Empower women with a Pink Belt Scholarship

The Mortal Mouse & Australian Taekwondo have joined forces in the hope of helping at least one Australian woman to realise the incredible life benefits of Taekwondo training with a one year Pink Belt Scholarship.

You can be a personal contributor or Business Sponsor by donating here: https://chuffed.org/project/pinkbelt

A little bit of context

Our world needs more women doing Taekwondo.

Why? Because in 2018 domestic violence, abuse, eating disorders and workplace inequality STILL cause immense suffering.

These are complex issues and learning Taekwondo is no miracle cure. But it CAN help. Continue Reading »

Secrets of success from a Taekwondo World Champion, personal trainer mum

Whether you see your future self on a podium or just in a better place than you are now, new Taekwondo World Champion Joanne Licastro’s story of transformation and triumph provides an inspiring mandate for achieving goals, not just in martial arts, but in life. And central to her success, she believes, was one key ingredient… 

As a 28-year-old, West Australian mum of two, Joanne Licastro walked into her first Taekwondo training session feeling nervous and with the simple aim of “not dying”.

Fast forward 15 years to now, and Jo is standing on a podium in an Eastern European country with Gold around her neck having been named a World Champion and the Australian National Anthem playing in her honour.

How does that happen? Continue Reading »

Contribute to research on the benefits of martial arts!

Martial Artists! Contribute your experiences to an international research project investigating links between martial arts training and development of communication and leadership skills.

There is so much anecdotal evidence around about the benefits of our training but here is a way we can all help develop more hard science on it.

Mortal Mouse follower Sonja H. Bickford (DBA, MBA) is a Taekwondo mum who, like so many probably reading this, discovered a love of martial arts later in life.

But here’s the kicker! (See what I did there? Haha!)

She’s also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Nebraska Kearney, USA!

And now she’s combining her talents and passions in an exciting research project. Continue Reading »

Dear Middle Aged White Belt: An Open Letter

I see you there, as I look over my shoulder from the middle of the class to where you stand in the back row.

One of only a few without a dobok and the only adult among all those kids.

I know. You wish the floor would mercifully open up and swallow your giant self, whole.

Right now you’re thinking this, being here, trying something new like Taekwondo, was a mistake.

I know. Because not so long ago at all, I stood where you are right now, thinking the very same thing.
Continue Reading »

6 Taekwondo Tips from Australia’s most-qualified female instructor

Get comfy because you are about to receive 6 truly spectacular tips for Taekwondo training offered selflessly – with humility and without hesitation – by a World Champion several times over AND one of Australia’s most highly-ranked, highly-qualified and MOST decorated women in the sport…

Given the chance to chat with her one-on-one, what would you be burning to ask?

Taekwondo tips from Grand Master Carmela Hartnett

When I had the honour recently of speaking with WTF 8th Dan Black Belt Grand Master Carmela Hartnett, in my usual fashion, I peppered the poor woman with as many questions as I could fire off in the time allowed.

Pop, pop, pop. Take a breath. Pop, pop, pop.

I had a lot more too since I’m certain she’s one of the most fascinating women I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing.
Continue Reading »

Stages every Middle Aged Beginner Martial Artist goes through

If you’re like me and have taken up Taekwondo (or any form of martial arts training) in your 40s or similar, I’m willing to bet you just might have experienced a few of these stages…

1

I suck at EVERYTHING!

2

Master a new technique. I’m the KING of the WORLD!!! 
Continue Reading »

How the yoga tree pose improved my Taekwondo kicks

Curious as to whether Taekwondo and yoga go together, whether adding yoga into my training mix would help improve my Taekwondo kicks, I launched a 14 day group challenge on my Facebook page. Here’s what happened…

  • An assistant instructor at my club uncovered a Jedi-like hidden talent for standing on one leg
  • Breathing through the burn in my butt cheeks created quality time to shoosh my busy brain
  • I discovered JUST 14 days is enough time to see REAL change

Here’s how it all started.Practising yoga tree pose for improved taekwondo kicks

I have REALLY weak ankles. As in, the joints are VERY bendy (that’s a technical medical term btw!) and so sprain easily.

Decades of roll overs have never really hurt the joint so much as all the ligaments and tendons that support the joint, which I now picture to be all stretchy like melted mozzarella cheese when you bite the end off your pizza slice.

So I have now reached the kind of mid-range of belt levels in my journey towards black, and I realise I am required to start showing a bit more balance and control to master the next lot of kicking techniques.

Continue Reading »

The Benefits of Martial Arts

And why the profound effect?

Andrea Harkins – aka The Martial Arts Woman – is a published author of two motivational books, a martial artist, instructor, motivator, blogger, and speaker. Kristy Hitchens – aka The Mortal Mouse – took up taekwondo just over a year ago after watching her son train for five years. As a newspaper journalist and freelance writer she made sense of the journey by writing about it. When she discovered others could relate to the benefits of martial arts she experienced, blogging seemed an obvious step.

This is what happened when their minds came together from opposite sides of the world, Andrea in Arizona USA and Kristy in Australind, Australia…

KRISTY

Something seriously weird has been happening to me.

Continue Reading »

Can martial arts be friends with music?

Talking about music and martial arts in the same sentence feels a bit like poking an ants’ nest with my big taekwondo toe.

I miiiiiiiight JUST get away with it unharmed or…

I may exit the scene shortly in a vast hurry with a few savage bite marks.

Either way! Where some will fear to tread, The Mortal Mouse will dive right in.

Stand by dear reader: Here it comes!

Continue Reading »

What happened when Mom Courtney took up Taekwondo

Meet Taekwondo moms from around the world who have made the later-in-life decision to take up martial arts and hear about the profound impact it has had on their lives…


When Courtney started her Taekwondo journey age 39, she was the ONLY student in her class for adults. It has since grown to 8 and Courtney says becoming a Taekwondo mom has given her peace, fulfilment and a part of herself she thought had been lost forever…


Continue Reading »