around their waist, they all have something invaluable to teach me. They bring dedication, hard work and heart to every class and it inspires me to bring it in every aspect of my training.
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. Most everyone in my life is a part of United Taekwondo so being surrounded by these amazing people is a huge benefit in my home life.
Your favourite saying and what this means?
“Don’t let someone dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes”. It means don’t put up with someone making you feel bad about yourself because they think they’re better than you. They aren’t… and people who think that way are not worth your time.
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. It’s also a great opportunity to laugh and enjoy yourself!
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 Jason Momoa – 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 would love to see myself earn another white stripe.
In 10 years I would love to see myself more established in schools helping to eradicate bullying.