Damon McCauley

From White belt to black belt.

Achieved black belt with his father Dean.


above is a photo of Damon at his first grading in 2010.

Taekwondo means the way to fight with hand and foot. Tae>> foot, Kwon >> hand, Do >> the way.
But to me it means much more than that. It has taught me focus, patience and respect.
When I first started I did not care for it very much and I dreaded going, I would always try to find an excuse not to go. But as the years passed on I started to grow attached and see the benefits that it brought. Every time I went I felt like there was something else I could
Improve, that being a technique, a pattern or a strike.

I know that being a black belt will be tough. I need to work hard to get through the ranks of black belt and as I progress I know have to keep practicing Taekwondo and keep practicing the traits Taekwondo has taught me. Taekwondo has helped me with both mind and body, making me stronger, more confident, giving me more work ethic and making me more serious with everything. When I first started Taekwondo, at 6 years old I
thought it was going to be just lots of fun, but it became harder as I progressed further. I have never worked so hard for anything for in my life. Taekwondo has had a massive impact on my life, making me better in everything I do. I have been doing taekwondo for the past
nine years and next year will be my tenth. It has been a very hard, long and valuable journey and without it my life would be incomplete. For the earlier years, my goal was to get a black belt. Now, that I have reached it I am very proud of it and so grateful to be the student of Darryl Gowlett and Chrissie Bowie, who have taught me so many things over the years. It was not just them, but all the other black belts. It hasn’t just helped me with my strikes and blocks, but helped me develop into the man I am going to be in the future.
Black belts need to be open-minded to accept and be flexible with changes and adapt to them. This is something everyone must learn, not just black belts, but black belts learn it naturally because they need to. If they are stubborn and ignorant, then nobody would like
or respect them. Black belt is not just a belt to me, but a reminder of what you have done regarding
taekwondo. It demonstrates your dedication and your will power to keep going. Many people that reach the status of black belt show that they have the patience and effort to get that far, but do not to keep going. It is alright to stop at black belt because it is a very
excellent effort, but some lose interest and find something else to do, or don’t have the time. My goal is to get all the way to 8th dan.
I have learned a plethora things in and out of the dojang through my journey towards black belt. Examples of this include patterns. There are techniques that I would forget but this pushes me to push forward and to strive to do my best. It allows me to demonstrate the
techniques as well and accurate as possible. I also have developed a deep understanding of personal goals and no matter how significant your goal is, big or small you should always strive towards it. The greatest things that have come from taekwondo is learning how to
defend myself and not to use it for hurting people and only for self-defence. It also has taught me self-confidence and respect.
As I stated I have learned how to be disciplined and focused in and out of the dojang. While I am training I know that I can’t muck around and misbehave badly because I should be demonstrating how to do the correct technique. I have learned what it is like to be a leader
because, I must take the lower belts through the patterns and onestep, so I must be on my best behaviour. Very occasionally I am the second to the senior student, so I have to say “Charyot Gyongre” loud and clear so everyone can here. These skills have helped out of the
dojang with presentations at school in front of the class. Taekwondo helped me learn to not give up, and to always respect others, so I realise that it is more than just a belt it is a giant accomplishment. I have learned many new things such as more intense, harder patterns,
also having to learn the Korean for each technique which was very hard at first but now that I have worked on it I realise it is not as hard as I thought. My mum and dad said I had to taekwondo until I was eighteen and now that I have reached black belt I know I am going to
do it until I can get as far as possible.

My mother and father also did taekwondo. Dad got all the way to black and mum got to blue belt. For someone of that age to get as far as that is such a great achievement. Having to deal with work and family life and to get to black belt is just incredible. Therefore, I have such deep respect for all black belts and especially black belt parents. Darryl Gowlett isn’t my only instructor, I also train under Chrissie bowie at Logan. She is such a busy woman fitting in kumdo, hapkido, taekwondo and being a full-time teacher. It is just incredible as well being in the ironman, and I struggle to understand how she fits everything in. She is such an inspiration to all the black belts.

Darryl Gowlett has been a great inspiration. He was there from the very beginning of my taekwondo journey. He has taught me so much about the Korean culture and history. I Have been so extremely lucky to train under him over the past nine years. I am truly lucky to
have all the guidance from the other black belts as well. I have had great experiences through taekwondo they have brought many great memories such as having fun before class, showing me new techniques and helping me with my grading practices.
Overall my taekwondo experience has been great, but I have had my struggles. But I loved the whole journey. I love Taekwondo because of my Excellent, trustworthy and honourable Sabomnims and Gwanjangims and the work they do for me. They make us do hard
techniques, but it is for my own good and makes me stronger and increases my skills. I also love Taekwondo because of its graceful but powerful attacks. Taekwondo has brought a lot of things in my life, good life lessons, strength and most of all very close and trusted friends.