“Fight For Change” And The Mystery Of Martial Arts – Kristy Hitchens

Fight for Change and the mystery of martial arts

* By Kristy Hitchens aka The Mortal Mouse

Taekwondo Central Ladies Supporting Pink Belt Scholarships - www.tkdcentral.com

Many people who have taken up a form of martial arts like Taekwondo will tell you they experienced a somewhat magical transition where the practice became not so much a part of their life, but a way of life.

And through this process, their club becomes not a place where they turn up once or twice a week to train, but something inside of them.

This was how it felt when Taekwondo Central and its members gathered behind me in support of Saturday’s Fight for Change event, hosted by Hitfm breakfast radio presenters Jesse and Juelz.

As you might have already heard, Fight for Change was the result of a collaboration between myself, Jesse and Juelz after they interviewed me on air recently about my Pink Belt Scholarship project which raises money to empower women in need through Taekwondo.

Jesse, Master Justin , Juelz Having Fun at Fight For Change 2018 - www.tkdcentral.com

Fight for Change was a conversation about domestic violence with a free self defence workshop to coincide with White Ribbon Day and held simultaneously in five locations across WA – Bunbury, Albany, Esperance, Kalgoorlie and Northam.

The Bunbury event, included a free 1.5 hour self defence workshop at the South West Sports Centre by Taekwondo Central’s Master Justin who donated his time and expertise on the day.

The entire concept would have fallen over very quickly if Master Justin hadn’t so willingly and generously agreed to participate so I must offer him my sincere thanks for that.

The Whole Taekwondo Central Fight For Change Team + Jesse & Juelz From Hitfm - www.tkdcentral.com

More than 40 women registered online for the event and we were blown away when all of them and more showed up full of energy and ready to learn. Having been teaching self defence even longer than he’s been teaching Taekwondo, Master Justin with assistance from Head Instructor Ajana provided participants with confidence, empowerment, usable skills plus a few laughs, inspiring stories and a lot of fun.
Ajana Plunkett demonstrates escaping a choke hold 1 - www.tkdcentral.com
Ajana Plunkett demonstrates escaping a choke hold 2 - www.tkdcentral.com

The room was absolutely packed and the atmosphere – despite the very serious messages behind the day – was overwhelmingly positive. The opportunity to be involved was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry.

A highlight was seeing Master Justin coach Jesse and Juelz through their first board breaks as a conclusion to the workshop. There was so much clapping and cheering and the priceless look on Jesse’s face afterwards showed he was completely astonished by his brilliant achievement.

That was just one highlight, there were so many more.

The Taekwondo Central Ladies Supporting The Pink Belt Scholarship - www.tkdcentral.com

* News that a very fragile domestic violence survivor who struggled with some aspects of the workshop courageously made it through the event with gentle encouragement right throughout from one of TC’s Pink Belt assistants. And on top of that, the participant left feeling empowered.

* A complete stranger slipped me a $200 donation towards fundraising for the Pink Belt Scholarship project asking that her generous contribution remain anonymous.

* Word from Juelz later in the day that feedback coming in from the other four locations around WA where Fight for Change events were held was also very positive.

* The buzz afterwards in knowing that together as a club we had been involved in something meaningful that would trigger a stunning ripple effect for others.

* A big bunch of participants expressing interest in continuing their training through Counterstrike, Taekwondo Central or MartialFit.

* The group of my Taekwondo sisters who all turned up wearing Pink Belts to support the event and support my project still gives me tears when I think about it days later. Even the amazing but always humble Head Instructor Ajana who tossed aside her 4th Dan Black Belt in favour of pink for the day!

Juelz from Hitfm Breaks Her Board At Fight For Change 2018 - www.tkdcentral.com
Jesse from Hitfm Demolishes His Board At Fight For Change 2018 - www.tkdcentral.com


To Watch Jesse & Juelz break their boardsClick Here

 

A whole bunch more I know would have been there too if they could but were kept away by work and other commitments. They thoughtfully sent me their best wishes throughout the day.

All of this meant the world to me and reminds me of that old-fashioned saying: “Birds of a feather flock together”.

I prefer the more modern take on it of: “Your vibe attracts your tribe”.

At Taekwondo Central I have found a new tribe – a whole bunch of like-minded souls – who in a surprisingly short space of time, have become incredibly important to me. I put it down to another of the mysteries of martial arts!

Is a certain type of person drawn to the martial arts? Or do they become a certain type of person once there? Why do we all connect so effortlessly?

Throughout the process of this Pink Belt Scholarship project I have received so many genuine and lovely compliments about my efforts and drive to pull it off. We are now able to offer 14 scholarships at clubs across Australia.

Instructor John Supporting The Cause - www.tkdcentral.com

Even though I find it excruciatingly difficult to accept compliments generally, I feel the constant need to deflect ones about pink belt. Not because I’m being stupidly modest and humble but because all of this honestly would not have happened without the unbelievable support and encouragement I have received from my club every step of the way.

I won’t single anyone out because I’m pretty sure they would know who they are. They are my tribe and each one of them inspires me every day through their achievements, through the personal battles they overcome, through their level of care and kindness toward others.

Just by being themselves, they encourage me to level up. In everything I do.

The very nature of a project like Pink Belt Scholarship demands a person out front and as uncomfortable as I am in that role, I have been able to do it ONLY because of the people in my club who have stood behind me propping me up the whole way.

Thank you could never be enough for helping me experience all of this.

 

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples
– Mother Teresa

 

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Womens Taekwondo – Growing Through Focus – Ajana Plunkett

I am so excited for the future of my Women’s Only Taekwondo Class. To think we started almost 6 months ago on 6th of June, and we are now coming up to our 2nd grading at the end of this term, the time has just flown by, but I’m loving every minute of it.

I have 4 awesome, motivated ladies who have joined and started their martial arts journey and I couldn’t be more chuffed that they chose me to be their instructor.

And these ladies’ skills, continue to improve and improve.

First Womens Day Class Members Grade 2018 b - www.tkdcentral.com

It’s pretty rewarding to watch.

Starting my own class, that was my own idea and responsibility has been a huge step for me as a martial artist, an instructor and as a role model in the community. Passing on my knowledge and years of training to likeminded women has been so much fun and has been a lot different to my usual classes I instruct.

3 out of 4 of these Women have been apart of our club for years, sitting on the side supporting their children week after week. Deanna and Sarah’s daughters; Tahlia & Trinity are both black belts and Lynn’s Christopher and Shonna both on their Probationary Black belts, it was a huge leap for them to all jump off the side line and finally put their feet on the training floor. If they can, maybe one of you Taekwondo Mums can as well?

For Chelsea, the leap might have been even greater. She had no children in our club, so she didn’t have that way to connect, she hadn’t watched it for years, so she didn’t have much idea what Taekwondo was about, it was something brand spanking new for her. She was my first and only student on day one, and I’m so glad we haven’t lost Chels.

There’s always going to be reasons why you shouldn’t or can’t give it a go, but there’s always going to be MORE reasons why you SHOULD do it!

Take a read of each of my student’s testimonials

 

Women’s class testimonials:

 

Deanna Gowland:

“After 6 years of sitting on the sidelines watching my daughter train with TKD Central and pass 2 Black Belt gradings, I had developed a massive respect for the sport.

I began to have a secret burning desire to take it up myself but kept passing it off.

One day I heard Ajana Plunkett was starting Ladies Only day classes. I knew this was my calling.

Leading up to the first class I was so nervous, worried that I was biting off my than I can chew.

But Ajana knows exactly how to ease the new mature student into her classes and is just amazing at it.

Fast forward 5 months I am now a yellow belt and Tkd has become a big part of my life. I am fitter, stronger and happier. I also love the special friendships I have formed with the Ladies I train with.

We are very welcoming to new class members, come join us! You’ll love it!

Thank you, Ajana.”

 

Sarah Best:

“When Head Instructor Ajana announced that she was going to start a lady only class…I really wanted to support her new endeavour.

I do still have a long way to go on this journey of Taekwondo and the warms up laps are still not my friend! BUT….I can now touch my toes. My ‘shielding stand up’ doesn’t always require a knee on the floor half way through. AND I can sometimes actually breath long enough to take a sip of water after the warm up. So, for all the obstacles I found that I couldn’t do (yet)…. there was so many that I surprisingly found that I could. That feeling of landing a great kick is extremely motivating!”

 

Chelsea Batten:

“Being a Mum I’ve found we don’t often take the time to do things for ourselves so joining the Women’s Only group was a big leap for me. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else!

The fitness, health benefits, discipline and confidence I have gained is beyond measure & i am now also a very proud member of an amazing group of ladies who I call family”

 

Lynn Behrens:

“It is the best thing that I have done for myself. I love every session, surrounded by positive people who influence me to be my best while gaining better physical strength and coordination. Ajana is a dedicated and passionate instructor. Her women’s only classes are a great way to get in shape and learn techniques in self-defence all achieved in a caring and supportive environment.”

WE WANT TO MEET MORE LADIES! We are a fun, understanding and friendly group (not to toot our own horns). You wouldn’t meet a nicer bunch!

Come give it a go, the benefits are so rewarding. It doesn’t take long to watch yourself improving; growing stronger and more confident. You may find yourself setting goals like my ladies that include getting to their black belt? Or maybe you want to take time out for yourself to exercise and socialise? Whatever your reason, my woman’s Taekwondo class might just be the thing for you.

 

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Ajana Plunkett demonstrates escaping a choke hold 1 - www.tkdcentral.comAjana Plunkett Demonstrates Escaping A Forearm Strangle At “Fight For Change”

Instructor Ajana Plunkett is a 4th Dan Black Belt In Taekwondo,
and has been involved in the art for 15 years.
She is very passionate about helping others learn the benefits of what Taekwondo can give and is the
Instructor of Women’s Only Taekwondo Classes.
Ajana is the Head Instructor of Taekwondo Central

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Going For Black And Never Going Back – Luke Crane

Luke Crane During The Poomsae Section Of His 1st Dan Black belt  Grading - www.tkdcentral.com

By Luke Crane, 1st Dan Black Belt

It’s November 4th, I’m sitting passenger side of my car heading to Dunsborough for a family catch up. The last 24 hours has been an absolute blur.

The events of November 3rd’s Black Belt Dan Grading still haven’t fully sunk in. Everything feels so surreal.

I have achieved something most people never will. I have obtained my Black Belt along with 5 others from my Taekwondo Central family.

Together we all further cemented our footings into our own Taekwondo journeys. Four of us obtaining our First Dan Black Belt and two of us reaching Second Dan.

I could not be more proud of the amazing effort each of us has put into preparing for yesterday’s grading. Blood, sweat, tears, injuries, sickness. We have all experienced a wide range of emotions pushing ourselves above and beyond our limits, and it payed off for every one of us.

Watching Lucas and Jy nailing their patterns, Kian with his lightning fast moves through his sparring, Trinity flawlessly and effortlessly breaking each of her boards with such fluid motion. Kelly’s beautiful stances with such precise technique also managing to take out a best in grading award.

See The Whole Teams Grading Day Photos – Click Here

I am beyond proud of each of these people’s efforts, I am so proud to have been part of their grading.

So how did I get here? What led me to this point?

A big part of my journey, as many who know me, is my daughter Remy’s influence. Without enrolling her into Taekwondo Central, I may never have been standing where I was yesterday.

Assistant Instructor Luke Crane with Remy - www.tkdcentral.com

I have never been a confident person. In the past I may have even seemed quite the nervous type. I find it difficult to start a conversation with someone I don’t know. I have no problems holding a conversation but I’ve always felt as if I’m interrupting something, or that no-one’s really interested in hearing what I have to say.

I used to get stuck in my own head a lot, I used to listen to my cautious thoughts too much, and I never jumped at opportunities that maybe I should have. Over many years, I slowly worked out that this was not the way to live.

I slowly corrected my thought patterns, I managed to move those cautious thoughts aside and allowed myself to breathe, to realise how draining all these excess thoughts were.

Taekwondo has been a big part of defeating my insecurities, building courage, building relationships, building strength, honour and determination. Taekwondo has done amazing things for me and I will always look back and be so proud of everything I have achieved within Taekwondo and my life as a whole since.

Luke Crane Knee Strikes During His Black Belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.com

I started training back in September 2016 and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for hitting my second milestone in Taekwondo on November 3rd, 2018: Achieving my First Dan Black Belt.

The first milestone I set for myself was to be able to straighten my leg above my head in warm-up stretches. I achieved that roughly one year into my journey.

My next milestone: 2nd Dan Black Belt. There have also been several unexpected milestones that have popped up unknowingly during my time training. I joined the leadership team and very quickly made my way to Assistant Instructor at Taekwondo Central.

This was something I never saw myself doing yet something that I absolutely love. Becoming a full-time instructor would be amazing, it’s definitely on my list of to do’s.

Kelly Rowe & Luke Crane Spar During The Nov 2018 Black Belt Grading

However let’s back up a bit.

Earlier I mentioned that I only started training in September 2016 and managed to obtain my Black Belt on November 3rd, 2018. How in just over 2 years have I got to this level when it generally takes 4 years?

Based on this you might be thinking getting a Black Belt is a walk in the park.

Well I’ve got news for you, it’s not! There is nothing easy about obtaining such a feat. It requires commitment, strength, focus, resilience, stamina it requires the drive to never give up.

You will at some stage be in pain, it may be new muscles forming that have never been used, you may suffer from such pains as shin splints which can be extremely painful for some, it may just be a simple accidental collision during sparring, over stretching, pushing yourself too far too quickly.

At some stage you will hurt, and that’s all part of the journey.

Luke Crane Shows His Focus During His Successful Black Belt Grading 2018 - www.tkdcentral.com

I had the “pleasure” of a major shin collision a week and a half before grading. I didn’t know it at the time but when I got home I had a lump the size of my fist on my leg.

I was barely able to walk and had to keep my leg elevated and iced up. Only the day of my grading was I finally able to see my ankle because the majority of swelling and bruising had gone down.

Was I concerned about my grading due to this injury?

I hadn’t done any sparring since the collision and I had at least 8 rounds of sparring coming up as part of my grading. So the answer to my question was yes! I was concerned, I knew that I wasn’t able to perform to a level I know I can.

But it wasn’t going to stop me, it didn’t stop me. I pushed past it.

My leg was hit a few times, and believe me, it hurt! But I wasn’t going to let this stop me from coming and achieving my goal for the day and it didn’t.

So minus all of the above, all of the extra training (you would see me within our club 6 days a week either training or helping others train) what else was required to help me go for black?

It’s simple really. I now realise it’s the key to achieving anything you set your mind to.

Believe in yourself, and trust in the people who are helping you through that journey.

Master Justin, Instructors Ajana and John, none of them would tell you to go for this amazing achievement if they didn’t believe you were ready. Listen to those who are helping you out, they want nothing more than to help you succeed and succeed we did.
Luke Crane Smashes His Board At His Black belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.com

My journey however doesn’t end here.

I will continue to teach and train and better myself and my knowledge about this amazing sport, Taekwondo.

Black is just the beginning. It’s the end of my probation to prove that I’m worthy of holding this world recognised certification. The real journey begins now

 

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Assistant Instructor Luke Crane with Remy - www.tkdcentral.com

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Tahlia Gowland as a Black Belt

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2018 November Black Belt Grading Results – 6 New Black Belts – Check Out The Photos

Taekwondo Central 2018 Black Belts After Grading - www.tkdcentral.com

With an earlier Taekwondo Ohdokwan Black Belt grading set for November 3rd due to the Grandmasters busy schedule, Team Central being cut a month of preparation had a sprint to the end.

With 6 members locking in for a final training stint we are very happy to announce that all passed their new black belt level and one earning “Best Grading” Award.

Congratulations to

Trinity Best - Focused During Her 2nd Dan Black Belt Grading 2018 - www.tkdcentral.comTrinity Best Was Very Focused Passing 2nd Dan Black Belt

Trinity Best (2nd Dan Black Belt)
Kian Stapleton (2nd Dan Black Belt)
Kelly Rowe (1st Dan Black Belt)
Luke Crane (1st Dan Black Belt)
Lucas Hitchens (1st Dan Black Belt)
Jy Gamble (1st Dan Black Belt)

Kian Stapleton Is Grabbed For Self Defence - www.tkdcentral.com

Kian Stapleton Hip Throws At His 2nd Dan Grading - www.tkdcentral.comKian Stapleton Hip Throws During His 2nd Dan Grading

Master Justin, Head Instructor Ajana, and Instructor John are all very proud of you and especially your dedication. It was a huge effort

After this grading it meaning Taekwondo Central produced 15 new Black belts for 2018

To top off an already great day. Kelly Rowe won “Best Grading” Award of the approx. 80 members at the grading who come from all over the state.

Kelly Rowe Demonstrates A Hgh Front Kick At Her Black belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.com

Grandmaster Ross Hartnett  Gives Kelly Rowe Her Best Black Belt Grading Award - www.tkdcentral.com

Thank you also to the Taekwondo Central Support Crew who came up to celebrate the event with their club members. It was great to see so many familiar faces.

Another great that has happened for the club is 3 of our Assistants have increased level to us pass our clubs skills onto others being

Trinity BestEaton Taekwondo
Luke CraneEaton Dragons / Australind Taekwondo
Kelly RoweAustralind Taekwondo / Martialfit / Paragon Program

Its great to see the next generation of our club so focused in their own pursuit to Martial Arts Mastery

A Big Thank You also to all the people who have sent in Photos for us to get this page done. Thanks Especially to Rebecca Collis & Gary Veljacic who took most of the photos I have put up. Its great to have this event recorded visually

Kelly Rowe & Luke Crane Sparring Opponents During their 1st Dan Black belt grading - www.tkdcentral.comKelly Rowe & Luke Crane Sparring Opponents During Their 1st Dan Grading

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Jy Gamble on his way to a successful 1st Dan Black Belt - www.tkdcentral.comJy Gamble During His 1st Dan Black belt Grading

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Luke Crane Awaits His Next Bout For Sparring - www.tkdcentral.comLuke Crane Ready For Next Sparring Match

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Lucas Hitchens Proudly Holds His 1st Dan Black Belt Certificate - www.tkdcentral.comLucas Hitchens With His 1st Dan Black Belt Certificate

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Trinity Best Applies  A Forward Leg Scissor Takedown - www.tkdcentral.comTrinity Best Applies Leg Scissor Takedown

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Kian Stapletons Determination Can Be Seen On His Way To Passing 2nd Dan Black belt - www.tkdcentral.comKian Stapleton Was Very Focused

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Jy Gamble During The Poomsae Section Of His Dan Grading - www.tkdcentral.comJy Gamble Completing His Pattern (Poomsae)

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Lucas Hitchens Launches A Tornado Kick During His Black Belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.comLucas Hitchens Leaps Into A Tornado Kick (Jump Reverse Turning Kick)

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Luke Crane During The Poomsae Section Of His 1st Dan Black belt  Grading - www.tkdcentral.comLuke Crane During His Patterns Examination

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Head Instructor Ajana Plunkett Having Fun With Kelly Rowe At The 2018 Nov Black Belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.com

Head Instructor Ajana & Kelly Rowe Having Some Fun At The Grading

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Lucas Hitchens Demonstrates A Beautiful Board Break At His 1st Dan Black Belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.com

Lucas Hitchens Smashes His Boards At His Black Belt Grading

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Master Justin Warren & Head Instructor Ajana Plunkett Relax With The Taekwondo Central Team - www.tkdcentral.comAll The Group Rally Together To Lighten The Mood

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Luke Crane Applies A Side Arm Lock At His Black Belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.comLuke Crane Applies An Arm Lock At The Grading

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Kelly Rowe Fully Focused During The Poomsae Section Of Her Black Belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.comKelly Rowe Focus Was Evident As She Completed Her Patterns

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Trinity Best locks On A Straight Arm Wrist Lock Kick At Her 2nd Dan Black Belt Grading - www.tkdcentral.comTrinity Best Demonstrates Self Defence Techniques On The Road To 2nd Dan Black Belt

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Lucas Hitchens Finishing Up A Soin Kick During His Black Belt Grading 2018 - www.tkdcentral.comLucas Hitchens Throws A Spin Kick During The Kicking

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Trinity Best Smashes Her Boards On Her Way To 2nd Dan Black belt - www.tkdcentral.comTrinity Best With An Impressive Board Break At The Grading

Watch Trinity Best Smash All Her Boards On Our Facebook Page – Click Here

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Luke Crane Shows His Focus During His Successful Black Belt Grading 2018 - www.tkdcentral.comLuke Crane Demonstrates His Traditional Technique At Grading

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Taekwondo Central Students Luke Crane & Kelly Rowe Await Results At Their 2018 Successful Black belt Grdaing - www.tkdcentral.com

Did We Pass? Anxious Students Await The Result – Luke Crane & Kelly Rowe

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Jy Gamble Receives His Successful Black belt Result from Grandmaster Ross Hartnett - www.tkdcentral.comJy Gamble Receives His Black belt Off Grandmaster Ross Hartnett

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Head Instructor Ajana Plunkett Embraces New Black belt And Best Grading Award Winner Kelly Rowe - www.tkdcentral.comHead Instructor Ajana Plunkett embraces New Black Belt Kelly Rowe

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Taekwondo Central Grading Team November 2018 - Kelly Rowe, Trinity Best,The Taekwondo Central 2018 November Grading Squad
Top L-R = Kelly Rowe, Trinity Best, Kian Stapleton, Luke Crane, Master Justin Warren
Front L-R = Jy Gamble, Lucas Hitchens, Head Instructor Ajana Plunkett

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Black Belt Grading November 2018

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Counterstrike Bunbury 2018 August Course Full – Pics Galore!!

Counterstrike 2018 Bunbury - Master Justin Warren Instructs - www.tkdcentral.com

Counterstrike Women Self Defence Course has had a strong interest with women personal protection on the radar in the last months.
Thank you to all the ladies who have got involved this term, The improvement in just weeks has been very noticeable already.
We look forward to seeing the empowered version of yourself at the end of the course.

Counterstrike Women Self Defence Course celebrates its 20th year in 2018 with the first course being held at the former Railway Institute Building in 1998 which is just across the road from the current course at the Bunbury Art Gallery. Its also great to see a variety of ages doing this class, its been a great atmosphere and the focus has been intense, these ladies are serious!!

We are looking at the possibility of running a day course in Term 4 in Bunbury.
If you wish to get involved keep an eye out on this webpage – www.tkdcentral.com
Our Facebook page – click here

A big thank you to Deanna Gowland for the photos.
If you like her work she is available to hire for your occasion – phone 0429 089 020

 

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


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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 - www.tkdcentral.com - 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.

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Ajana Plunkett Kicking As A 3rd Dan Blackbelt - www.tkdcentral.com

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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.

 

2.       THE MAJOR WEAK POINTS OF THE HUMAN BODY:

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.

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“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 - www.tkdcentral.com
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.

For Info On Miss Plunketts Classes – Please See below or contact her for private lessons
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Email – ajtkdcentral@gmail.com

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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 - www.tkdcentral.com

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)

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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 - www.tkdcentral.com

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.
We recommend her.
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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 kidshield@hotmail.com or 0407470964

Deegan McDonald breaks his board into 3!! - www.tkdcentral.com

Rebecca Buhlmann smashes her board - www.tkdcentral.com

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 - www.tkdcentral.com

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 - www.tkdcentral.com

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 - www.tkdcentral.com

Lucas Hitchens Goes Aerial With A Skip Up Axe Kick - www.tkdcentral.com

 

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