A good attitude is difficult to define… let alone master. Like the steering wheel in a car, steer too far left on a straight road…. you go off course… steer too far right… you go off course.

Dictionaries define attitude as ‘feelings with regard to a person or thing’ but dictionaries only scratch the surface. Attitude is ‘what you do when no one is looking at you.’

But wait… can’t you just tell his attitude from his actions? No… but you can tell his skill! But attitude is unconfirmed. You don’t really know if he loves doing what he does… or whether he’s being forced to do it. Someone may be able to act all committed during training, but outside maybe he loathes it. True attitude is sustained… whenever and where ever.

So… What is a good attitude?


Hey Guys!


~ Tam’s Budo Academy with its name in Chinese and Korean ~

An exciting weekend of Taekwondo action has just occurred at Wagga Wagga and I’m here to fill in my perspective as a competitor, photographer, blogger and supporter. The video is all the way at the end if you do not wish to read the written report Smile.


Led by our coach Sabum Alan, ‘Tam’s Budo’ stormed down to Wagga Wagga on Friday in preparation to wreck havoc the next day at the Bolton Park Stadium. We were all lucky enough to have Roman hire a minibus to drive us all there and back. A big thanks! He must be exhausted after 12 hours of driving. After a 6 hour drive, we landed in Wagga Wagga at around 7:30pmish before heading out to dinner. To the right was a photo of us unpacking our bags in preparation for the tournament the next day. On a side note… who is the one with that Pre-Uni bag!!?? On the bus was a mixture of card games, Simpsons, sleeping and excitement. We went out with Master Tam to dinner that evening at a pub and we had a lot of fun Smile and we also ended up playing some very funny games…. I don’t know the names except Mafia… but that didn’t last too long because we had to head back to the motel for bed. Before that though, a few of us amassed in one hotel room for fun games before returning to our rooms to sleep.

100_0625The morning was absolutely freezing… and the comic relief was Caroline’s 2nd and final cup of instant noodles being shared by Brison, Musk, Bob and Colin… where Musk managed to pour ALL the chilli sauce in to Bob’s bowl… and he had to eat it for breakfast. They were NOT happy when they found out they could get breakfast at the venue. But it was hilarious… and I feel sorry for them because they were in such a rush to finish breakfastOpen-mouthed smile. We finally arrived at the venue without much hassle and to the left is a shot of the inside.

Everyone performed really well, everybody who took part in patterns scored a medal… except me Sad smile but that’s ok, because it’s a lesson to be learned. And Master Tam is right, be an all-rounded Martial artist, do pattern and sparring Open-mouthed smile. Thank you sir!


~ Medallists with Master Tam! ~

~ From Left to Right Vanessa, Priscilla, Paulina, Kevin and Richard ~

Most of the competing girls chose to do only patterns but there were very good results. From what I heard Caroline (red-tip) beat a black belt, black-tip and red belt on her way to the finals but then lost to Grace (red belt) who pummelled her way to the finals and won to take gold, when Caroline can only claim the silver medal in her division (that’s 3 upsets!!Open-mouthed smile). Priscilla (Blue belt AND I got her name right Winking smile) won her field and fought neck to neck with Vanessa (blue-tip) in the semi-finals to take out the gold medal whilst Vanessa won the bronze medal play-off. Paulina came 2nd in patterns in her division. “She’s like a mini Taekwondo master” was a comment I heard from a little boy watching Musk performing Hwa-Rang. Brison must have been very happy, as he was right next to me when that little boy said that. Holding that comment to her performance Musk took out bronze in patterns, despite competing against girls twice her size, and 1-2 years older.

On the boy’s side we had Jacek taking out silver after losing to Phillip, whom I believe is taking part in the World Championships later this year in Korean in patterns. Kevin Quach (blue-tip) took silver in his division by upsetting a blue belt to on his way in to the finals, and lost to another member of our dojang Nick Lau (green belt) who took gold. Abi extracted his revenge (or so he says) from another competitor whom beat him last year in the finals by taking out gold from the same opponent(!) this year. So that’s excellent pattern results on our part.

In team pattern we fielded 2 teams featuring the red belt and black tip team of Abi, Colin, Tiarn, Viktoria and Grace, which had one hour rehearsal time, and the other team… which had… 8 minutes rehearsal timeOpen-mouthed smile.  My team of Caroline, Priscilla and Vanessa and Kevin were told 15 minutes before the event we are a competing team and had 8 minutes to rehearsal time. We won one round one. Add we were celebrating. And then we realised there were more rounds. In the end we lost to the Abi’s team in the Bronze Medal play-off. Good experience and our team name was quite hilarious, for those of you that know Winking smile.

Unfortunately I only recorded 1 video on patterns but I got a few ones on self defence routine which were all pretty cool. The video is all the way at the bottom! Open-mouthed smile Also I have to thank Mr Quach for being so kind to give me his filmed footage for me to edit. Marvel at the techniques too! Smile Any performers in the video can feel free to use them for suitable purposes. Sorry for not getting your permission!

We didn’t win as many sparring medals but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any good action and no fun! Now, boys first this time.

From memory Roman won silver in sparring. Abi got knocked out by Phillip, the same person who beat Jacek in patterns. Nick from Rockdale had a tough time against a strong black belt and sustained a fair amount of injuries… I hope he is ok! Brison lost to another black belt but he put up a good fight Open-mouthed smile So that was good. I have recorded 1 minute of ‘Brison fame’ for your entertainment below. Colin unfortunately lost to a red belt. He started well, but unfortunately didn’t sustain that energy and confidence.

Bob unfortunately lost to his first round opponent. He was doing well, and was probably winning at the end of round 1. But in round 2 3 turning kicks that were blocked too close to the body cost him. I wasn’t sure how Nick Lau went in sparring but I will find out. Callum however, topped his division picking off the gold medal and the impressive 1st! Richard lost the bronze medal play-off to come 4th in sparring, whilst his brother in his exhausted state didn’t run fast enough to avoid the last few point-scoring kicks to push him from a winning position to a losing one. Nevertheless he won the bronze medal play-off to claim bronze and his second medal. Daniel came first in sparring.

For the girls, Tiarn came first in sparring in her division, so very impressive results, whilst little Musk got bronze again in sparring. Paulina took her 2nd 2nd, i.e. a silver medal in sparring this time, obviously her goal next year is double gold Open-mouthed smile.

In team sparring we were up against tough opposition in both the male and female team, where both had a full team of black belts, and some members of those teams were members of the Australian team. Against such tough opposition we put up a good fight but unfortunately didn’t take any medals here. Jacek fell head first to the floor and broke his nose, but we all know he’s immortal so it turned it’s ok Winking smile.

The final event we competed in, junior team sparring was composed of Kevin and Bob and 3 other members from other dojangs. They won their first game to enter the finals but unfortunately they lost in the finals after 3 draws and 2 loses so they had to be content with silver. Good news though, this puts Kevin on 3 medals, and the only triple medallist amongst our dojang! So congratulations Mr Triple Medallist, well deserved and hard fought.


~ Tam’s Budo ITF!! ~


We had dinner at KFC (and Hungry Jacks for the select, impatient few) and headed back home. It was a great tournament and I enjoyed it a lot! Final thanks for Roman for driving us, Master Tam for always supporting us and Sabum Alan and Sabum Ray for coaching and giving us tips throughout the tournament. Also to everybody there whom supported me Open-mouthed smileOpen-mouthed smile 

Hope everybody had fun there! Congratulations to the medal winners Winking smile.  Let's head to the next Taekwondo tournament together again! Open-mouthed smile

Now here is the hidden bonus: The Video!! Edited with Windows Movie Maker (which means I couldn’t do a lot of the stuff I wanted to but yea…)  and includes original audio… please excuse my very loud cheering as I was the closest to the camera…Smile. Other than that enjoy the video and hope everyone had fun! Open-mouthed smile The video features both wins and losses and serve to be instructive examples. The Video is in 3 parts… so please enjoy Open-mouthed smile

Part 1 Patterns and Self Defence


Sparring Part 1 (Kevin and Abi)


Sparring Part 2 (Colin, Jacek, Brison and Musk)


In Master Tam’s own words: “Train Hard. Train Smart.”



p.s. There were too many photos of individual competitors for me to put all of them up here. If you want to see them, please click here

Hey Everyone,

I'm just a week off heading to Wagga with my whole dojang team to compete in the State championships. It is actually very high levelled and me being a chess player fond of preparation I had to check the entries. So many black belts doing pattern!! Wow :) Makes me motivated to try harder....

Exactly one week ago I was training on friday night after I had gone home exhausted and didn't really have enough to eat. During the training session of patterns I was mixing everything all the moves up like crazy.... e.g. in one pattern maybe you had to do side kick + elbow strike but in another it would be knife hand + guarding block.... what I would do was actually swap them already and screw up.... and then it'll look pathetic and as if I didn't know my patterns.

It wasn't like I didn't know them but I wasn't perfect either. I practised.... practised.... and tried to concentrate. When I got home I was actually pretty upset... I had put alot of work onto my patterns........ and then I couldn't produce the efforts during training. I whinged and complained when I got home.... stating various excuses like exhaustion..... overworking of my patterns.... not enough to eat etc.

But here is the takeaway...
Hey guys,

From the inactivity on my blog many people may have perceived this as an abandoned piece of work. But that's not true. Unfortunately due to school and Taekwondo (which by the way will be the topic of my next post) I haven't really had time to write up high quality, informative yet witty posts to keep my readers on their toes. But I did try something new in the holidays as far as blogging goes.

I wrote a guest post. My inspiration came from the various sources of articles from successful bloggers and each and EVERY one of them recommended a guest post. So I thought I can either sit around and wonder how I'll ever be able to write a guest post for the likes of Tim Ferris or Ramit Sethi, subsequently doing nothing in the process or I can write one... and let my coach Brendan be the judge of whether he'll want to put it on his chess blog. He's actually very hard to please, so I actually put a lot of work. Not to offend english teachers, but it was a lot more than I ever spent on my english essay!

So 8 hours later... after writing.... typing... printing and rewriting.... this is what I had produced.

Now... my next post will be on the Taekwondo tournament at Wagga I'll be attending! Yay!

It will be fun, and I'll bring a camera along for photoes, something which I haven't done for a long time.

Anyway I hope everyone is safe and having fun!

I've been pretty busy lately, but it doesn't mean I've forgotten about this blog! Sure, this isn't going to be some talk about a huge topic, but it's good to take a break from being all hyped up once in a while isn't it?

 I've been in senior school for only a few weeks, but it's like all different. You can feel it from some people, they are all getting darn serious and I feel kind of left out, considering I still haven't done any Japanese homework my teacher has set me. Not because I'm rebel... no of course not, but rather because I've done all the study in the 2 weeks right before school starts, I just grinded out my senior textbook. Which proved to be very effective combined with watching a couple of episodes of anime each night. The important thing is to joint down something you hear and then dictionary it later on and then jot it down somewhere. I also have been translating manga but that's actually quite slow and time consuming, but you can learn a lot.

Last article we talked about the underlying truth that school/work isn’t the be all and end all. Truth is the things you learn in school can often be left in the trash because half of it you’ll never use again after the final exam. There are other much more vital skills one needs to acquire before they step out in to the real world. What commonly happens is that because the skills are not attained before we are plunged into the deep end, generally we then pick it up through tremendous amounts of mistakes (which by all means isn’t a bad thing at all).
Although this can greatly vary for many people, the 3 essential components of a fulfilling life can be amassed into the two categories of ‘work habits,’ and  ‘social skills and your social network.’ The other one is dealing with emotional luggage but that can be left for another topic, because that topic is also quite complicated and requires a lot of thought before writing.
Each is just as important as the next, but notice how these topics are not covered in any depth (if at all!) in schools.
How come he can sing so much better than I can? Maybe because he practises two hours a day?

Why does she beat me in every maths test? Because she goes home and finishes every single question in the exercise, even the ones that the teacher didn’t set and not only that, continues to do a further two hours study into the subject!

There are often many obvious reasons why some people are just ‘too good’ at something. As humans whom absolutely detest being ‘worse’ than each other we find it extremely difficult to cope with the fact that someone may be better than us at something. The truth is, they’ve spent probably hours daily, each day for a couple of years before getting there. Personally, I hate losing to anybody in anything for any reason, but I’ve gradually came to learn that you just can’t be good at everything. If you haven’t gone through the same training, the same sorts of discipline then you simply aren’t on even field to compare expertise anyway. Don’t stress out! You’re still very good in your own way. :)

Here’s something else: we are all equal, just this equality is characterised by many different elements that are sometimes not as obvious as the others. For example, the ability to play a musical instrument well is so easy to display and promote. Everyone can listen and judge that you’re a good player, but chess is a completely different matter. To understand who is good and who is bad, you yourself first need a good understanding of the game which is why sometimes chess players go much unappreciated in this world. Yes, you may hear that they are very good and have won many competitions, but you can never truly appreciate his/her beauty because you don’t understand game of chess itself.

I was shopping on Amazon.com for books earlier and coincidentally came across 'The 4 Hour Work Week' by Mr. Tim Ferris which was a best seller on the New York Times' List. I actually own the book myself and was quite convinced and baffled by some of the author's ideas and his story. The book was a one of a kind, introducing some brilliant yet controversial ideas. Naturally, I was curious to the other side of the coin and proceeded to click on the '1 star reviews' by various customers who concluded after reading (often some!) of the book that it was complete garbage and a useless waste of ink

Naturally, the reviews varied in tone, length and complexity.

Some were just simply a sentence of disapproval, signed off with 'don't get the book, it's a waste of money' at the end of it. Others gave a quick story of how they came to hate this book. But some, actually attempted to give an argument and state the various flaws in Mr. Ferris' book.

There was even one review purposefully '1 starred' to support Mr. Ferris (His real rating is 5 stars) by giving the book haters a chance to read a good review.

Some of the persuasive techniques used almost made me reconsider the quality of  Mr. Ferris' first gem! Those that wrote just one sentence rants (that's not even a review in my opinion) were quickly ignored as they placed no value whatsoever in enhancing my understanding of the other side. However, once I quickly read through all the reviews, I began looking in depth at those who actually spent time trying to construct an argument against the book.

Every year, thousands of students graduate from High School and proceed in to University to study their chosen degree. At the same time, a minority of students have dropped out, and some even 2 years earlier before School Certificate,

Are they destined to fail life?

If you're not good at Maths and Science, are you screwed?

Of course not! Relax :)

The school education system currently only caters for about 20% of the children who can endure the repetitive notion of rocking up to class, listening to a teacher, writing notes down and then attempting to rote learn the material at home only to come back for more the next day! Some like this method of learning. Some don't.

Quite a nice set of questions used to enlighten oneself. One can answer these slowly and with honesty as an attempt to improve on oneself.

What is your greatest fear?
What is current state of mind?
What is your favourite occupation?
What historical figure do you most identify with?
What living person do you most admire?

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
What is your most treasured possession?
When and where were you happiest?
What is your most obvious characteristic?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your favourite journey?
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
On what occasion do you lie?
Which words or phrases do you most over-use?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider to be your greatest acheivement
Where would you like to live?
What is the quality you most admire in a man?
What is the quality you most admire in a woman?
What is it you most dislike?
What do you value most in your friend
I calmly strodded into the tournament hall at around 12:30, which was still half an hour before the crucial round starts (for me anyway). Amongst my weapons lay the preparation I did yesterday with my coach, albeit how brief and undetailed they were. Set to play top seed today, which was really a test of whether I could keep my nerves and whether I had really gotten back into form.

Clearly I hadn't. I lost. And I wasn't very happy. I was more unhappy when my opponent claimed that I had a better position throughout the whole game (I had actually thought exactly the opposite!)! So there you go. A summary of a chess abilities.

Naturally being disappointed with losses and elated with wins comes naturally with any humans. After all, who wants to be proven that they are worse than their opponent? Surely we have various degrees of pride and confidence, but let's face it, nobody likes to lose.