TIM Parkes is still coming to terms with winning a major martial arts championship.
The Taekwondo exponent was recently named the overall Grand Champion in the World Wide 2020 Armor Combine.
The championship, due to COVID-19, was different to other events and Tim explains how the international event works.
"It's about reaction times - who is the fastest martial artist in the world," he said.
"So when the light flashes you have to react and kick the bag straight away.
"I had to do three different kicks - a-round-house-kick, a back kick and a spinning roundhouse kick.
"I took out the fastest for them and I won the whole thing.
"I was up against Olympians and it was a pretty full-on event."
He estimates that around 450 people worldwide took part in the tournament.
Competitors joined in from countries like the United States, the Philippines, France and many more.
Tim was not overly confident and had some doubts about his chances.
"I was feeling a bit sluggish after the Christmas holiday, but I ended up coming out on top," he said.
"I got to believe in myself a bit more I guess."
Tim rates the win as one of his best and has won a few national titles over the years.
"I have never beat people from overseas, especially Olympians. It was a good result," he added.
Because of COVID-19 the more traditional competitions cannot be held and this was the second Armor Combine event.
Tim said being the second champion of the event definitely puts his name out there for possible selection in future Australian teams.
"It also sends my name around the martial arts world," he added.
He has set himself and his local Eclipse Taekwondo students some goals.
"I do want to train really hard to make the Australian team but I also want to train my students up so I can get them to that level as well," he said.
Tim wants his students to be the next crop of champions.
To reach his goal of making the Australian team Tim said he has to train harder, "put in the hard yards" and not make any excuses for himself.
He aims, given COVID restrictions, to compete interstate.
"I want to win all the state competitions and fight again," he said.
The former Falls Creek Public School student also wants to compete overseas.
"I qualified to compete overseas just before COVID hit and made the Australia team but it was not official," he said.
"That broke my heart because I have been at this sport since I was 11-years-of-age.
"Ever since I was about 13-years-of-age I said 'I am going to make the Australia team' and tried hard and hard, but sadly I have fallen a little short every time.
"Before COVID hit I won a selection competition and should have gone overseas with the Australian team and I could feel it - I was there and then COVID came."
The 21-year-old is passionate about teaching his Eclipse Taekwondo students.
He has been teaching at the now South Nowra Eclipse Taekwondo centre since he was 15-years-of-age with Dale Bryce as his mentor.
Tim, before coming back home, spent some time teaching at a club in Sydney for about two-years and he enjoyed the experience and he started working in the childcare industry.
"Teaching was everything I did and it's the most rewarding thing - you put all your effort into the kids and you see them become so good," he said.
He loves being part of the Eclipse Taekwondo club and said it was an honour to be the centre's head coach.
His mentor [Dale] guided him up from a white belt to where he is now - a third Dan black belt.
"I would not be anywhere without him. Dale would give up everything for the club," Tim said