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Kicking it with Barry

Barry Miller is a former member of the New Zealand Army, who is now involved in the sport of Taekwondo. His love of the sport began in 1994 as a means of staying fit and well, and maintaining a level of personal discipline. Barry met his wife Monika through the sport and has now been practicing Taekwondo for over 20 years and says he still learns something new about the sport every day! His passion has now extended to teaching others and he runs weekly classes in Takapuna (new members are welcome). Channel Mag went along to see Barry in action at one of these classes and put these questions to him about his love of Taekwondo.

CB: How were you introduced to Taekwondo?
I was heading home from work one day and saw some folks in their pyjamas (Do Bok – TKD uniform) heading into a building, so I followed them to see what they were up to. The atmosphere, the quality of instruction and the quality of techniques were all very impressive and aligned nicely with other martial arts training I’d previously had.

CB: What do you love about teaching/coaching Taekwondo?
Two things really: Firstly, it really is a two way street. After more than 20 years of studying and teaching TKD, I still learn something new, every day, about the art and about people. And secondly, I love the honour of sharing peoples martial arts journey because I get to help people realise that they can do so many things that they thought were impossible before training with me. It’s really cool sharing that moment when someone realises they’ve just done something that they thought was impossible.

CB: Do you have a mentor or someone who inspires you to be the best?
My wife, Monika, without whose support I couldn’t do what I do, and the gentle man that teaches me - 7th Dan Master Instructor JT Dicks. He, to me, epitomises all that a Master Instructor should be.

CB: In honour of Easter, milk or dark chocolate?
Milk please

CB: How many hours a week do you practice?
Between eight and 15 hours depending on what’s happening.

CB: What are your other passions away from sport?
Family, renovations, technology.

CB: What sort of fitness training do you do to train for Taekwondo?
General fitness – Cardio (aerobic and anaerobic), General conditioning – (press ups, sit ups / crunches, burpies, fireman’s carries, leopard crawls, basic martial techniques, etc), Focus training – (punching, kicking, striking, jumping, pressing techniques), Speed training – (combination techniques, shot-gun drills), Martial training – (conditioning, agility, flexibility). These all contribute to improving fitness and general wellbeing while preparing the body for fighting, should the need arise.

CB: If you weren’t practicing Taekwondo, what sport would you play?
Probably golf because I’m too little for league.

CB: Taekwondo is Korean, do you like Korean food?
Love it!

CB: What does it take to be successful in Taekwondo?
Self control, perseverance and an indomitable spirit. These are three of the Tenets of Tae Kwon Do, which really help you succeed in anything you do in life. Loving what you do and working hard also help you find success in TKD and in life.

CB: In 10 years time I will be (complete the sentence)...
53 years old, still happily married and hopefully a 5th Dan in TKD.

And Another Thing... If you are interested in finding out more about Barry's Taekwondo classes in Takapuna contact him at Barry Miller, Pacific Sun Taekwon Do.
Phone 029 982 6079 or visit:

by Courtney Bennett