FIFTY-six-year-old Tafe lecturer Pat McQueen is preparing for her fifth and final world championship in taekwondo.
Gym buddy Julie Smith contacted The Gazette to share news of her modest friend’s latest achievements.
She described her friend as an inspiration.
McQueen’s international trophies are stored in a glass cabinet ‘to avoid gathering dust’.
Among them is a gold trophy for power breaking from 2006, a silver shield for sparring in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2014 for pattern technique.
Her interest in martial arts began at a time when women and young girls were a novelty at a martial arts class.
“I started doing judo when I was about 13 years old and moved from style to style before taking up Zen Do Kai,” she said.
“For a year or two I learned Wing Chung, which is an enclosed style of Kung Fu more suited to women.”
McQueen’s reason for learning self-defence however, is rather more common.
“I lived in a rough area of Sydney at the time and I wanted to learn how to protect myself,” she said.
“Tae kwon do is a way of working to perfect a technique for your own personal growth’.
Over the years, she has used self-defence training several times when faced with a threatened situation.
“On one occasion, I remember being grabbed inappropriately and giving the guy a wrist lock.”
McQueen would like more girls to learn the art of self-defence.
“Like all martial arts, taekwondo has its spiritual side, there is a lot of respect…and taekwondo builds confidence.
“It’s also about learning to give way to other people and not always having to be number one.”
Taekwondo originates from Korea and in recent years has become a compulsory curricular activity in some schools in Australia.
McQueen trains with Grand Master Low at Greenmount Hall where classes for adults and children are held twice a week.
For more details, call 9275 7878.
The Tenets of Tae Kwon Do