Interview with Julia Cross, Scottish warrior

Interview made by Swedish TKD Association, 3 April 2004

First I would like to congratulate you to your 2 gold medals in Viking Cup International 2004 and to the title as the best female competitor. Are you satisfied with your performance?
Yes I was in the individual events, I felt that I had improved again from the World Championship and techniques that I had been working on were working. In the Superfight I was not so please as I felt that I did not give 100% as I had a small knee problem that was causing a bit of a problem.

What made you come to Skovde to take part in Viking Cup? What do you think about the competition?
I came because I wanted to have a good competition before the Europeans and in Scotland we don’t have these high level to practise in. I knew that the Viking Cup would be. I love the league system as you are certain to get 4 fights and more experience with every round. This is the way all tournaments should be.

Is this your first visit to Sweden? What do you think about our country?
Yes it is and I think it is a beautiful country, only I was sad that I did not get to see more and spend some time visiting. Sweden is so clean and tidy. Also I love the food.

How many years have you practiced TKD? What persons were your trainers and who has contributed the most to your success?
I have trained for 18 years now and over thie time I have had alot of help from alot of people especially Heath Denholm, Scottish Coach,who gives me so much help with training and sparring for all competitions since Argentina 1999, Master Sutherland has been a great influence along with John McIlvaney who is also a coach for Scotland. Willy Van De Mortel has been one of the biggest influences to me since 1999 as he was my coach in Argentina. He was the first person to make me really believe in myself and believe that I really could be World Champion. I owe alot to him, he is a great friend.

How much do you train every week?
Every week I do 7 TKD sessions, 4 weight training session, 2 other fitness session or weight control depending how near a competition I am. I also teach 7 TKD classes per week.

Is pattern or sparring your favourite event?
This is a hard question as I really love to do both, but if I had to pick one then it would be sparring as I love the physical aspect and I love to kick, hard and this is more of a challenge every time you go in the ring as you must be really focused.

What do you think about Swedish TKD? Is there a Swedish TKD practician that you remember especially?
TKD in Sweden is of a very high standard, I was shocked at how good the kids and coloured belts were. You have a really good set up in Sweden for your competitors. I always remember Kristina with who I fight with most times. She is good, I like to sparr with her. Also a young blue belt girl who did the demonstration in Tul. Her patterns were excellent.

What advice would you give to all TKD practicians so that they could be as successful as you?
You must have dedication and be willing to put alot of time and effort in as nothing comes easy if you don’t work hard. You must also make sacrifices. Listen to advise you are given and take from it the good points and learn from the bad.I always learn from my mistakes. I never leave a competition satisfied with my performance. I always want to be better, as I know I can be. Remember Nothing is Impossible and if you really want something badly enough you will do what ever it takes to get it.

What are your future plans for your TKD career?
I would love to Win the World Title again in 2005, and I will do everything I can to achieve this. Along with any other competition I attend. I want to keep improving and stay fit and healthy. I have a few years left to compete and I will make the most of it!

In the end I have to ask a personal question. I have promised our male practicians to ask this. Are you married or do you have a boyfriend?
I have a boyfriend, Greame, who I live with. We have been together nearly 4 years.

Thank you for the interview and good luck in the future.