The Importance Of Young Women Learning Martial Arts And What It Has Given Me – Ajana Plunkett

Ajana Plunkett helping the girls of the club power up -

The importance of young women learning martial arts and what it has given me 

By Ajana Plunkett

As a young woman today and hearing in the media awful and all too common stories about women subjected to violence , I am very thankful to my mum and nan, for all those years of taking me to Taekwondo lessons from age 6

Taekwondo being a Korean kicking form of martial arts doesn’t usually have a big basis around self-defence.

But what I loved and continue to love about my club Taekwondo Central, is that Master Justin has always based the club around children’s safety and self-defence.

So from a very young age I started gaining my skills and experience in self-defence.

I could never over-emphasize how important it is that young people, or should I say ALL people feel safe in their homes and when they are out and about.

When you feel safe you feel more comfortable to be yourself. The importance of women learning self defence is more present than ever and what better time than now to talk about it?

I want to leave a few figures with you before I go on:

  • One in three Australian women have experienced physical violence, since the age of 15.
  • Eight out of ten women aged 18 to 24 were harassed on the street in the past year.
  • Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
  • Every year in Australia, over 300,000 women experience violence – often sexual violence – from someone other than a partner or someone they know.

Those are some distressing statistics!

In the alarming chance that you find yourself confronted with someone who might cause you harm, knowing how to defend yourself will give you the potential upper-hand and may buy you enough time to get away to safety.

“Taekwondo has not only given me the strength and self-defence skills to protect myself but make me better able to read the warning signs of assault, understand confrontation and body language and how to read the environment around me.”


Head Instructor Ajana Plunkett Throws Master Justin Warren - - 1

I have this sense of empowerment from my training and the confidence in knowing I can defend myself.

An important thing that self-defence has taught me is acknowledging safety, that the level of safety we feel is measurable.  If we feel uncomfortable we can speak out. If someone gets in our personal space we can move away or place a physical barrier between us. With regular training, you start to understand what your body is capable of, how your body responds to threats and stress, and what others are capable of.

Knowing what is a safe distance, your boundaries and acknowledging the feeling of being unsafe bodes well for your self-protection. Knowing these things have helped me decrease the feeling of being surprised or freezing up in situations.

Martial arts gave me confidence in my mental abilities. My training prepared me to face the unexpected. It taught me that every fail or every loss was an opportunity to learn and resilience was key in my development.

The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, produces mental toughness.  I learned that every problem I encountered had a solution.

Of course, the self-assurance I have in my physical abilities I owe to my training.

I wouldn’t feel confident that I could handle myself in a harmful situation let alone know what to do, but thanks to my training I have an awareness in myself that I know I am strong and I know that I could do serious damage if I had to use my skills in self-defence. As a young woman, this is what empowers me the most!

I mentioned the word empowerment a couple times and that martial arts has given me a feeling of empowerment. So, what is empowerment?

Empowerment; the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.  

I think that definition alone explains exactly why martial arts is empowering. Martial arts is a journey of discovery; of new skills, strengths, learning what your body is capable of. Being proud of your accomplishments, your body and your willpower. I’m so empowered by martial arts and what it can do for you that I have made it my job for quite some time now to teach others and my guess is, I’ll be doing that forever.


Ajana Plunkett Kicking As A 3rd Dan Blackbelt -


To finish  I’m going to share with you my


5 Self-Defence Tips That I Think All Women/Girls Should Know


1.       LOOK STRONG – The best way to stay safe is to avoid a confrontation altogether. Stand tall, walk confidently and don’t look like a target. By doing this you make yourself look and feel stronger than you may be. It may make attackers think twice before trying something.



Eyes – poke, claw, throw sand, the eyes are sensitive and whatever you do is going to cause pain and blurred vision

Nose- coming from someone who has broken this part of their body more times than she wants to remember, this is a very weak and vulnerable spot. A simple strike with your palm can do a lot of damage.

Throat- If you’ve ever had anything hit your Adam’s apple, you know why this one is included in this list. Simply put, it (literally) knocks the wind right out of you. If you have never been hit there before it’s a very frightful experience.

Groin- need I say anymore? A quick flick to that area or a knee will sure do the trick.


3.       THE 6th SENSE – I don’t know if you ladies have ever felt it, but I sure have. It’s got me out of some close calls. When you’re in an environment, nothing bad may have happened yet but you just feel off, you get that butterfly in your belly, the weird feeling that you know something isn’t right and your heart starts to race. TRUST IT, it doesn’t matter whether you’re wrong, it just matters that you feel safe. Like that saying goes. Better safe than sorry.


4.       KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS - Most attackers don’t begin with brutal force. They begin by coaxing a woman into a secluded area and forcing her to relinquish her control. Not only will your instincts help you avoid dangerous situations, but you can also determine someone’s intent by knowing what to look for. Some pre-incident indicators include: refusing to accept rejection, charm, giving too many details, giving unsolicited help and expecting favours in return and unwanted promises to name a few. Remember ‘no’ is a full sentence and you don’t have to explain your reasoning.


5.      BEING SAFE AT NIGHTThere are several precautions that you can take to ensure your safety while walking at night.Be aware and try and avoid distractions like having your headphones in or having your head down texting.  There is safety in numbers, so where you can walk each other to cars etc.  When walking at night, always use popular routes used frequently by others. By using these, you decrease your chances of being alone while walking at night. Try not to be tempted take a shortcut through a dark alleyway or parking lot. Avoid suspicious areas and people and always try and stick to the most lit path where possible.


“The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, produces mental toughness.
I learned that every problem I encountered had a solution.”


I really hope that by sharing my experience with you, that it may inspire you, young women, people of all ages to start doing something to better protect themselves. Start up a martial art, take a self-defence course or at least, take on board some of the tips you have just read.

Because in the end all that matters to your loved ones is that you are safe.


Taekwondo Central Head Instructor - Ajana Plunkett -
Miss Ajana Plunkett (20) is the Head Instructor Of Taekwondo Central
Holding a 4th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo (WT) she has been practising Taekwondo for 15 years.

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Why taking up Taekwondo in my 40s was the best thing ever!  

By Kristy Hitchens – Brown Mouse Communications + Mortal Mouse Taekwondo Blog

Why taking up Taekwondo in my 40s was the best thing ever!  

And now you can do it too with my Top 5 Tips… 

 Kristy Hitchens performs a turning kick -

Am I having a near mid-life crisis?

Is that what this is?

Is this the equivalent of (*gulp!) buying a Harley or red sports car and dating a hot blonde?

All of this and more (MUCH more!) is what went on in my busy brain when I decided to take up martial arts in my 40s – specifically taekwondo and specifically right after I turned 4-Ohhhhhhhh.

For five years I had sat on the sidelines watching my son Lucas, 10, progress through the ranks of Taekwondo Central’s membership.

True. It was something I had considered. I like being active. I wouldn’t be the ONLY mum doing it I had thought to myself.

But comfort zones are…well…comfortable!

It’s hard to say exactly what it was that finally pushed me off that little bench on the sidelines and onto the floor.

Looking back it was possibly the result of a perfect storm.

Well-timed women’s self defence course presented by TC’s 6th Dan Black Belt Master Justin Warren which I seriously enjoyed and opened the door to these odd yet warm feelings of empowerment.

Committed encouragement from people I admire.

And finally, (but most significantly) the loss of a loved one far too soon which inspired me to just LIVE!

I turned up to my first training session a complete bundle of nerves. It felt like Lucas and I had undergone this mind-bending role reversal because there he was being all sweet and encouraging, tenderly patting my arm and telling me how proud he was of me for having a go. (*heart melts)

Lucas & Kristy Hitchens -

Lucas & Kristy Hitchens In Action

I was utterly terrified that I would make a complete goose of myself in front of Master Justin, the other students and (worst of all) the other parents I had previously been sitting with on the sidelines.

Ridiculous when I think about it now but self doubt is a weird and persistent beast.

Master Justin has coached literally thousands of beginners all the way to Black Belt level so in hindsight, pretty sure he’s used to working with students who are just starting out – even uncoordinated over 40 ones!

The other students are busy doing their own thing and could care less how wonky my early kicking attempts were.

And finally, the other parents are busy watching their own kids (of course!) and had next to no interest in critiquing my efforts.

Despite all my early irrational fears, I kept going back for more. I had a fierce new training buddy in Juliani Wayan who I didn’t want to let down and I sure as heck did not want to give Lucas the impression his mum was a quitter.

On top of that, bit by bit and to my astonishment, I began to realise I was actually loving it.

Kristy Hitchens with training partner  Juliani Wayans -

Kristy Hitchens with training partner Juliana Wayan after successfully passing their belt examination


Fast forward a little to now and I have added a couple more stripes to my belt and in the process, some other really incredible things have happened:

  • I discovered I really (like REALLY) love punching and kicking. Who knew that in your 40s you could discover a whole other thing that you would just find to be so much fun? That’s heartening don’t you think?
  • Turns out I’m WAY more determined than I had ever suspected. That’s code for stubborn. Yep, I’m really, REALLY stubborn but it actually helps when you’re learning a new skill.
  • Setting regular goals (like a belt level per term) that don’t come easily, that you HAVE to work towards, is so bloomin’ fulfilling. Don’t tell anyone but I really am so chuffed with myself.
  • When you try something new that not many other people are doing, you create an instant connection with a whole bunch of amazing new people because you’re sharing an experience that’s totally unique. I really love my new Taekwondo Central tribe and am so grateful to have found them.

Above all else, I think I may look back on this as one of the most significant things I have done as a parent for Lucas.

It is staggeringly joyous to be sharing a common interest with him like this. We set goals together, motivate and encourage each other and he gives me a hiding in sparring practice, bruised shins (It’s supposed to be non contact Lucas!) and all! We love training together.

Believe me when I say this kind of bond is not something you can achieve with even the most committed support from the sidelines. You actually have to get in there, bare feet and all, and do it WITH THEM.

Don’t get me wrong, I probably HAVE had a few goose-like moments in my taekwondo journey so far.

I suspect there’ll be quite a few more…I’m talking about you spin hook kick!

 But being a bit goosy matters little now when I consider everything Lucas and I have gained as a result.

It’s been a million times worth it.

So take it from me.  If you have entered 2018 and the vaguely middle part (I said VAGUELY!) of your expectant life with a desire to make things better AND an inkling that taekwondo classes might be the answer, here are my Top 5 Tips for starting taekwondo in your 40s.

  1. Work on flexibility.

To me, this guy is NUMERO UNO in importance. Head-height kicks are the signature taekwondo move and unless you work on flexibility, you won’t be kicking anyone above the toenail.  Much to my initial disgust, flexibility is just not something you can fake. But what I happily discovered is that you really can do stuff to improve it and you WILL notice the difference – pretty quickly even!

Flexibility decreases naturally as we age but working to improve it (stretching exercises every day if you can but at least three times a week) comes with a whole raft of associated health and wellness benefits like improved bloodflow, less aches and pains and greater ability to complete everyday tasks without discomfort.

You can Google up a bunch of ideas for increasing your flexibility. I’ve done two things.

The stretches we do before the start of every class, I do at home too on non-training days.

Also I found these dynamic stretches which seem to improve flexibility AND strength.

Stand on one leg. Lift the other leg to your imaginary opponent’s knee height and then put it down again but only very lightly touching your big toe on the ground. Repeat 12 times. Both legs.

Now do a similar action but lift your leg out to the side. 12 times, both legs.

And do the same again, but lifting your leg our behind you.

As you get better and stronger, work towards lifting your leg to stomach, chest and then head height.

The tip is not to be swinging your leg to get height and momentum. You should be relying ONLY on leg strength. Also, you shouldn’t find it really exhausting. You can feel the muscles working but it’s not like you’re gasping for breath or anything.

  1. Practice 

Training once or twice a week is not going to cut the mustard when you’re in your 40s. If you want to see real improvement in those kicks, you’re going to need to put in some time at home as well to build up that muscle memory in time for your next grading.

  1. It will hurt. Deal with it Princess. 

Your body is working in ways it has NEVER had to work before. Say HELLO to your Hip Flexors! During that first term I could not believe how sore I felt. My entire legs would ache and twitch after every session. Don’t get me wrong! It wasn’t excruciating or anything but yeah, it hurts. I’m telling you this now so you don’t have to be scared when it happens to you. It’s totally normal and not going to cause you any long-lasting damage. And guess what? After a while, it gets better!

 You don’t always hurt like you do in those first few months. It’s one aspect of ALL of this that just makes each little achievement that bit sweeter. Nobody is going to serve up a new belt to you on a silver platter. Ya gotta work for it baby!

In the meantime though, all those home remedies you’ve heard about really do help – hot baths, Epsom salts, massage, foam rolling, anti-inflammatory creams.

  1. Listen to your body 

Having said that, you get used to ignoring the groans and murmurs from your newly-discovered leg muscles, but listen up if that murmur turns into a SHOUT or worse, a SCREAM. You really do come to understand which pains are the ones you should be taking seriously as a sign to slow down or stop.

You don’t want to compromise your progress altogether by ignoring symptoms that need attention. The good thing about doing this in your 40s is that there is no real sense of urgency to reach your goals. You’re not working to a deadline. Take some time off if you need to. Heal properly and start again.

  1. Celebrate the journey 

Did you know that only 1 in 20,000 people who take up martial arts, actually ever make it to Black Belt? One day I hope to be one of them. I can’t actually visualise it yet. “I will need to be able to do wharrrrrrt???”

For now though, I’m just happy taking baby steps in that general direction. Every little improvement I can see and feel, every stripe on my belt. I take a moment to acknowledge the wins, no matter how small. Sounds kinda cheesey I guess but here’s where my awesome new tribe comes in. They understand the significance of the baby steps where others might not so much. They’ll join you in celebrating them, just as you will take joy in helping celebrate theirs.

So there you have it, my Top 5 Tips. But here my patient (if you made it this far) friend, is the REAL kicker These tips are actually equally relevant no matter what your age!

I know right??!!

So what are you waiting for? Age really has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. If you want it, get out there and (just) do it. I’ll see you on the floor.

Kristy x

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Kristy Hitchens is “Main Mouse” of Brown Mouse Communication specialising in email newsletters to help better communicate with your group, business or club.
Taekwondo Central have been using her service for some time now and the difference in our communications with our members has been astounding. Click the above link to see how she can help you.
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Why You NEED to get your kids into Martial Arts.

Benefits Of Martial Arts

By Kelly Platts

ANXIETY. It seems to be a problem suffered by more and more people these days. The worrying part, a lot of these people are actually our kids.

Why, whose to know exactly why. Lifestyle? Diet? Our Education system? Who knows, but it’s here and we need to develop ways to overcome it. Especially for our little ones. The earlier we can teach our kids how to handle the stresses and worries of life, the better off they will be.

We’ve seen it time and time again, parents have read about the benefits of martial arts and they decide to bring their kids along to try a class. Many will love it from the word go and will continue with it for years. Some last a few terms, others only a few lessons. It’s just not their thing, but they tried it!

But then there’s a small number of kids who just won’t give it a go, I suspect they want to, kids are naturally curious. But fear, shyness and anxiety are just too overwhelming and despite all efforts from Mum/Dad and Instructors it just ends in tears.

It is these kids that could actually really benefit the most from what Martial Arts and what Master Justin has to offer them.

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Hence the introduction of the “Double Dragons Program”.

A programme specifically designed for these little guys who just need that bit of extra support and attention. In this class Mum or Dad are 100% involved. They’re not sitting on the sidelines. With a parent by their side, often this is all that’s needed to get them going, and what a great bonding opportunity!

Class numbers are capped at a maximum of six, so not only do you get a more personal experience with Head Instructor Master Justin, the overall class feeling becomes a lot less intimidating for the kids.

The Program Is Designed To Improve & Develop

Childs Personal Safety Skills Great For Coordination Give Them A Confident Start Be There To Help Them Progress All Important, An Activity For Both Parent & Child Light to Moderate Exercise For Parent Increase Bonding

We’re really excited to see what this special class can achieve. Master Justin has a truly unique skill with little ones. His kind and gentle manner really gels with our all students, but his gift is without a doubt, best applied to the youngest members. We know there will be some really positive outcomes for the students in this class.

Kid in fighting stance


But don’t stop there, after experiencing some real successes with the Double Dragons, your child should have the courage and the confidence to take the next step, and by now you will have seen first hand the amazing energy and enthusiasm from Master Justin and the incredible benefits of training in Martial Arts.

Have a think about some of the qualities and skills you want your children to have as they transition from childhood into young adults. We all want them to be successful and in good health, to live long and rewarding lives, yes? In Mind, Body and Spirit!


What are some of the skills that successful people hold, how do they achieve success?

- Mental determination: The drive and desire to push for more.

- Perseverance: The ability to continue to walk forward in the face of defeat or disappointments that come along the way.

- Confidence: A belief in themselves and their ability to achieve what they want.

- Self Control: Understanding success involves some sacrifice.

- Problem Solving & Adaptation: An Extremely important skill that is needed across all areas of life!

- Patience, Integrity and humility. Traits that are invaluable to a successful and well rounded individual.


But there are two aspects to overall health.

One is your physical Health; the other is your mental health.  Without each other in unison, things just don’t run well.

A strong, healthy and fit body will undoubtable help carry them through a successful life.

- Balance: Without it we are pretty much buggered. What’s the one of the first things we lose into our elderly years? Balance! Utilise your muscles, exercise when you’re young and really strengthen your body and core. Your balance will remain with you for A LOT longer than the average person.

- Flexibility: Can you touch your toes? No? Why not? Age is no excuse! But starting early will make the transition into the golden years much easier!

- Muscle tone & Endurance: Good muscle tone promotes good posture, and having the strength to perform many daily activities are vital. Use it or lose it. There is no truer saying. Don’t move, and in years you will have trouble moving. Move more consistently through your life and in years to come you will still be moving!

So now you’ve read it, the benefits of Martial Arts are incredible! Why WOULDN’T you want to give this amazing opportunity and start in life to your kids?


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5 Crucial Age Defying Factors To Keep In Mind When Starting Martial Arts For Better Health – Master Justin Warren – Taekwondo Central

Justin Warren Taekwondo Central Bunbury Instructor excecutes a jump back kick at 43 years of age - B & W

Pictured here at 43, Master Justin Warren Focuses On Martial Arts For Better Health & Vitality


Bunbury Martial Arts Instructor, Master Justin Warren from Taekwondo Central shares the 5 Crucial Factors To Keep In Mind When Starting Martial Arts For Health

Martial Arts is my life, and it has been since age 16. Taekwondo is my chosen style as I love how quick a kick can render a person defenceless but Ive trained in Jujitsu, Judo, Boxing, Kick Boxing, Eskrima, Brazilian Juijitsu, MMA, Krav Maga and Karate. Being A Full Contact fighter from ages 16 to 35, I ve been on the receiving end of some bad injuries but my sporting victories left a trail of knockouts to many of my opponents. One thing Ive always wanted to keep is my ability to keep training as my age increases. Martial Arts is a great vehicle to travel through life and some key considerations will also help you keep enjoying what your body can do.

I see many of the people I started martial arts with unable to do their art now, be it health, illness or condition, it has kept me thankfull that the style I teach keeps the longevity in your training, keeping you healthy longer. Being active is your number 1 priority to staying healthy. Taekwondo Central gives you a martial art you can learn at your own pace and stay healthy

Stronger Legs
My Grandmother turns 94 in 2018, she is an amazing women. still independant, can drive a car hundreds of km with no trouble to visit her sons. When my Grandother gives health tips, I listen and I have picked up many great ideas  and tips to keeping your youth. I remember sitting down having breakfast with her one morning while she made this birdseed like mixture of grains, seeds and nuts she starts her day off with while her country music played in the background, it something like an old friend to her. While talking about the day ahead, I asked her about her health secrets.

Dont Lose Your Mind & Dont Lose your legs she said, my grandmother likes to walk, she has a mini gym of collected (many ex tv products) that give her a great leg workout, and she is exactly right. Your legs are your base, if they are weak, you whole body is. Its comparable to weak roots holding up a tree. strong legs mean a strong body plus you escape injury from trips & topples. With martial arts training you will built leg strength through stances, kicks, movements & footwork. All of these will also built better balance, but well back up your safety by teaching you how to fall safely and avoid the damage a bad landing can leave you with. Martial Arts builds strong legs

Better Flexability
Greater freedom on movement is something we all want. You like me want less injuries, less restrictions. a good stretching routine will do the job, flexible muscles, joints and ligaments will serve you well. because our martial art teaches you to use your whole body to defend yourself, we stretch all parts, leaving you more limber and able to attempt things a stiff, strained body couldnt. Good stretching keeps your vitality and ability

Better Mind
A strong mind is such a great thing to have, mental strength and mental endurance to push yourself is a great personal skill to have. Co-ordination and Reflexes are greatly improved through martial arts. Confidence and Belief in yourself are crucial for personal development. quick thinking, protective reactions and staying calm under pressure can make a huge difference in the outcome. Dont Loose Your Mind. Its important to keep challenging it and working on the mind-body mastery martial arts can give will do just that. Challenging but achievable Taekwondo Central will keep the mental pathways strong.

Excessive Contact
If your becoming a cage fighter, well you need to do heavy contact but if your after greater health then keep contact down, granted some contact is needed to add realism but excessive head contact isnt good for you and especially not good for your brain. Just look at boxers Mohummed Ali & Freddie Roach, two amazing boxers in their own right but the damage is done and its been through excessive punches to the head. The theory of getting beaten up to learn how to not get beaten up is counterproductive. For the people who have public jobs, dealing with the public with a black eye or swollen lips doesnt help business. For proper self defence, contact is needed but not excessively

Improved Health
Better health is a goal for all of us, If your healthy, what ever you do, youll do it better. So how do you get healthy?So many “experts” tell us so many different things, so how do you decifer what is real and what isnt?
For me, its about looking at your body, what it consists of and what you cant do without. So lets cover basics

Your body cant do without.
1 – Oxygen – So you must exercise, exercise canc ut your chances of early death by half. “1 in every 4 will experience some sort of cancer, if you exercise, that cuts to 1 in 60″ – Chet Holmes
2 – Water – So Drink Pure Water, not high sugar drinks
3 – Food – So Make It High Quality (Cut Down On Junk Food)
Click Here for more info on this subject

What Your Body Mainly Consists Of
1 – Protien – Muscles (Thats why we have been given K9 teeth, to eat meat)
2 – Fat – (Your brain is fat, You need fat, but just good quality)
3 – Calcium – Bone, Cartlidge, Tendons are all made from calcium
4 – Water – You body is said to be 60 – 70% water, Thats a no-brainer that we need H2O

I remember the reason I first really getting a love for martial arts, I was always “sporty” and had excelled in many different sports but their was one event that made me really decide to make martial arts my vehicle through life. My first instructor was a Korean Master named Mr Shin Boo Kim. He was one of the Original founders of Taekwondo in Western Australia. Most likely anybody who is 4th Dan Blackbelt or higher around The South West in Taekwondo will owe a thankyou to this korean gentleman. He had a quiet demeaner and never used aggression to solve disagreements. I remember doing a training session with him. He was approaching his 50′s and he stood on one leg, and excecuted an amazing side kick that made a “Snap” noise to it. I thought to myself “Wow, that was awesome and at the age he is. I wanted to be like that. He has passed away now but has left a legacy of Martial arts instructors and students. I also realised, while many activities have a “Use By” date, martial arts doesnt. Its a life art Mr Kim Showed me that and for me thats what it will always be. I will always “Live The Way”


“Its A Disgrace To Grow Old Without Realising What Your Body Is Capable”


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Our Double Demo Day – What A Great Time We Had!! – Check Out The Photos

Taekwondo Central Demo Team Burekup 24 Feb 2018

Thanks To The South West Multi Cultural Festival & Shire Of Dardanup – Burekup Movie Night we got another chance, to punch, kick, flipping, flying and smashing things with different parts of our body. What a great way to spend a Saturday!!!

(L to R) Trinity Best, Eric Buhlmann, Master Justin Warren, Lucas Hitchens, Rebecca Collis, Rebecca Buhlmann, Annika Best, Kelly Platts, Nohea Leidermoy, Instructor John Crawford, Melanie Buhlmann, Degan McDonald, David Browne
Also Thank You To Brayden Nardone, Cheyanne Nardone, Madison Riches, Toby Edwards, Xander Webb who also were involved in The Multicultural Demo.
Thanks To Gary Veljacich For The Photos

If You have any photos to add, please send them to me or 0407470964

Deegan McDonald breaks his board into 3!! -

Rebecca Buhlmann smashes her board -

Rebecca Collis Takes Down Kelly Platts - www.tkdcentral.comTaekwondo Central Demo Team Warm Up

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Cheyanne Nardone Break A Board At The Multicultural Festival Bunbury 2018 -

Eric Buhmamm breaks His Board - www.tkdcentral.comNohea Leidermoy With A Great Hip Throw On Annika Best - South west Multicultural Festival - www.tkdcentral.comMadison Riches Block A Strike In The Adult vs Child Self Defence -

Master Justin Warren Bows With Madison Riches At The South West Multicultural Festival Bunbury - www.tkdcentral.comJohn Crawford Demonstrates The Power & Flexability Of His Axe Kick -

Lucas Hitchens Goes Aerial With A Skip Up Axe Kick -


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Combat Central Off To A Great Start – 16 Starters

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The Taekwondo Central Spinner Contest – Win $100 – Term 1 Competition

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Leadership Team Meeting – For Our Next Leaders – Term 1 – 2018

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FASTTRACK Mid Term Grading

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Ajana Plunkett: The Master’s Apprentice – Coal Under Pressure Creates Diamonds.


By Kristy HitchensBrown Mouse Communications

Ajana Plunkett With Her Medals -

If you have ever wondered how dedication to the martial arts principles of discipline, respect and courage could benefit you or your children in the long term, you need look no further than the sparkling example set by our Taekwondo Central Head Instructor Ajana Plunkett…

This is a rare chance to hear her story, learn more about her taekwondo journey. It’s not an opportunity that comes along often because despite having accomplished so much, Ajana conducts herself with quiet confidence and humility.

She leads without the need – or desire – to command the spotlight. So buckle yourself in because once you learn more about Master Justin Warren’s Apprentice – our Ajana – your appreciation for all that she brings to her Club and to the character of her students will soar.


Ajana’s drive to achieve seems utterly limitless but it’s tempered by a deep care for others, which shines through in the devotion she shows to her teaching role


At just 19, Ajana is a 4th Dan Black Belt. She has competed on the international taekwondo stage several times, winning two gold and two bronze medals plus five national championships where she won two gold, two silvers and a bronze medal. In a week, Ajana trains around 200 students in group classes and some in private lessons, and regularly sits (often as the youngest member) on Black Belt grading panels.

Between training and classes, she has managed to complete TAFE studies in community services and disability and is also underway with studies in youth work and business.

Yes! That’s right….only 19!

Justin Warren, Deacon Malatesta (With Black Belt Certificate)& Ajana Plunkett

Ajana’s taekwondo journey began at age 6 after Master Justin Warren visited her River Valley Primary School to present a talk on personal safety. Inspired, she joined his Burekup class with a few friends, and from that moment the spark was ignited. She set her dark eyes on a Black Belt goal and pity the obstacle that dared get in her way.

As a yellow belt Ajana started entering tournaments and by 10 years she had earned that Black Belt. She trained up to six times-a-week and admits to living and breathing all things taekwondo. She joined Central’s Leadership Team and even at this early age, had the confidence to lead a warm-up with Master Justin watching on. As her natural abilities combined with her dedication to training blossomed, she began climbing the competitive ranks, travelling to the eastern states and then overseas to Korea and Malaysia.

Money she saved working as a Club helper paid for her first flight to Korea but couldn’t cover the added costs of her mum coming too. During those overseas trips, Master Justin was both her coach and guardian. Not yet even in her teens, in a foreign country without her mum and competing in front of noisy crowds – a daunting experience to say the least! Still, Ajana found vast reserves of inner strength to not only compete, but win gold.


“You should never doubt what your body can do. But be patient with it because real progress takes time”
- Ajana Plunkett


Ask her about it now and with a tiny grin she’ll shyly admit it was at that point in Korea, she started to think she might be pretty good at this whole taekwondo caper! From there, Ajana’s confidence grew and more titles were won. At her last State-level competition, Ajana recalls her fight being called off because she was so far ahead on points, her competitor was left with no chance of winning.

By now she was 14 and her body was tired. Ajana’s competitive career came to an end and she instead began to concentrate on further studies, a more moderate level of training and teaching. When you add them all up, Ajana’s achievements alone are impressive enough. But when you also consider them in light of the obstacles she has overcome in her life to arrive where she stands today, you REALLY begin to appreciate the truly remarkable young woman she is.

Raised by her mum and an extended family, Ajana was born with problematic hip joints and suffered very early with chronic hip, back and leg issues that required ongoing therapy to manage. The strength and flexibility she later developed through her elite-level training almost certainly contributed to her full recovery. Thankfully, she was simply too strong in the fighting ring to suffer much injury through her taekwondo though she has come across some later.

Tahlia Gowland with Ajana Plunkett after Black Belt Grading -

Still, you won’t hear her complaining! Ajana just carries on with that same beaming smile and positive attitude. She says you should never doubt what your body can do. But be patient with it because real progress takes time. A perfectionist by nature, her taekwondo journey has created a person who understands that perfection is unattainable but chasing it in all you do, DOES develop excellence.

Ajana’s drive to achieve seems utterly limitless but it’s tempered by a deep care for others, which shines through in the devotion she shows to her teaching role. In the blink of an eye Ajana can fire off a long list of goals for the future – reaching 5th Dan Black Belt, travel, small business ventures with her partner and a career in social work. Maybe goal-setting was a skill she developed early while working her way through the taekwondo belt system?

In any case, her list of goals now might sound like a lot to pack into the next few years. But with everything you have come to learn about Ajana, you’re left in no doubt that whatever Ajana sets her mind to…



From Ajana:
I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to my family, my Mum, Nan and Uncle for being my support and to Justin for being such a great a role model in taekwondo and life.



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Leadership Team Logo

Leadership Team Meeting – For Our Next Leaders – Term 4 – 2017

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January Summer Holiday Taekwondo Training Program – Express Grading Chance 2018

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Ajana Plunkett (Head Instructor with Melanie Buhlman after grading for Probationary Black Belt. -

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Practising Strikes To Stop - Nurses Learning Self Protection Skills - ECU Wellness Day -

Equipping Nurses With The Protection They Deserve – ECU Wellness Day Self Defence Workshop

–  By Kristy Hitchens – Brown Mouse … [Read More...]

Equipping Nurses With The Protection They Deserve – ECU Wellness Day Self Defence Workshop

 By Kristy HitchensBrown Mouse Communications

Equipping Nurses With The Protection They Deserve


Tables Are Turned - Master Justin Waren holds target for ECU Wellness Day Students

Nurses are so often the unsung heroes in our community.
And a selfless dedication to the care of others, often means putting their own personal safety at risk.

Confronted by a patient who has become violent or invades their personal space or even just walking to their car during a night-time shift change – it’s so important our nurses have the skills and confidence to protect themselves in a dangerous situation.

Practising Strikes To Stop - Nurses Learning Self Protection Skills - ECU Wellness Day -

A group of nursing students studying at Edith Cowan University, South West Campus can now approach their future careers with greater peace of mind after this month participating in Master Justin Warren’s Introduction to Self Defence Workshop .

Master Justin – a 6th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo – presented two one-hour sessions during the university’s recent Wellness Days for staff and students.

Master Justin Warren Demonstrated Some Of The Defence Techniques with Instructor John Crawford -

While the sessions were open to all students, it was the nursing faculty which jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Learning how to block, escape particular holds plus complete Master Justin’s signature 5 Strike Combo left the students feeling energised and empowered.

Simple Wrist Grab Escapes - ECU Wellness Day - Self Defence Workshop -

Several were shocked by their ability to overcome an opponent without requiring great strength, fitness or power.

How To Back Choke - Nurses Defence - ECU Wellness Day -

Here’s what some of the students had to say afterwards…


Thank you so much for organising the event for us we all had a blast and learnt a lot!
Tayla, ECU nursing student

I enjoy the work out from martial arts and it makes you feel very empowered being able to defend yourself. I left the workshop pretty pumped and ready to take on anyone! I was almost waiting for some weirdo to jump out at me so I’d get to demo the ‘kick, flick, punch, knee- in-groin’ just to see if I had it!! The guy running the workshop was very knowledgeable too and seemed like a great teacher. The activities were really well pitched at our skill level. He provided a really good overview of what it is all about. It was a great idea to include it in wellness week and it is a shame that more people couldn’t come along – Kristy, ECU nursing student. Thank you so much for organising the event for us we all had a blast and learnt a lot!

Tayla, ECU nursing student

What a great fun class that was and I did pick up many tips and tricks. I really appreciate you organising such a class and was grateful for the opportunity to attend. Justin is a great instructor and I hope tomorrow is well subscribed
Heather, ECU nursing student

“Thank you so much for organising the workshop, was definitely worth the hour. Hope there will be more next year. I will definitely take it back up. Have missed it
Nicola, ECU nursing Student

ECU students Joined in the fun with Master Justin Warren - ECU Wellness Day -

After the workshops, the nurses were able to return the favour by providing Master Justin and Assistant Instructor John Crawford with a health check pitstop.
Nursing Lecturer Melanie Buhlmann (and TKD Central Red Belt student) measured Master Justin’s oxygen levels, heart rate and blood pressure.

Master Justin Warren is health checked by Nurse Mel Buhlman

We’re happy to report, despite struggling with his seasonal asthma, Master Justin was in good health! And despite always insisting otherwise, it turns out John has a heart in there after all!

Instructor John Crawford is Health Checked By Nurse Nicola Engels - ECU Wellness Day -


ECU Wellness Day - Self Defence Seminar - Master Justin Warren & Instructor John Crawford - Taekwondo Central

Here’s Some Of The Participants Feed Back We Received

“What a great fun class that was and I did pick up many tips and tricks. I really appreciate you organising such a class and was grateful for the opportunity to attend. Justin is a great instructor and I hope tomorrow is well subscribed. “The nursing students and lecturers who attended the self-defence workshops offered at ECU had a magnificent time. I am so grateful that they took up the challenge and experienced the confidence and empowerment that comes with learning skills for personal protection.     Heather, ECU nursing student

The feedback I received from the participants and the spectators has been astounding.  I cannot thank Master Justin Warren and Instructor John Crawford enough for agreeing to provide these workshops on the South West campus despite many other competing commitments.” Melanie, ECU nursing lecturer

“Thank you so much for organising the workshop, was definitely worth the hour. Hope there will be more next year. I will definitely take it back up. Have missed it.“  Nicola, ECU nursing student

“Although a tad late, I am really glad that I did make it to the self-defence class. I totally enjoyed the instruction and found the moves that Justin taught were really beneficial. Justin and John were also very competent in ensuring we had the correct technique. I have just practiced a few moves on my husband and sons ????. They were all very impressed. I appreciate your efforts to promote such a great activity Mel and would definitely support future sessions”. Fiona, ECU nursing student

“The self-defence session was lots of fun! The instructor was engaging and the exercises were fun and well-paced.” Verity, ECU nursing student

“Thank you for organising the self-defence workshop on Wednesday. I had a great time and it was such a great way to de-stress, learn something new and interact with a new group of people. I also had a good laugh and felt muscles that I never knew existed. It was such a great activity and I would definitely encourage more to get involved if he ran it again.” Jodie, ECU nursing student

” Justin and John were both confident, attentive, supportive and engaging throughout the session and made us feel comfortable as we learned skills we were unfamiliar with. Especially noted was Justin’s ability to explain and demonstrate skills clearly and with efficiency, and took the time ensuring he gave each person equal attention while providing feedback on our technique, in order for us to get the most out of the session. This class was a great foundation for learning self-defence and is something I recommend to anyone, especially those who may often feel vulnerable or anxious as it is empowering and reassuring to know you have the ability to defend yourself in a dangerous situation. Thanks again for the great opportunity Mel! I felt so energised and focused that I went home and smashed out my assignment after a couple of days of feeling very low and uninspired.” Emily, ECU nursing student

“The self-defence workshop looked amazing yesterday. What a fantastic modality to bring onto campus.” ECU staff member, spectator


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Master Justin Warren Presents “Breaking Through Barriers” Seminar at SWYAP 2017

By Kelly Platts

The Rotary South West Youth Achievement Program “Breaking Through Barriers”


A program for our next generation of leaders


I had the pleasure and honour of watching Master Justin present his “Breaking Through Barriers” talk at this year’s South West Young Achievers Program. What an amazing event for young adults, wow I wish I had attended something like this in my younger years! But, as I’m realising, its never too late to learn new things and how exciting (and terrifying!) it can be to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  It doesn’t take long to see the rewards and opportunities that present when you start to change the way you think!

SWYAP 1 2017

“If you think you can, you are right; if you think you can’t you are also right.”


Master Justin kept everyone glued to their seats with his incredible story that saw him reach the very top levels in his chosen sport and Martial Art, Taekwondo.  Drawing Strength from defeat; developing superior Technique through dedication to training and realising success through determination, Attitude and the right mindset.

SWYAP 2  2017

Justin did an amazing job of translating how the Martial Arts Philosophy can truly benefit the lives of each and every one of us. I challenge you to find an example where these simple values DON’T apply!


STRENGTH: The ability to deliver more, withstand more and push past comfort zones.

TECHNIQUE: Learn “the game” and apply paretos law of 80/20 and specialise.

ATTITUTE: Know yourself AND know you competition.


The Philosophy Behind the Martial Arts

Consistent effort over time is what is needed to achieve greatness in anything. One of the most priceless gifts that martial arts practice can give is the ability to get to know yourself, internally and externally. It can help to teach us to use our body to reach and learn to master the mind. Once you have mastered your mind you will have no desire to ever fight. This skill means that, even when faced with the situation, you can stay calm and centered and make the best choices in that moment.


After building everyone up with anticipation, Master Justin wowed the class with his impressive Tile Break. Demonstrating again, how the values and principles he is about to use to break through the clay tiles with only his hand, can be realised in every aspect of a successful life.

1.       Perception vs observation. An interesting little question and comparison to put to yourself the next time you may be feeling doubtful or unsure. (I’ll admit, this is me, ALOT!!!)

Ask yourself, is this feeling or perhaps assumption, based on your PERCEPTION of something or your actual OBSERVATION of it. There is often a very large difference between the two, and actually stopping yourself and going through these differences can be very valuable.

2.       Using correct technique, through alignment and power to break through all the tiles.

As with anyone successful, it’s all about knowing your field and using the right avenues to give yourself maximum advantage. It’s also about having the confidence to push past obstacles and follow through with your goals.


Give it everything you have and don’t pull out!

Justin then invited the students to have a go at trying a new challenge for themselves and break a board with their bare hands. This is certainly got everyone out of their seats quick smart!
First they were given some targets to practise the correct technique. There were smiles all around as hands slapped eagerly into pads! such a great feeling! One I’m sure all of you who train know very well.


SWYAP 4  2017

SWYAP 5  2017Next, it was time to move onto the boards! After running through some of Master Justin’s clever confidenceboosting techniques, not a single person hesitated to have a go. Seeing the joy and excitement on peoples faces as their hands powered through the boards, making a very satisfying SNAP, was pure gold. Very inspiring and uplifting! I’m sure they were all walking an inch taller


“When you see the world differently, you experience it differently – same world, different mind looking at it.”


SWYAP 6  2017 - Justin Warren 

The overall feel of the class that day was very positive; all the youths received Master Justin’s message and advice with great interest and enthusiasm. An awesomely inspiring story about his career and his outlook and attitude towards life and its challenges should be of great benefit to those who were willing to take it on board. I know it will have a lasting impact for me. Thank you

SWYAP 7  2017 - Justin Warren


“A smile costs nothing, but gives much.

It enriches those who receive,

without making poorer those who give.

It takes but a moment,

but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.”


SWYAP 3  2017.jpg

Homepage – Click Here
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Calendar Of Upcoming Events – Click Here

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Gary, Mel, Rebecca & Eric. Our Unbelievables

The Whole Family That Has Their Sights Set On Black Belt

Gary, Mel, Rebecca & Eric. Our Unbelievables


By Kristy Hitchens – Brown Mouse Communications


The guide to being a superhero parent

Lesson Number One: Wake up one morning and decide (REALLY decide) every person in your family needs a Black Belt in Taekwondo.


That’s exactly how the most “Unbelievable” journey began for TKD Central parents Gary Veljacich and Mel Buhlmann.
And now our very own “Unbelievables” (because ‘The Incredibles’ was already taken AND it’s pretty ‘unbelievable’ we’re doing this!) are well on their way to achieving that dream.

Rebecca, now 10, had almost completed the Super Dragons syllabus and Eric,7, was rising through the ranks of Little Dragonflies when the inspiration hit.Gary and Mel simply decided one day that they wanted to be right there to support Rebecca as she made the transition from “the little kids’ classes” to junior Taekwondo.

Thanks to TKD Central’s unique twice-weekly family class in Australind, they were delivered an opportunity to train together as a family. Fast forward two years to Term 3, 2017 and The Unbelievables celebrated a stunningly memorable moment in their family’s history as Gary, Mel and Rebecca stood together before Master Justin for a Red Belt Grading Exam while Eric (still completing Super Dragons) watched from the sidelines.

Talk about the ultimate family bonding experience!

Now their sights are firmly set on attempting a Black Belt grading together next year.

Gary and Mel say they’re okay with the idea that it could take longer than that, but there is not a shadow of a doubt in their minds that they WILL all get there in the end. Unfortunately though, achieving a status in martial arts the majority of beginners will never actually realise, doesn’t come as easily as just waking up one morning and deciding. Former concreter Gary turns 60 next year and wages a constant war with old injuries but celebrates the remarkable improvements to his general fitness since starting training.

Mel splits her working life between lecturing in nursing at Edith Cowan University (collecting a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence as she goes because that’s just how “The Unbelievables” roll) and completing the study and research associated with undertaking a Masters Degree in Nursing.

Yet twice a week throughout the year, the four of them turn up to training and give it their all.

Every step in their Taekwondo journey together is enjoyed, celebrated and REALLY cherished. Photos, belts and board breaks converted into trophies by Gary are on display around their home to help remind them how far they’ve come and what they are working towards. Even Gary’s morning coffee cup shouts at him: “Headed for Black Belt. Don’t look back!”

Taekwondo has become a part of who they are – both as individuals AND as a family.

Those Black Belts are only a matter of time.

Rebecca and Eric talk with pride about their training and their goals and happily recount occasions where the virtues and confidence they’ve gained from Taekwondo has helped them navigate tough situations at school.Despite their young age, they can already see how perseverance is paying off.From Gary and Mel’s point of view, their family has an incredible opportunity to support each other towards achieving a common goal which looking forward, they believe will be of enormous benefit when they are forced to navigate the murky waters of parenting teens.

And they urge any parents who have been sitting on the sidelines to bite the bullet and join in the action so their families too can realise the myriad of benefits training together can bring.
All it takes is one term they believe, to figure out if martial arts is for you. Don’t worry about a uniform or the annual membership fee or gradings. For ONE TERM just turn up each week, pay for the classes as a casual participant, and give it a go. There’s nothing to lose and potentially, EVERYTHING to gain.

As for TKD Central’s instructors, Gary and Mel believe you couldn’t find a better one than 6th Dan Black Belt Master Justin Warren, describing him as head and shoulders above anyone else.And they say he’s well supported by 4th Dan Black Belt Ajana Plunkett and 3rd Dan Black Belt John Crawford who they find to be equally inspiring.

They’re experienced in their teaching methods and achieve a balance between being friendly, approachable and encouraging while understanding how to motivate and empower students to do their best. So what are you waiting for? You too can become a superhero parent like “The Unbelievables” through TKD Central’s family training nights.

· Tuesdays & Thursdays 5.45pm
Australind Senior High School Gymnasium


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TERM 4 CLUB DATES     For Our Clubs … [Read More...]


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Taekwondo Ohdokwan Blackbelt Dan Grading – 27th May 2018

Deacon Malatesta smashes his boards during the Black belt grading - 

All Cho Dan Bo’s & Blackbelts doing the Upcoming Dan Grading

oh_logo_newOfficial Black Belt Dan Grading Date

Date     - Sunday 27th May 2018 
Venue - Richard Rushton Community Centre
Baron Way. Gosnells
Starts     11.00am

Our members are being graded by a panel that includes

8th Dan Black Belt
Grandmaster Ross Hartnett

8th Dan Black Belt
Grandmaster Carmela Hartnett

6th Dan Black Belt
Master Justin Warren

4th Dan Black Belt
Miss Ajana Plunkett


Justin Warren, John Crawford & Ajana Plunkett During The Grading


2.30pm – 4.00pm

Australind High School Gym
Break O Day Drive




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Class Skills Become Life Saving Skills That Helped 2 Little Dragons Escape from Abduction Attempts

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Justin Warren excecutes a jump back kick at 43 years of age - B & W

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