My Way of Life!
I was born in 1976 in Berlin, Germany and have been active my entire life. Even if I enjoy running, cycling, long walks, my passion was always martial arts.
I started with Judo when I was 13 years old in 1989, but soon I realised that this martial art was not for me. I only earned my yellow belt; then, I stopped attending classes ultimately.
My Taekwondo journey started in 1992 when my schoolmate took me to a Taekwondo club called “Sportschule Bae” in Berlin Moabit. His parents were the owner of the dojang, so I asked my father to sign me up for classes. At this time, I was 16 years old. Regularly after school, I went to training, often for two classes a day. My instructor was Master Kang Seok Sun from Korea, who has been practising Taekwondo since 1964. I earned my 7th Kup in December 1992.
After my mother passed away in January 1993, my life was falling apart. Due to deep sadness, I lost focus on school education and sports. I attended Taekwondo classes only once or twice a week; it took me some time to get my life back on track.
The other stroke of fate happened when my father was diagnosed with cancer. After he passed away in September 1996, I was entirely alone and could no longer afford Taekwondo lessons in clubs. I never stopped pursuing it!
My mother was just 38, and my father 44 when they died. For this reason, In 1998, I left my hometown and moved to Hamburg city to start over and to study Medical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences.
Life was tough and budgeted minimal, so I was working three extra jobs for a living. My temp job as a carer for the elderly accompanied me during study and apprenticeship between January 2000 and May 2007. Besides this, I was doing a cleaning job at least twice a week and gave private lessons. As a result of tuition fees and financial reasons, I quit university and started a career in Information Technology in 2004.
After my IT training ended in 2006, there was no longer the need to do any extra jobs, so I signed up for Taekwondo classes at Gym Sandokan in Hamburg, and I attended regular classes for almost a year.
Later on, in 2007, I became a student at the Mo San club. My instructor was Muhamed Kahrimanovic, who prepared me for the grading to the 6th Kup in July 2007 with German Taekwondo Union (DTU). Muhamed is known under his nickname “Hammer Hands” and his ability to break things like coconuts, slabs and baseball bats. This was the last grading I attended at the end of July 2007, until I left my home country.
I moved to Slovakia to start a new life in a foreign country with different cultures and languages for professional and personal reasons. Even if I didn’t have any Slovak language skills, it didn’t hold me back from joining Ilyo Taekwondo Kosice in October 2007. My trainer was Pavel Ižarik, who is holding the 5th Dan grade. I took three exams during my four-years-stay in this beautiful country. The last grading to the 2nd Kup was in February 2010.
After I met my wife Gabriela in June 2009, I started focusing more on healthy eating and a vegetarian and a vegan.
In the middle of 2011, my wife and I left Slovakia. Since things didn’t work out as expected, in June 2013, we moved to Vienna in Austria, where I started a new IT job in the financial sector.
Unfortunately, my role was made redundant after 18 months of employment, so my wife had to give up the apartment and stay with her family in Slovakia for a few months. We decided to move back to the UK, so I applied for an IT job in Greater London. In October 2015, I started working for a big software company, and things worked better for both of us.
My wife is currently in progress, becoming a Level 4 Certified Personal Trainer.
In November 2018, I signed up for a Level 2 Children’s Fitness Qualification and a Personal Trainer course towards level 4 with a leading provider to build up a second career path within the fitness industry and become an expert.
Even if I wasn’t signed up in clubs continuously over all these years, I always kept practising martial arts, and Taekwondo has always been part of my life.
Since the end of March 2017, I have been attending training classes 3-5 training per week in three different clubs – as a student, as an Assistant and as a Lead Instructor at Taekwondo4Fitness.
My first Dan grading was in September 2018, where I earned my 1st-degree black belt. Shortly after that, I obtained a license as a Taekwondo Instructor with British Taekwondo. In March 2019, I completed a National Taekwondo Poomsae Judge certification with British Taekwondo. After my last Dan grading on the 28th of September 2019, I earned my 2nd-degree black belt.
I have been focusing on developing my club in Aylesbury and continuing with my Taekwondo and Personal Trainer education besides my full-time IT job.
Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the main venue was closed. To keep my members active, fit, and engaged during the lockdown, I offer online services like poomsae coaching and online fitness classes via Zoom and IGTV on Instagram.
In March 2021, Taekwondo4Fitness became an association of the Independent Taekwondo Organisation (ITO), and I took the role of Chairman and Examination Director – Instructor & Trainer Education in the United Kingdom.
You can be easily tempted to make unhealthy choices to comfort your life, even as a vegetarian or vegan. For this reason, I became a Nutrition Advisor who has been following a plant-based diet for over a decade. To find out more, please click here.
Thank you for reading, and keep safe!