Coach Dara Gilliland

Spotlight: USA Taekwondo Coach Dara Gilliland

I strive to create the best athletes in the ring and my athletes strive to reach peak potential.

AAU coach | USAT National Coach | Certified Kukkiwon Black Belt | Certified ATA Black Belt | Level 1 Krav Maga Instructor | Kickboxing Instructor

Now is the time. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, and not later. The best advice I've received is that “leaders take action, while others are still thinking about it”.

I started my own journey at 6 years old in 1996 in Houston Texas. Competition was LIFE. I hold numerous gold medals for local, state, national & junior olympic events. My coach told me “good job” a handful of times. I’m thankful for that. It taught me to focus on the result rather than the words. I learned that I could create my own victories and that words with action is the real testimony of an athlete.

I’ve coached numerous students in the past 15+ years of my career and can tell you this about the secret to success - DON'T QUIT. 

When you’re mad. When you’re lonely. When you’re tired - KEEP SHOWING UP! 

The hike up the mountain is not glorified nearly as much as standing on the top. However, the hike to the top is what allowed you that position. With that being said you have to FALL IN LOVE with the journey. Give yourself a pat on the back when you set & reach small goals but GET BACK TO WORK. Time is a thief and there are athletes who are training mentally and physically like clockwork. GET BACK TO WORK.

One of my students told me “Coach G, you always say that anyone can be a world champion.” I tell them that’s correct. It depends on who wants it the most. Who DOESN’T QUIT. Participation trophies are excellent for confidence building, but as a coach in a combative field, there is no better confidence than earning that medal. Work hard. In the gym, in school, at work, with your family and friendships. Just work hard.  And most importantly, DON’T QUIT.

Stay LOCK’D IN on your journey.

-Coach Dara Gilliland 

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