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Entries in Ken Sherwell (1)

Wednesday
Jun122019

Interview with Ken Sherwell

As we go about our daily lives, we are often conditioned to imagine people we see in the media, those we read about or, whom we have never met, are the people who motivate or inspire us most.  Certainly, different kinds of mentors exist.

Yet, when it comes to role models, we may underestimate the impact of people we see regularly.  Are we aware of key role models closer to home? This dialogue I share with Regional Kwang Jang Nim, Ken Sherwell. This man is one of my son's inspirational teachers.

Thanks Ken, for making space and taking time to share  these insights.

Pleasure.

Tell us about yourself.

I am 60 years of age, born and raised on the Sunshine Coast (4th Generation Sunshine Coast) of Queensland, Australia.  I am married (36 years) with three adult children and six (6) grandchildren!

What brings you joy?

I am a carpenter-joiner by trade. Since 1984, I have been self-employed.  My current business is the Good Bean Espresso Bar in Nambour.  I am working towards being full-time Rhee TaeKwon-Do Instructor. This is a key source of joy in my life.

My son and many other students are grateful for that and feel how much your heart and soul are present.

Any other passions to share with us?

Other than my family and Rhee TaeKwon-Do, my passions are surfing, snow skiing and archery!

Love of archery is widely-shared, considering the popularity of films like Pixar’s Brave and the series Game of Thrones.

Now, many martial arts exist… What guided you to originally get involved in Rhee TaeKwon-Do?

During my late teens, I trained in martial art for a short time with some of my friends. Most young men are aware of martial arts and like many, I romanced about being a "Black Belt." 

You are not alone on that. Raising the bar motivates kids to appreciate a challenge and achieve self-directed goals. 

Well, as my son reached his teen age years, I was looking for something that we could do together and my thought turned again to martial art ! I knew that a long-time friend was involved in a martial art and when I met him in Brisbane one day, I asked what style he trained in! 

Ah-ha! Synchronicity often arises through people we know and we feel a connection!

Yes!  So, he gave me the contact details for an Instructor on the Sunshine Coast and so my son and went along for a try at Buderim Branch - loved it and became members on our second lesson ! The long-time friend that recommended Rhee TaeKwon-Do was Master Instructor For Australia Jerry Hatter and the Instructor that I went to at Buderim Branch was the Sunshine Coasts very own, Master Instructor For Australia Nigel Higgs ! So I had instruction from the best from word go !!

Share some of the benefits from practising this martial art you have witnessed in your own life.

Rhee TaeKwon-Do is founded on strong values - Respect ; Honour ; Integrity ! You hope each day to find these in all people, which is not always the case, however you certainly find these particularly in the high ranks of Rhee TaeKwon-Do and these values are certainly taught to and expected of all of our students ! We also teach self-discipline and perseverance and this has certainly advantaged my life as well as that of all students.

Do you notice an evolution?

World Master Chong Chul Rhee instructs that as you get older, you should keep moving your body and maintain a level of fitness.  This is done as you keep training so that you are always able to defend yourself or others if the need arises! There are many benefits.

So, if I understand what you say here, all martial arts are not sports?

That is correct. Rhee TaeKwon-Do is not a sport, it is Martial Art, however if you look at sporting disciplines, they train certain muscle groups required for the success in that sport! Rhee TaeKwon-Do techniques are so varied that when you are training, you move every part of your body!

What were your values and lifestyle like before and after this became such a significant part of your life? 

I was raised in a Christian home, so respect, honour, integrity and a love for all people - these values were already part of my core belief structure, so Rhee TaeKwon-Do thinking and core values already existed but have been strengthened even more as I train and live the Rhee TaeKwon-Do life style.

Many people are disconnected from their core values. Sounds like martial arts practice is one way of getting back in touch with what has been forgotten or, a great way of reinforcing what is already a core conditioning in our lives. Thanks for sharing this.

If you could describe Master Chong Chul Rhee in one phrase, what would it be?

I think it would be "Do the right thing!"

What a great motto. It is also the title of a classic film and catchy song for good reason...

Let us know examples of students and positive changes you have observed (or heard about).

The majority of Rhee TaeKwon-Do students today are aged between 5 - 18 and the most common changes that their parents make us aware of are; improved behaviour at home and school - more respectful toward their parents and teachers ! Improved grades as more disciplined to work hard at school and dohomework !  Better posture and walk with confidence, which in turn, makes them less of a target for bullies ! Fitness and good health are other obvious benefits !

There is growing interest in mindfulness ad meditation. How would you compare your martial art practice to meditation?

Rhee TaeKwon-Do meditation is to sit peacefully and think about correct technique or to slowly go through their pattern in their mind! To discipline yourself is to think only on positives (or at least focus here)! 

Who are some of your mentors and inspirations? What did they teach you?

I have had mentors in business etc.  However, the most influential person in my life from that stand point was my Dad ! Dad didn't just speak good things he lived good things and always set a great example !  He was a strong fit man, that worked hard, was a good business man, loved his family and cared for the community ! I have found the same in my instructors - both World Master Chong Chul Rhee and Master Instructor for Australia Nigel Higgs, are well educated, successful men that share their life experience with their students ! My success in Rhee TaeKwon-Do is a result of following their instruction , which also filtersdown into my personal life ! Be a good person ; do your best ; don't give up ; be wise in what you do !

Its a friendly reminder for us all to recognize the nature of silent or louder influence and impact of family in our lives.

What kind of advice would you offer someone who is struggling with challenges, low self-esteem?

That they are valuable ; That nothing ever stays the same and life will improve ! That they should take steps in that direction and that studying a martial art will  build character and change their outlook for their future ! If you want to be successful, hang around successful people !

Good advice.  There is a saying: you are becoming like the five people you spend the most time with.  This invites us to reflect on the habits and behaviours of people around us.

Which connections do you notice (if any) among martial arts?

A True Martial Art may have similarities to another style however no connections ! True Martial Art teaches - be loyal to your Master Instructor and train hard in that style ! Many "Martial Arts" today are either sport or they have lost their way - encouraging their students to learn from other styles etc !  World Master Chong Chul Rhee, introduced the art of TaeKwon-Do to Australia in 1970 - Master Rhee is a genuine World Master in the art of TaeKwon-Do and teaches loyalty to your Master Instructor, the Rhee TaeKwon-Do organization and to all members of that organization! Rhee TaeKwon-Do is certainly a family!

How does practicing martial arts impact expanding consciousness?

All Rhee TaeKwon-Do  students are taught situational awareness ! The ability to adapt and change in an ever changing world / environment! We learn to read people and circumstances! We are ever learning and striving to improve. We encourage and protect !

 Many kids look up to martial arts teachers and these kids are also often fascinated with superheros.  Some kids even view their teachers as superhuman. I love how you inspire all students to find the superhero within themselves. We can only see in others what is mirrored inside, even if we are not yet conscious of that.

Please share anything you would like to leave with our readers.

As I have mentioned, Rhee TaeKwon-Do is a way of life - true Martial Art  impacts all areas of your life and the people around you benefit from its affect on your life as an individual.

People do not always realize Rhee TaeKwon-Do is an international organization, with over 1500 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.  Any instructor at any branch would welcome you to come in and have a free trial ! Rhee TaeKwon-Do is "The Art Of Self-defence"

Let us know how we can get in touch with you and learn more about Rhee Taekwon-Do

For more details, contact me by email on : kensherwell@gmail.com or mobile : 0401 001 823 

Thanks again Ken, for sharing some of your personal experience and inviting people to discover new sides of themselves through endeavours than encourage physical exercise and great sense of values, self-defence skills and a family-like community.