Category Archives: General

You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying

Everyone hopes they will be successful when they take their grading test for the next grade level.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, there may be times when you don’t pass.

It could be for many reasons, may be because nervousness made you forget your pattern or you made mistakes during step sparring or free sparring, or the ‘sin of all sins’… you didn’t train and focus enough during the previous months of training practice.

Whatever the reason, become an Edison… Thomas Eddison invented many things the most famous being the light bulb and the phonograph. It took lots and lots of failures on his part until he reached his successes. Be like Eddison, just keep on working on your training skills until you “Get it”

Failing is no more than just being unsuccessful this time. With the help of your instructor fix the problem and get back on track.

It’s pretty-much impossible to get everything right first time. Some people pick-up on techniques faster than others but there’s no doubt that everyone can eventually ‘get-it’

It’s the struggle that makes you strong. If everything you do is easy for you, it’s impossible to build resilience and without resilience, setbacks become insurmountable obstacles.

Always do your best but if you are unsuccessful at grading time, find out the reason why from your instructor and fix it… problem solved… next grading – success.



Try Taekwondo training in Brisbane with a free trial lesson of this exciting martial art.

You’ll soon discover that Taekwondo lessons are a wonderful way to let off steam, exercise your whole body and to learn effective self-defence. We offer Taekwondo classes Brisbane wide, so you have the opportunity to try it for free at a location near you!

cific International Taekwondo invites you to call into your local branch and watch a class in action. If you like what you see, pick up a free trial lesson to experience Taekwondo for yourself, in a safe and friendly environment. During your free lesson, you’ll learn kicks, punches, and other techniques from highly skilled instructors with many years of experience.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or you have some knowledge of martial arts, and whatever your level of fitness, this is your opportunity to try out Taekwondo in Brisbane for free.


Taekwondo offers great physical exercise for teenagers

As a teenager you’ll enjoy the highly charged physical activity in a controlled, non-aggressive environment.

You’ll never get bored at Pacific International Taekwondo because, unlike some sports, there are always new challenges to overcome as you progress through the coloured belts towards the coveted black belt. The regular setting and achieving of goals can also develop a mindset that creates a pattern for success in other areas of your life.

Taekwondo training is a great way to burn off excess energy, enjoy healthy all-round exercise, and learn valuable self-defence skills. Plus, you’ll be welcomed into a friendly club and make new friends with similar interests.

Maybe you’ve already thought about enrolling in martial art training in Brisbane? Now you can try it out, free of charge. Learn more about what happens at your first lesson at:


Training can be customised for adults of all abilities

Adults are often drawn to Taekwondo as an alternative to repetitive training in the gym or jogging. Taekwondo training builds muscle strength and improves the cardio-vascular system. It strengthens the core muscle groups, which are vital for balance, posture, and physical health especially as we get older. It’s an all-round workout that will give you real results, and it’s definitely not repetitive.

Training is customised to provide achievable, but testing, challenges for adults of all abilities. Whether you’re already super-fit and looking for a physically hard workout, or you’re less active and seeking an enjoyable way to exercise and get rid of stress, Taekwondo training could be just right for you.

Try it out for free and see for yourself. You’ll find more information at:


The mind and body benefits of Taekwondo training

Taekwondo has its roots in ancient martial tradition, and has been constantly developed to reach its modern form which has ensured it remains applicable in the 21st century.

Taekwondo offers a full body workout that develops and improves muscle strength, stamina, and flexibility, leading to high levels of fitness and vitality. You will also be learning a practical form of self-defence. Your self-esteem will increase, and you’ll become modestly confident, self-assured, and able to handle life’s problems without getting stressed.

For some people Taekwondo is an exhilarating way to exercise that offers many benefits, for others it’s a life changing journey. Try it out for free and discover the benefits for yourself. You can see more information and contact us to book your free trial at:

The Seven Annoying Habits of  a Martial Art Fanatic.

I know it may seem strange but after forty plus years training and teaching in martial arts I still can’t get my head around the fact that there are people out there who are oblivious to the martial arts fanaticism that takes up the majority of thinking and doing time of martial art fanatics. I have kept the list short but there are many more.

Here we go…

  1. Having to train even when you’re injured.

You just can’t help yourself. You promise yourself that you will take it nice and slow and stop when it becomes painful. However, after five minutes easy training all is going well so you push a little harder and then a bit more and a bit more then… bang!!! you feel the muscle tear or whatever else happens that sets you back another week, then the self-recriminations… why do I always push too hard… why am I so stupid about training… why didn’t my wife/husband/partner stop me etc…

  1. Mentally going through pattern movements while you are travelling on public transport.

People looking at you when on public transport have no idea that you are mentally in the throes of attack and defence – block, strike, dodge kick, cover distance kick and jump kick…

  1. Sizing-up members of the public as potential threats and working out how to deal with them.

Big guy that one…step back and to the side, right inner block and back-fist strike followed by mid sidekick…

  1. Annoying others by constantly hitting your knuckles against objects for toughening.


  1. Practicing combination movements at home while family members are trying to watch TV.

“Will you stop that and get out of the damn way!!!”

  1. Practicing breathing techniques at the dinner table 

and nearly choking to death in the process

      7. Always assuming everyone is super interested in learning about any aspect of training.

This is a “No-brainer” everyone is obviously interested in any and all, aspects of training!!!

( JT Dicks)



There are many forms of martial arts, some relatively new, and others that have been practiced for decades. The longer established arts have often been passed down from teacher to student for several lifetimes. Student learns from teacher then student becomes teacher and passes on training knowledge to other students some of who again become teachers and so it continues.

So, what are the criteria that define a martial art.

  1. Grades are earned not purchased, you cannot pay a large sum of money and are then given a black

belt (it does happen, but not in ‘martial art’ schools)

  1. Grading test criteria must be met. You must reach a certain standard to be awarded a higher


      3. Everybody starts at the bottom and works their way up.

4. Respect in the training hall is earned not demanded. (whether student or instructor)


Some of the characteristics of a well-trained martial artist…

  1. Physical power and precision
  2. Ability to think clearly under stressful conditions
  3. Indomitable Spirit
  4. Determination
  5. Strong self-discipline
  6. Clarity of focus

Apart from being essential characteristics for martial artists, these are great life skills but they will only be obtainable by using the right process of training – NOT by merely doing the physical act of training.

What do you really know about martial art training?pacific international taekwondo brisbane

You’ve probably watched movies and TV series that show the hero, single-handedly demolishing six bad guys without even raising a sweat or getting out of breath… let’s get real.

Martial art training is great, ask anyone that’s ever achieved Black Belt and they’ll tell you that there’s nothing better, but like everything worthwhile in life, you have to give to get back, in other words you have to work at it; however, the work doesn’t feel like work because it’s enjoyable and done in the company of other like-minded people, who also enjoying training.

Training is training and no matter what you are training for, the result you get out depends on the effort you put in.The results you get however can be a hundred times the effort required.

So! what are the results and benefits?

A good training session makes you feel fantastic, you feel tired but elated, and pleased with yourself and your accomplishments.

You have learned that you need to sharpen some of your techniques and found what you excel at. You learned about new techniques and how to use them effectively, plus learned how to use techniques you know in a different way to get the better of your training partner.

You will either be pleased with your current fitness levels or decide to get fitter, stronger and faster and there is always your instructor to turn to for advice on how best to do that…

What’s not to like with all that?

In taekwondo, some lightbulb moments are slightly more obvious (like realising you have to raise your knees to flying-sidekick over three people) and some less so (like throwing your hip correctly with inner forearm block). Nonetheless, these moments help to progress us through our training and foster a sense of achievability in our martial art careers.

My first lightbulb moment in my taekwondo training was the realisation that I could actually ‘do’ something. I was the chubby, shy, unconfident kid who used to get picked on at school. I never did gymnastics and was terrified of wearing a tutu, so ballet was definitely out. Sport was not really my thing either – I swam like a rock, could only ever beat the asthmatic kid in cross country, and track and field was like asking a piglet to do the hurdles, it was never going to happen!

Taekwondo was the first extracurricular activity that I not only enjoyed, but felt like I could actually ‘do’. Not just turn up on time in uniform; not just exist as another face in the class; but actually ‘do’. Maybe it was due to having two brothers, but punching and kicking felt more natural to me than anything else had before.
I couldn’t run cross country, but I could run around a football field for a warm up. I wasn’t as graceful as my ballerina friends, but I could sidekick without falling over.

My true first lightbulb moment came after my first grading. I was terrified but tried my hardest, which in hindsight is kind of impressive for a 10 year old girl with absolutely no finesse whatsoever. At the end, my self-doubt crept in, and I honestly thought I had failed – so you can imagine my sheer disbelief and elation when I was given my yellow belt (do not pass go, do not collect yellow tip!). I’m sure my parents still remember me literally jumping into the kitchen, in a flurry of excited screaming and sobbing, wearing my new belt. I wasn’t quite as hopeless as I thought I was!

That moment means even more to me now than it did at the time, as a 2nd Dan black belt and instructor, as it’s the moment I hope every one of the students I teach has at some stage – a flash of brilliance, inspiration and self-confidence.
It might come with a yellow belt, a 1st Dan, a board break or just a well-coordinated back kick; but whatever the lightbulb moment is, don’t ever let it go. Cherish and remember it fondly, because in those moments of self-doubt and disheartenment, the lightbulb moment reminds you that you don’t just exist as another face in the class; you’re a martial artist, and you can actually ‘do’ this.

Katherine Gridley


If you don’t follow the way to become a tradesperson you can’t become one, and if you don’t follow the way to become a martial artist you can’t become one – you’ll just end up as a puncher & kicker.

If you want to achieve anything you must follow the right path.You must do the things necessary to get you where you want to be.

Self- discipline is the prime factor in reaching success in any field. You want to be a Black Belt? Practice self discipline.

Most people consider self-discipline a chore, but in fact it’s your very best friend… If you master it, there’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish.

It’s not being able to jump and kick 8 feet in the air or to punch through boards and bricks or to spar twenty different black belts without a break that’s important.

It isn’t your ability to actually be able do all those things that’s important; it’s the constant trying to do it that counts. What’s important is the journey, not the destination.

Being presented with and wearing the black belt is a great feeling of accomplishment, but having the belt isn’t that important at all, what’s important is that…You have become the  strong person you needed to be to have that belt presented to you – that’s what’s important.

You had to use discipline to push yourself again and again so you became stronger, fitter, faster and more courageous. You had to do the things necessary to make you the person capable of earning your black belt.

Your friend, ‘discipline’, got you there.


Master Dicks


Alex front kickAnyone training in martial arts will at some time have to combat training boredom.
Generally this happens predominately within the first six months of training.

Repetition is essential at this level because the repetition is embedding the foundations for future learning and growth of power and focus. During this period the fundamental movements are being consolidated.

These fundamental movements and techniques are the bedrock on which all movements are based – speed, power, balance, use of correct and appropriate technique, correct target areas, breath control, focused mindset and much more. This initial training can lead to mental and physical tiredness.
The above are some of the physical attribute that are seeded and begin to grow during this initial training period, and in order to maintain your training through this period you have to dig down and find your inner strength.

This is the time you will begin to build your courage and perseverance; it’s that absolutely essential ingredient that allows you to push through all the barriers, problems and weaknesses within yourself to be able to achieve your goals, any goals, not just your martial art training goals.
One of the best and simplest ways of getting rid of boredom when training is, to train with equipment and partners!

Use a punch bag or partner held hand pads. Using these training aids allows you to physically contact with your techniques so you “feel’ the contact. You don’t have to just visualise, you can feel the power you are generating.
If you are training alone and don’t have any equipment to train with, use visualising methods. ‘See’ your opponent’s attack and move, block and counter accordingly.

Practice seeing your imaginary opponent knocked backwards and winded when you perform a well executed front or side kick to their solar plexus.
There are no limits to what you can do when you visualise, and using this method of training will really help keep your training on track through those boring times.

Master Dicks

When you are practicing a technique or combination you need to learn to execute the technique correctly, that’s pretty obvious isn’t it?
So in order to do that you need… a strong balanced stance, use the appropriate blocking or attacking tool, correct starting and finish point of the technique, know how to use the body’s hip rotation to increase power, control your breathing, focus on the target, relax the muscles as you move etc.

That’s a lot to think about, but it has to be done, and, repeated often in order for you to be able to do that technique correctly.
You know that, so you practice diligently in order to be able to do it well.

Then you begin putting in more power and performing it in a flowing movement that starts to make it all come together. Next you ramp it up and really deliver a fast balanced coordinated powerful technique. Congratulations you are half way there!

Now comes the hard part. You have to learn to use it.
Doing and using are two related but completely different aspects of performing that technique.
You need to visualise its use in an attacking or defensive environment depending on the techniques use.
When you practice now, you need to visual the technique being used on and against an opponent.
In your mind’s eye see the result of your action, do it again and again against the opponent you can ‘see’. Look at angles, distances and speed. Look at the openings that are available after your attack or defence movement and what could you follow-up with. Now practice with a partner in as real a way as possible, this will give you the correct ‘feel’.
In future, when you are practicing alone without a partner you will be able to truly use the technique against your imaginary partner, and be able to practise using it over and over.

So now you know the difference, when practicing alone, of doing and using.

Taekwondo classes for children can be hard work for the instructors at Pacific International Taekwondo! Teaching Taekwondo to kids can be a tough job, but at the same time, it can be a real joy. It’s also a big responsibility. Kids trust us because we are in a position of authority, and we need to validate that trust from them, and their parents.


To do this, Pacific International Taekwondo teaches them in a strong, caring “martial arts” atmosphere. I hear the word “fun” used all the time when people talk about Taekwondo training for kids and I must say I’m not a real fan of the FUN word. Enjoyment – now that’s a word I like. Watch kids at play, and they do things without thinking; they get lost in the fun and laughter. That’s not where they need to be when they’re training. During training, their enjoyment comes mainly from two sources: one is from the instructor’s praise when they have been focused on doing something correctly, and the other is when they themselves realize they are doing it well and can feel the technique working the way it’s supposed to.


If an instructor uses games or bribes, such as medals and trophies, to entice children to stay training with them, they are doing the kids a real disservice. Children need structure, encouragement and discipline…with a smile. Self-discipline is the cornerstone of success in any endeavour. Without it, little gets done. With it, you can do almost anything. I’ve been teaching as a full-time instructor for forty years and have had thousands of kids pass through the organisation. Over the years I’ve seen their lives change and develop for the better and many are still with us as instructors, some for almost thirty years. It’s all our instructors at Pacific International Taekwondo doing what they love to do that makes it possible. Thanks PITKD Instructors. Love my job. Master Dicks