Mathi Gupta BSc (Hons) – Applied Chemistry
Taekwondo: 2nd Dan
As a young boy I idolised the Chinese Martial Arts Legends, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Samo Hung. My cousin did Taekwondo and we both use to play fight and choreograph fight scenes, showing friends and other family members. It was only when I started university I could finally pursue my childhood ambition. I enrolled in the Korean Art of Taekwondo in September 1991 and trained under Master Stuart Halliday (1995 GB Poomsae Coach). I soon realised that there were legends in Taekwondo – Grand Master Shin Chul Kang. Taekwondo felt so natural "a walk in the park". I looked forward to every training session (still do!!!). Whilst at university I trained 3 times a week (nine hours) doing taekwondo coupled with weights and fitness which complimented my main sport. I entered numerous kyrugi competitions attaining my best result in the inter-university competiton (Bronze).
Since snapping my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) doing taekwondo, I regrettably decided to call it a day with kyrugi. In 2006, purely by luck, I found Livingwell Taekwondo. There is so much passion, dedication and spirit at Livingwell, I still feel the same adrenilin buzz during every session that I felt when I first started nearly 20 years ago. Master Derek Sumner (present GB Poomsae Chairman) is a highly infectious teacher, in that he has the ability to bring out the best in oneself. He also insists on us setting personal goals every year. As I have stopped kyrugi my goals for now and the imminent future are concentrating on developing Livingwell Taekwondo Academy (as I am Chairman), Livingwell Tonbridge as an Instructor and entering Poomsae competitions. I have already entered a few competions and have attained silver (Individual) and Gold (Synchron – with Master Sumner and Ali Pourtaheri).
I had the honour of meeting a living legend – Grand Master Shin Chul Kang. It was a very humbling experience. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would ever meet him, but I did and he came to our CLUB!! He like Master Derek Sumner and numerous other Taekwondo practioners makes me want to do Taekwondo as long as I possibly can (body permitting!!!).