1. Age? 21
2. How long have you been training in Hard Target? About 1 year.
3. Current Grade? No belt at the moment, but I’m working on it!
4. Favourite Technique and why? I love anything to do with kicking. I enjoy challenging myself within my own capabilities to kick harder, higher and more accurately with each try.
5. What do you enjoy most about Self Defence training? Although the list could be endless, I’ve managed to narrow it down to two things that I really enjoy about Self Defence training. Firstly, I love the people that Hard Target attracts. The love and respect they have for each other, commitment to their sport, and their positivity in life is immediately palpable the minute you step through the doors. No matter what kind of day you’ve had, you’re always greeted with a smile (and sometimes a hug!) and made feel welcomed and valued as a member and a friend. There’s something very special and warming about the knowledge that you’re creating life-long friendships with truly inspiring people.
Secondly, I love how self-defence training forces you to be present. While on teaching practise as part of my degree, my mind was always about 5 steps ahead of where it should have been; racing through lesson plans, reflecting on the positive and negative aspects of the day, and freaking out about the following day’s lessons. Needless to say, the ability to declutter my thoughts severely declined! The risk of injuring oneself or others due to lack of concentration was ironically exactly what I needed to force me to be focused and still. During that stressful time, Hard Target was the one place where I could slow down, focus my mind on one thing, achieve it, and allow that feeling of attainment to saturate the rest of my week. If the psychotic version of myself resurfaced, I knew I could go back to ‘my happy place’ in my mind and that feeling of calmness and serenity helped me to be mindful and deal with the task at hand.
6. Favourite movie? Beauty and the Beast … or anything Disney to be honest!
7. Favourite food? I think it’s spaghetti Bolognese but pasta carbonara is pretty high on the list too.
8. Describe yourself in 3 words? Amiable, loyal, sincere
9. Most memorable moment in HT? I’m not sure if I can pinpoint one particular moment that I found most memorable in Hard Target, but rather it’s an accumulation of all the chats and laughs had with the people I train with. It has been, and continues to be, a true pleasure getting to know and trust the people you’re working with.
10. Favourite quote? “We are what we believe we are.” – C.S. Lewis
11. If stranded on a desert island who would you choose as a companion and why? I think I would choose my mom. She is the strongest person I know and never ceases to give me the perspective I often lack when faced with difficult decisions. I’m certain she would find a way off the island or if all hope were lost, she would really enjoy a permanent Mediterranean holiday!
12. If you could go back in time who would you like to meet and why? Selfish as it sounds, I would love to go back in time and meet smaller me (yes, a shorter version did exist!). I would tell her to have more confidence in herself, to stop putting so much value in what others think of her, and to trust that the Lord will never steer her wrong. I would tell her that life will have its ups and downs, but not to fear making mistakes or bad decisions, because the result of those choices are the key ingredients that make her the person she is today.
13. What type of animal would you be and why? I think I would be a dog … a big dog … a Diesel-sized dog! I love to laugh and smile and I have never known a more carefree and jovial animal than the humble dog. They never judge or foster malicious thoughts. Dogs only possess unyielding, unconditional love for whoever is in their sights with big slobbery dog kisses to boot! Being half Chinese, I was born in the year of the dog, so in a way I’m already half-way there! I think I would be extremely lucky to acquire even half of the qualities of a dog as they really are just big bundles of love … and fur!
14. How would you explain your basic life philosophy? As most of you know, I am a Christian and so I find my identity in Christ. My basic life philosophy is to follow Him and to live a life according to His teaching which comes from a place of love. I aim to radiate God’s love to whomever I meet, if not through my words, then through my actions. I try to base my actions and words on the well-known Bible verse found in Matthew 7:12; So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. This may be a simple concept but I have found that its implications are universal. I have by no means mastered this concept and I know I never will, but I like how it causes me to think before I act and view situations from the perception of others. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less (C.S. Lewis).