We caught up with Mr Brendan Doogan to find out more about his intriguingly titled "Weird and Wonderful Taekwon-Do" seminar being held at Warrior Training Zone!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a 5th dan from Otahuhu in Auckland. I've trained 18 years under my Instructor Kane Raukura, and in that time I've become an International Instructor, International Umpire, World Champion, Assistant NZ Coach, and a member of the Standards and Discipline and Tournament Advisor Groups. I write articles for Taekwon-Do Talk and for overseas magazines, and I have even done a side piercing kick on top of an elephant. As you can tell, I love everything about Taekwon-Do.
What inspired you to create the "Weird & Wonderful" seminar?
I'm sure anyone who's read the Encyclopaedia has seen some odd stuff that isn't usually done in class. Things that aren't learned for grading and that aren't in any seminar or tournament. I figured that if I wanted to play with those things, and it wasn't really available, I'd just have to do it myself. Mr Mantjika encouraged me to put on the first seminar and the rest is history.
What do you personally find "weird" and "wonderful" about Taekwon-Do?
I find it weird that just when you think you've figured something out, there's a new way to do it. For example a side piercing kick. Even if we leave aside flying, dodging, skipping, sliding, breaking, sparring etc, there are so many ways to do it just in patterns. As a happy young colour belt I thought you just did a high punch with it. But then you pull your hands in the other direction sometimes, like in Hwa-Rang tul for red belts. Or leave them where they were in the previous movement like in Kwang-Gae tul for first dans. Or do it slow motion like second dans' Juche tul. Or with a knifehand or forearm guarding block for third dan pattern Sam-Il. Or high in slowmo then straight away again in normal motion like Moon-Moo tul for fourth dans.
On the other hand, there's so much to do in TKD that I think I could never get bored or have to stop completely for injury. It makes us fit, it's fantastic for memory [all those moves, with all those tools, at all those heights, on all those stances], there are so many lovely, admirable people, we learn to fight the good fight and to protect ourselves and our loved ones. All of these are wonderful to me.
Where did you learn the things you will be sharing at the seminar?
I think some of the best advice for TKD people is to get around to other clubs, go and train under seniors, watch people at gradings and tournaments, and see how other people do things, and have a play with what you've seen. The strange stories I picked up by listening to seniors, reading and researching deeper into the background of the Art.
How many centres has the seminar been to so far, and how has it been received?
Last year Weird & Wonderful Taekwon-Do kicked off in Palmerston North at Boys' High with students from both Palmie and as far away as Whanganui, [shout out to Cassie and Dan Yates]. Christchurch was the second city visited, hosted by Mrs Oliver. A pair of students came all the way up from Dunedin, well done Lachie and Jahnas! Jungshin Glenfield in Auckland North hosted the third seminar for 2014. This year's first one was at the Martial Arts Academy in Tauranga, Auckland is next, to be followed by Whanganui, Napier and Christchurch, with possibly Kerikeri rounding off the year. After each I put together a wee movie for the participants and smiles and laughter are everywhere - well received I'd say!
When and where is the Auckland seminar, and how can people register?
People can register for the Auckland seminar on the iTKD website. Warrior Training Zone (198 Marua Rd) in Ellerslie is the venue, 11-4 on Sunday 3rd May. See you there or in a town near you!
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