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Taekwondo Passion

Author: Luis Arroyo

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Taekwondo Passion. The podcast for taekwondo passionate lovers.

Get inspiration from top world taekwondo people. Interviews with athletes, trainers, coaches, competitors and world class taekwondo professionals.
26 Episodes
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Hello taekwondo lovers, I’m glad of bringing you a new episode of taekwondo passion.In today’s interview we talked with Master James Howe from Living Proof Taekwondo @livingprooftkdJames has been a USA National Team member for many years and recently he founded Living Proof Taekwondo, the academy where he shares all his knowledge, experiences and helps others through taekwondo.James was an international level athlete, with a very longeve career always fighting with the best athletes in the world.But he comes from a traditional taekwondo background, and that’s why he teaches traditional taekwondo in his academy.Of course if his students want to train the sport, they’ll have the option to do it at the highest standards.Why is it so important to be in a place that helps you to grow?As a young athlete, James knew that in order to be as good as he wanted he needed to move to train with a competitive team.His idea was to try with different teams and choose the one which suited better for him.The first place he went was Miami, with Juan Moreno’s team Peak Performance, one of the top teams in the USA.He didn’t need to look for any other place. James knew it was the right place for him.The environment that coach Moreno promoted there was exactly what James was looking for.World Championships and OlympicsJames trained at Peak Performance for more than 10 years in a journey that took him to three World Championships, being very close to medals and fighting with athletes like Joel Gonzalez and Gabriel Mercedes.In the USA trials for London 2012 James fought against Mark Lopez, an experience which he considers helped him to realize that he could beat the top fighters in the world. But the -68kg was not a weight class for him. The winner of the trials was his teammate and friend Terrence Jennings, with whom he shared many battles from the past.James was able to help the USA Team on the way to the Olympics, especially his teammates from Miami, Terrence Jennings and Paige Mc Pherson and be part of their medals.Why is family support VERY important?Taekwondo still is not a professional sport, so many athletes and their families have to fund their careers.That’s been the case of many sparring athletes, like Nikita Glasnovic, Terrence Jennings and Paige Mc Pherson.And is even more common even for poomsae athletes, as is a newer sport.James family is no exception and his parents supported most of his career along with the support of USA Taekwondo.This can make us see the importance of helping youth to pursue their dreams, that will never be wasted money. If an athlete doesn't have support from his family, it will have a harder way through success.Another interesting thing is that James Howe always worked during his athletic career. He worked teaching younger athletes and also in the same warehouse as Terrence Jennings.Training with Juan Moreno at Peak PerformancePeak Performance is one of the top teams in the USA and in the world. So, how is it to train there?James mentions that it is fun but hard. The day can start at 5:30am for the strength and conditioning training that sometimes ends with some paddle drilling and situation training.And they do a second training at night with the rest of the team. Coach Moreno is a tough trainer who doesn't accept any excuses and always expects so much from his athletes.But James points that he always motivates his athletes so they know that they can be among the best athletes in the world, of course, supporting that motivation with a lot of hard work.Living Proof TaekwondoAs we mentioned in the intro James has recently opened his new facility, Living Proof taekwondo. After a long career James felt that it was the moment to open his own taekwondo academy. He teached taekwondo in the past but he wanted to do it in a place designed specifically to it with all the facilities to do taekwondo at the best level.He opened it just before the pandemic, so it was a very demanding challenge to face, but with the passion he has for taekwondo and all the experience he had accumulated, Living Proof will succeed and help the Bay Area community.You can hear the full interview following the links below. Please enjoy it and let us know your thoughts.
New Episode UP!Hello Taekwondo lovers, welcome to a new interview in taekwondo passion.Our guest today is master Ehsan Davari from Iran.If you follow us from before, you probably know him as he helped us as an interpreter to interview Fatemeh Hesam.But I wanted to interview him as he has been a poomsae, sparring and gymnastics coach and competitor.At first he practiced gymnastics for many years. When he decided to move into taekwondo, he was already a gymnastics coach.But he made that move because in taekwondo he would have better opportunities to develop as an athlete.Master Eshan now is mostly focused on refereeing and as you’ll notice from the interview, he is very dedicated to improving his practice and knowledge of the rules.He mentions that one of the most common mistakes athletes make at any level is to not know the rules, the best athletes have a deep understanding of the game rules.One of the most important things you can learn listening to this interview is about dedication and willingness to learn. Master Eshan is clear that one of the most important things for success is not to quit. So, don’t miss the opportunity to learn from him and to listen to how taekwondo is in one of the countries with a greater tradition in our martial art..You can find the interview on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.Iran’s taekwondo traditionAs you may know, Iran is a country with a very rich taekwondo tradition.Taekwondo is very popular in Iran, and also very competitive. The country organizes taekwondo professional leagues for sparring and poomsae.The league lasts for some months and you accumulate points as you participate and win matches every weekend.At the end of the league the athlete with most wins is the one who will win the league. IWhat do you think of this kind of competitions?I personally think that is a “fairer” way to find the best athletes in the country, but on the other side it can be very demanding for athletes to fight or compete every weekend.Also this kind of league can only work in countries where a lot of people practice taekwondo. A thing that with time is always more common.Here in my country Mexico, we have a lot of people practicing and going crazy about taekwondo events, and I’ve always imagined the same from Iran.Is it the same way in your country? You can tell us how it is in the comments.From gymnastics to taekwondoImagine that you are a really talented gymnastics athlete. You are among the best in your region and you are even starting to coach other athletes.Why should you move as a teenager to try in another sport? A sport that you have never practiced before.This was what happened to Master Eshan, he was a very talented athlete but his city is very small and they didn’t have the facilities which allow him to continue growing.They didn’t have even the most basic equipement.That lack of equipment didn’t allow him to compete in all the necessary events to be scouted as a talent.So he decided not to stop and to move to another sport.And that’s the way he came into taekwondo.It is also interesting that some of his first taekwondo training partners were his gymnastics students.But he didn’t care about that and as he was a person with a lot of athleticism coming from gymnastics he developed really fast in taekwondo.Another interesting thing Master Ehsan shares is that he was always the first who wanted to help his taekwondo Master.He was always early to class so if something was needed, for example cleaning the mats, he would always volunteer to that.The taekwondo journeyTo train in a small town can make things difficult but not impossible. Master Eshan was first more oriented to the sparring side of the sport.But you know you can train sparring alone, but it is better always to have a team and training partners.So, for Master Ehsan, a way to be more competitive was poomsae. In which you are more able to train alone.And in a similar way he is now more focused in refereeing than in coaching. He shares that coaching is a very rewarding experience, but for many aspects of coaching you don’t depend only on you to excel.So he prefered to focus on the refereeing part now. So, if he has to travel to an event he only has to focus on giving his best.But on the other side he has a responsability. He shares with us that he has talked with some coaches about the challenges of being a referee or a coach.If you make a mistake as a coach maybe you can redeem learning from it and giving the best for your athlete in the future.But if you make a mistake as a referee the mistake will always be there.What do you prefer?How to prepare for a competition as a referee?Every athlete has to prepare the best for a competition.The same is valid for referees.You have to be at your best for every match, apart from his normal preparation attending seminars and practicing. The night before a tournament, Master Ehsan reads and studies all the ruleset and practices for two to three hours.No matter that he already knows the rules, he make that extra effort to perform his bests as a referee.More on the interviewLearn more from training and refereeing in the interview.Master Eshan gave us some advice to improve at poomsae and refereeing. So, definitely is worth listening to him.Links to the interview below.
Hello Taekwondo lovers.New episode of taekwondo passion UP.Our guest today is 9x USA National Team member and world medalist Tim Thackrey. Now is an expert in sports performance and strength & conditioning.Creator of The Juice Compound @juicecompound he has coached Olympians, National Team Members, Games Athletes and people who want to improve their lives through exercise. Tim talked with us about his beginnings in taekwondo, being part of a family completely involved in taekwondo. @martialartfresnoTim was a child who used to win every competition he attended, until he was 15, when he lost every fight for two years.With the support of his family, he decided to stop going to high school to focus on improve his taekwondo skills and to dedicate full time to training.The strategy worked for him as soon he started to win and gain confidence and skills, first at national level and after it internationally.Years later he was able to finish his college degree in UCLA.Some of the things you can learn listening the interview are:Why is Tim's father, having an academic background and being professor in a prestigious university allowed him to drop out of school?How Tim prepared to get a medal at the World Championships?How should we program training when our athletes have to face multiple competitions in a year?Why do we have to learn about sprinting and weightlifting?How can we promote mental strengthening and toughness in our students?You can find the full interview on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.Please enjoy and let us know your thoughts.Should everyone drop out of high school and pursue their dreams?One of the first things that I found interesting about Tim is that he dropped out of school to focus on taekwondo.The normal way we hear we should make things is to focus on our academic career and then after finishing it we should start to gain experience in our field.Tim made things in a different way.He was at a point where he was losing all of his fights. And he thought the solution was to train more and better.His father proposed the idea of stopping attending school. It could seem counterintuitive, being his father a successful academic we would think that he wanted his son to follow the same way.But his father’s academic experience was in psychology. He was an expert in human behaviour and development and he knew that the best thing for Tim at that moment was to try and put all of his effort in his taekwondo career.Later he could study at the university as he did.I was very interested in knowing if Tim would recommend the same to others, and the answer kind of surprised me.I was expecting a straight yes but it was not that way.When Tim studied high school there were less options to study and train.Nowadays, and especially after the pandemia, it is easier than before to study an academic career while training, we have a lot of distance learning programs.So, I’m pretty sure you can always find good options that allow you to train and compete.How to program training for taekwondo?One of the most important things we should do as coaches is to organize our training. With the number of people training and competing in taekwondo nowadays details make a big difference.According to Tim, before programming it is very important to consider the sports age of the athlete, which is apart from the biological age.We can have an athlete that is 21 year old but has only been training seriously for two years. Or we can have an athlete that is 16 but has been training for 5 years.The younger the sports age we should focus more on training than competitions. With an excess of competitions in the calendar we can be tempted to aim for performance peaks all the year round.The danger of this is that in order to perform better at competitions, we’ll take out important time from training. Which should be the main goal with young athletes.Tim recommends just one or two fundamental competitions during the year for these athletes.How to choose the fundamental competition?In some cases we can be worried that if our athlete doesn't win a certain competition he won’t be able to go for the more important one.For example, in some countries, to access a national competition you should win first your spot in the state or province championships.Another example is that to win a world medal, you should first win at a national level.So, which competition is more important? Shall we program for nationals or program for worlds?Tim mentons that if you are thinking in a world medal, you should program for that as you might be able to manage with all your experience the nationals stageBut if you still have troubles at the national level, you should program for the national trials.It depends on any case and the experience of the athlete.How high can a virtually trained athlete should point?Tim has trained athletes virtually even before the pandemic.He coached and qualified athletes from different sports to Rio 2016 and he continues doing it.In ideal circumstances we should have a great team, with a lot of training partners that help us to achieve our best in each training.But this is not true for many athletes. Life is different for everyone.So, if you just have the opportunity to train alone. How high can your goals be?Tim is clear that as high as you want.Of course for certain stages you’ll need camps and competitions. But with the right advice and program, distance or the lack of a nearby team is not a valid reason to limit yourself.As you will notice in the interview, Tim completely dominates the trainign and performance field, in theory and in practice.So, if you want to improve your performance in sports or your life through sports. You should contact.If you have a taekwondo team or a sports team, he is also launching a new service to help teams to achieve their goals, so, don’t hesitate to contact him at info@juicecompound.comI hope you’ll like the interview, I’m grateful for having the opportunity to interview Tim. For me it was a world class consultancy and I hope it helps you too.You can find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Marlene Harnois - Even at the highest level you have to have funNEW episode UP!Hello taekwondo lovers, I’m very happy to be with you again and to bring you a new interview with a world and Olympic medalist from France.Marlene Harnois started taekwondo at a very young age.One of the keys that made her love taekwondo was that her first instructors made taekwondo fun.She was a competitive and active girl, although she practiced many sports when she had to specialize in one she knew taekwondo was for her.First she made it to the Canada National Team and started winning competitions like the US Open as a junior.Marlene had the opportunity of training in France and in order to pursue her dreams she started to compete for France, focusing on international success.One of the keys to make that change was that she was looking for a more competitive training environment.Marlene remarks that having teammates that demand your best is one of the most important things an athlete needs to develop. With France Marlene has been two times European Championships gold, World University gold and World Taekwondo Championships bronze medalist in Gyeongju 2011.Marlene finished a great Olympic cycle in 2012 with a Bronze medal in London 2012.Marlene has been decorated with the Knight of the Order Merit and has been very involved in the development of sports in West Africa.Marlene contributed with the two historical medals Ivory Coast achieved in Rio 2016.Marlene is a Champion for Peace, she represents the Peace and Sport organisation which works for bringing the values of sport to the heart of communities and individuals in crisis throughout the world. Marlene talked with us about Her journey in taekwondoMoving to live far from your parents to another country at a very young ageHer preparation for London 2012 Olympic GamesDifferences in taekwondo in Canada, France and Africa.You can watch the interview on YouTube and hear it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.Taekwondo has to be funMarlene started practicing taekwondo at 4. One of the virtues of her first taekwondo school was to make taekwondo fun for children.Marlene shares that it was one of the reasons that made her stick to taekwondo.As a very active girl, it would be hard for her to be in a place where she only would be able to practice the same movements over and over.Marlene was a multisport girl. She practiced and competed also in fencing and handball but as she grew older the moment came when she had to decide for one sport.And she decided to go for taekwondo. It seems it was the right decision as she had a very successful taekwondo career which later helped her to work in other sides of sports and to help people all over the world.Outside parents home at 16The journey of course was not easy.Is not so common to leave your home country without your parents at 16.Marlene made the decision of leaving Canada to train and live in France because she wanted to train better and in a more competitive environment.In France she started to train with olympic and world medalists. And soon she noticed changes in her performance.She had an amazing cycle towards London 2012, medaling in the most important events. World Championships, European Championships, Universiade.Before the London Olympics Marlene had not the preparation anyone could imagine, she was sent to train in a military camp in the jungle in the French Guiana.The training was not precisely focused on taekwondo, she even broke a foot there but in a certain way she thinks it helped her to strengthen her mind.The last weeks she was in France alone while her team was in Great Britain in the last stage training for the event.Anyway, I think we can all learn from this. Because as we’ve seen in past interviews ideal conditions don't exist.Marlene still managed to do her best in London, maybe the last part of her process was not ideal but she had all her past hard work with her.And she achieved the bronze medal in London. Which is an amazing result because due to the magnitude of the Olympics anything can happen there.Helping to develop the sportWhen Marlene decided to retire from competition, she was close to high level African athletes like Anthony Obame and Balla DieyeThe first time she went to Africa was with Balla Dieye and with him they started to promote taekwondo, going to schools and also making seminars with the national team.Around that time some of Marlene’s friends from Ivory Coast called her as she was very close to the country.She went to Abidjan to the club where Ruth Gbagbi and Cheick Sallah Cissé trained. Marlene was stunned by the amount of talent of the athletes there, she had trained all over the world and had never seen so many talented people training together.She was also amazed by the focus and the spirit of their training.Together with the talent also was a very modest environment. They didn’t have mats or targets, no protections.She connected with them immediately as they shared the same passion. So she got involved with the project.With Cheick and Ruth they were involved in promoting taekwondo, education and social action. They created a foundation through which they were able to bring the electronic protector system for Ivory Coast and as Cheick Cisse was sponsored by Daedo they also provided equipment to build a facility for the development of younger athletes.Peace and SportsMarlene continues her labour helping people through sports now working as an ambassador for Peace and Sports.Peace and Sports is an organization that works in areas across the world with the objective of bringing the structuring values of sport to the heart of communities and individuals in crisis throughout the world.Marlene is part of The Champions for Peace, who are high level international athletes who want to support the most disadvantaged communities through sport.The Champions for Peace are athletes like Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba, Pascal Gentil and Novak Djokovic.Peace and Sports recently developed an app that would help sport trainers to bring structured training methodology to the communities they work.Marlene is a passionate professional. I hope you will enjoy the interview with her.Please let us know what you have learn from her journey on the comment section.
NEW episode UP!Welcome to a new episode of taekwondo passion.This time we had the opportunity to talk with Master Dan Chuang, who is the USA National Team poomsae coach.He is also involved in college taekwondo in many different ways.He teaches at the Taekwondo Club of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which he founded in 2000.Master Chuang is one of the “T.Bos” coaches, a competitive sparring and poomsae group that he co founded with his friend Chinedum Osuji.Master Chuang is also very involved in promoting and organizing competitions in the USA. For example he serves as director of the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference, a league of over 500 students from Taekwondo clubs at over 25 colleges and universities which compete in a circuit of 5 tournaments per year.Master Chuang talked with us about his beginnings in taekwondo, how he learned the importance of building a community at college taekwondo and how we can make it with our students.Master Chuang remarks that it is very important to get involved with students not only teaching the technical part but also to get involved in their personal development. Otherwise the relationships don’t last and students just take some knowledge from you and then go away, and you don’t have a meaningful impact in their lives.Master Chuang sport and competition experience was on the side of sparring. When sport poomsae came up he had to adapt and learn how the sport was evolving to give his best to his athletes.He shared with us part of this journey of travelling to Korea to learn from the pioneers in sport poomsae.I hope you enjoy the interview. As Master Chuang is a person that enjoys teaching taekwondo and communicating, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy listening to him.On building a communityMaster Chuang works a lot in an academic environment, where college students might have other interests than taekwondo.But the MIT’s Taekwondo Club has been very successful involving students in taekwondo.How Master’s Chuang achieve this?One of the keys he considers that has helped him is building a community. In the taekwondo Club students have to find leadership and friendship.Master Chuang tries to build a group mentality and to promote team goals.For example, if they have a College competition the goal can be to be first place as a team. And then celebrating that as a group not focusing on individual achievements.Master Chuang also mentions that it is important to provide goals for shorter periods of time. For example one month. And when the group achieves that goal, move to the next one.Importance of learning of others and how to do itWhat happens if you want to compete at sport poomsae but your style is different.Does that mean that you won’t succeed in the sport poomsae style?Master Chuang started taekwondo very young in a more traditional style. Not focused on competition.So he learned poomsae in the Moo Duk Kwan, Tang So Do style.Then in his college years and when he started coaching he specialized in sparring. He was coach of the USA College National Team and he also coached at the Madrid 2005 World Championships.When sport poomsae started to develop, Master Chuang felt the need to start learning again.So he attended all the Poomsae seminars he could and he also traveled to Korea to train with Master Sang Jae Lee, one of the first masters who started to promote poomsae in social media.He was a very good taekwondo sparring athlete, he also had very good results at national and international level as a coach. But he didn’t let that stop him from learning again. I think that is one of the key aspects to develop yourself in the coaching area.To be open to learn from others.There is much knowledge out there in books and digital resources. But you can also learn in a more practical way by asking others.And if you can, not only ask, try to go and see how others train. You can learn a lot by talking and asking a more experienced Master or coach, but you’ll still learn more going to watch him or her in action.Psychology of coaching, the subjective aspect of the sport, freestyle poomsae and more.We hear a lot about sports psychology for athletes. But what about the coaches?They also need to be in an optimal state of mind.Can you imagine if a coach is not in the mood for training or competition, that mood can be contagious for the athletes.During the talk Master Chuang shared his thoughts on the psychology of coaching and some other interesting topics related to taekwondo.For example how he’d like to see poomsae in the future or how we should accept that our sport has a subjective side.You can watch the full interview on YouTube and you can also hear it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcasting platforms.Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Hello taekwondo lovers.I feel really happy and thankful for being back with you again and with an interview with a top athlete that kindly shared with us his story.A story of passion for taekwondo, a story from which we can all learn.Our today’s guest is a fighter who always has fun and likes to make taekwondo sparring a pleasure for the eye.Damian Villa @damianvilla58 raised in Los Angeles, moved to Puebla to fight for an opportunity on Mexico’s National Team. And he made it really quickly, three weeks after arriving in the country he won the nationals and his right to belong to the national team and to train and live in the Olympic Committee.Soon he started to be one of the bests at -58kg. Winning several times to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Champion Guillermo Perez and having an amazing Olympic cycle towards London 2012. He was silver medalist at the Copenhagen 2009 World Championships, Silver at the Pan Am Games and he won the quote for Mexico at the pan american Olympic Games qualification tournament.He had the best cycle of -58kg in Mexico, but still he was not selected to compete in London.I think many people would give up after something like this. But not Damian.He went as part of the team to London. And one year later in Puebla 2013 World Championships he won the bronze medal.Three years ago Damian made a new big change in his life moving again to Los Angeles to train in a different way.He accumulated many years experience and he decided to take charge of his training and pursue new goals.He also started to represent the USA again.Now he is training, teaching taekwondo at Villas Taekwondo @villastaekwondo and recently he is sharing his experience with other athletes and coaches via Expert Method Taekwondo. @xpertmethodtkdA new project developed by him and Rene Lizarraga @renelizarragamx for the taekwondo community.Beside his outstanding career, I want to say that although Damian has the fighter personality, he is also very humble and a person that is willing to help the taekwondo community.I think he has the character for being a great teacher and coach and surely we’ll be hearing of Damian Villa for many years.One of the secrets to be father and taekwondo MasterDamian’s father, Master Octavio Villa was also his instructor.He was also a great mexican taekwondo athlete who was World Cup Bronze medalist and was near to compete at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.Many Master’s and instructors struggle to teach their sons and daughters.If you have a bad day, it must be difficult to leave things at the dojang and not bring them home.Damian says that Master Octavio’s secret was to keep a balance and to treat his sons in the same way as his students.Master’s Octavio children were not asked to make more efforts than the rest of his students. Neither were they allowed to make less efforts.Damian and his siblings were treated fairly.Compromise with your beliefsDamian is a person that is compromised with his ideals and beliefs.During the interview, it is clear that he loves sparring. And even though he has always loved it, when he was a child he went to a tournament and he didn’t spar because his father told him that he had to compete in poomsae and sparring.And he didn’t want to make poomsae.His father told him that if he didn’t do poomsae he would not compete. And he didn’t compete.He went to the tournament, stayed all day there and didn’t compete.This shows us how strong the will of young Damian was and that his father respected his decision.Damian and the pressureAnother characteristic of Damian is that he is constantly challenging himself.When he was a new face at -58kg in Mexico national team and before team trials for World Championships he was suggested by some of his coaches to move to the lower weight class -54kg to avoid fighting Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Champion.He didn’t, although Guillermo Perez had won the Olympics less than a year before. When I asked him why he didn’t he told me in a very honest and natural way that he loves pressure.It is important to say that to have this attitude is good but you have to endorse it with hard work and results.For example, when Damian refused to change weight class he had already sparred with Guillermo Perez before, many times in training and he felt good.Even he detected that Guillermo Perez avoided fighting with him in a Korean open. So, his attitude was endorsed by his previous work.The Expert MethodI’ve been told by one of Mexico's best coaches, Master Julio Alvarez, that Damian enjoys helping and teaching to others.As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Damian moved back to Los Angeles to continue training but also because he had some other goals that he could not meet by being part of the Mexico National team.And one of his goals was to give back to taekwondo and share his experiences with other athletes and coaches.With world medalist Rene Lizarraga, Damian recently launched Xpert Method Taekwondo. A sport training system for taekwondo.They have started great, I recommend you to follow them on Instagram and Facebook. They are constantly sharing tips for fighters and Zoom training with other taekwondo super stars.If you are looking to improve your sparring, you should check The Xpert Method.
Welcome to a new episode of taekwondo passion.The World Poomsae Championships were planned for May 2020, As you probably suspect, they were not celebrated.Hopefully, Poomsae competition can be done Online, so last week we had the first World Online Poomsae Championships and today we’re going to talk with one of the top poomsaes athletes in the world right now.She was 4th on Recognized Poomsae in this competition, and has been multiple times European Champion and World medalist.I’m talking about Eva Sandersen @eva_sandersen, who talked with us about her passion for taekwondo and poomsae, and also shared how taekwondo has helped her to develop as a human being.When she was a little girl starting to practice our martial art, she was shy and introverted. Taekwondo has helped her to gain confidence.What she loved more about her first competitions as a child, was to have dinner with her parents after the competition ended.Eva also shared with us some drills that she uses to improve Ap Chagi and Yop Chagi and how she prepares to perform her best when she is in the mats.Eva is very young, but determined and disciplined. Surely we will be hearing about her accomplishments for a long time.Now please enjoy her talk and let us know that you have learned from her in the comments.The secret to make children remember competitions foreverEva started to practice taekwondo very young. As common in successful athletes, she was a multi sport child. She practiced taekwondo, karate, and riding among other activities.Her parents are korean, so they considered it a good idea for her to practice this Korean martial art.She practiced ballet before, which of course helped Eva in her beginnings at taekwondo.But one of the most interesting parts for me of her start in taekwondo, was what she liked about competitions as a child.And it was that after a competition, she used to go for dinner with her parents to a restaurant.So, what she remembers most of her first competitions is not the results, or the medals, or the performance, or anything directly related to the competition.Is dining with her parents.Which is a great lesson, as sometimes parents and coaches tend to think that performance results are the most important things, even with little children.So, do you want your children to enjoy competition day? You have an idea there.The ability to learn and take the best from othersOne thing that Eva values most of her life dedicated to taekwondo is the opportunity to meet other wonderful people.When she was trying to be part of the Denmark national team, she had a friend who also competed with and was always very close to Eva’s level. In fact, her friend started to win competitions before Eva in Denmark.When Eva started to go to international competitions she performed better and soon she started to win competitions outside and inside her country.But she considers that thanks to that personal competition she had with her friend, they pushed each other to a higher level.Eva also comments that in a high level competition, you can also learn just from watching. By the way, if you want to improve and know how the best teams in the world work and train, a World Championships is also a great opportunity to learn. In our past episode Jason Han commented to us the same idea.Also in these early years she admired the 2x World Champion from Turkey Elif Yilmaz. Who is now her friend and has helped her a lot to improve.This also reminds us that sports competition creates friendship, not only on team members but also between opponents.Eva gladly remembers her last European Championships in Turkey, her first as senior and in which she won the gold medal precisely against Elif Yilmaz. Eva considers a key for this achievement the ability to focus on the performance and not in the result.Mental training for competitionOne thing Eva does in competition to focus on the present is to breathe. Inhale with her nose and exhale with her mouth.Is one of the first things she learned from her coach. And she does it until she feels relieved or that the stress is gone.Another advice she gives to us is to be prepared for everything. She means that you have to consider every possible variable that can happen during your competition. For instance, if you have to be the first of your group to compete, be prepared for that and not let that new situation put some small stress on you.Or if your group is changed and instead of competing in the afternoon you have to compete in the morning. You have to be prepared for that. And take that small stress out to perform your best at competition.Another advice Eva tells us is to make a playlist for competition. She remembers that this advice was given to her by Elif Yilmaz in Croatia.It can be any kind of playlist that you like. Maybe can be one with music that excites you or also can be music that chills you. The most important thing is that it has to be music that you enjoy.Eva considers another very important tool visualization. Trying to be as specific as you can. To feel all the possible things of your competition, the emotions, the noises, the environment.If you have lived the experience previously in visualization, it is more likely that your performance will be close to what you expect.Enjoy the interview.I’m really glad of the opportunity of talking to Eva. As you will notice on the interview she is not only an amazing athlete but an amazing human being.Willing to help and really kind with us. I hope you enjoy the interview. You know, if you like please let us what you think of it in the comments section and share it with other taekwondo lovers.
One of the first objectives of the podcast was to bring knowledge of successful professionals that could help with their advice and experience to the taekwondo community.The idea was to interview athletes, coaches, health care professionals, Masters, business owners to share ideas from their respective fields to us.Today we will cover many of these fields in one interview. As our guest was former USA national team member, he has excelled at coaching and sports performance and he is also a top health care professional who has worked with professional athletes and performers in places like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cirque du Soleil and now works for one of the best soccer teams in the continent, the Los Angeles Football Club.He also co-owns The Juice Compound, a World Class Coaching program that helps individuals to reach their potential.I’m talking about Dr Jason Han, taekwondo World Cup Medalist, doctor, consultant, owner of Health Fit and father of family.Dr Jason Han very kindly accepted to share with us his experiences since he started taekwondo as a child after watching a demo at his school.Taekwondo demonstrationsDr Jason was a multi sport child. He decided to focus on taekwondo until he had to make a decision between it and basketball.Usually, when we think about successful athletes, we can suppose that they started competing in taekwondo very young, but it is not the case for Dr Jason.First he was part of his dojang demo team, and it is interesting that also a demo was what brought him to taekwondo.He saw a demo at his school and so he asked his parents to take him to taekwondo.Another interesting aspect that made him stay in taekwondo in certain moments where he wanted to drop out was the opportunity to mentor lower belt students of the dojang he attended.It’s interesting how this seed of helping others was one of the things that made him stick to taekwondo. The social part more than the athletic achievements.Athlete and coach at the same timeDr Jason studied in one of the most famous and prestigious universities in the world, the University of Berkley.And one of the reasons why he chose Berkeley was the taekwondo coach that taught there, Dr. Park Bong Kwon.But curiously, when Jason had only one year at Berkeley Dr Park Bong Kwon had to leave the university and so Dr Jason, being the most experienced athlete had the big responsibility to lead the team..He remembers it as a growth experience as he had to start to research how a training plane was made and also he had to focus on his studies and on his athletic career.Dr Jason shares with us that in those days access to knowledge was really difficult comparing it with nowadays. At first he had to plan according his experience as an athlete and then slowly pick up information from different sources, for example, if he went with the USA Team to the World Championships and he saw the Iran team doing certain drill or exercise before the competition, he analyzed it to see if it made sense to try it.This is a great reflection of what we can do as coaches, maybe we don’t have the experience of other coaches, or maybe we don’t have access to Sports Lab or to a multidisciplinary team to work for us. So, we have to do what we can with what we have. A reflection that also Stephen Lambdin shared with us.Choice managementAlmost at the beginning of the interview Jason shared with us this quote:“Is not time management, it is choice management”This came out because of the multiple areas in which Dr Jason works simultaneously.He works with the LA Football Club, owns his clinic with his wife, co owns and works with The Juice Compound helping athletes to achieve their goals no matter their level.And he shared with us that everyone had the same amount of time within a day. But it is up to us what we decide to make with our time.We can decide to spend one hour on Instagram or Facebook, or maybe we can use the same time to something more productive that can make us feel better and to achieve other kinds of goals.Dr Jason wakes up every day at 4am, that is a choice. Because at 8am he is a father and takes his daughter to the school, and after it he works, so, to dedicate time to himself and his personal projects he had to wake up at that hour.And to invest in his body he goes to bed early, because also is not the best choice to sleep only 4 or 5 hours per night.How is it to work at the Cirque du Soleil and Pittsburgh Steelers?Dr Jason has worked in places like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cirque du Soleil.And I was really curious how and why he chose those places to work.What did he learn working there?And his answer, more than technical things, was more directed to the human part.Of course working in those places must require high level technical knowledge. For example, in the Steelers Dr Jason had to deal with really serious contact injuries.But Dr Jason put things clear, he doesn’t want to talk about bones and muscles and techniques.Some of the challenges of working in those environments are in dealing with humans. In learning to communicate with others in an assertive way.Politics are everywhere, in any kind of job. You have to earn the confidence of your coworkers and in health care of your patients. In the Cirque du Soleil Dr Jason had to treat performers from all over the world, all of them with different ideas on how to deal with injuries and recovery. He had to convince them that he was on their side, not trying to take them out of the show. His job was to prevent damage that could actually get them out of the show.No matter if your patient is from Poland, China, Russia, or wherever, the most important thing to earn confidence is honesty, and this tool can help you to motivate your patients and athletes.Connection with the patientWith years of experience, technical skills and physiotherapy experience of Dr Jason has improved. He tells us, if you are in the physio area you need to love to be better at technical things.But not only the technical skills are important. He mentions the 80/20 rule. Maybe the technical knowledge is the 80 percent and the connection the other 20.Maybe viceversa. But both areas have to work together to make people better, faster and as safe as possible.In physiotherapy and rehabilitation you will spend a lot of time with the patient, you will not be like a surgeon who needs to be very good at the technical process and who probably won’t interact with the patient.A physio is someone that is trying to make you something that is uncomfortable. And some people don’t want to push, some people want to push too much.And you have to read the situation, if they push more they maybe will hurt themselves more and not gonna trust you and go with someone else. Which will not allow you to help them.As I mention in the audio, the interview is very rich. So I hope you can listen to all of it, I share with you the links below. Please let me know what you learned from Dr Jason.
One of the athletes I wanted to interview when the podcast was only in my mind was Stephen Lambdin.I thought his story was especially interesting for many reasons, Stephen fighted not only against his opponents in competition but also against scepticism.He was told that he would never make it to the Olympics.When you receive a comment like that you can choose if that will make you stop or if that will make you stronger.Because obviously you can’t control what others say from you.Stephen also had to renounce a promising professional career in a company to pursue the Olympic dream and train full time for it.When he started his preparation for Rio 2016, he was looking for ways to strengthen his mindset. So he traveled to Poland to train with Wim Hof on the Wim Hof Method, which combines breathing, meditation and cold exposure to push body and mind boundaries.Since then he has applied the method to his life, his training and his competitions as a way to push the mind boundaries and get that extra 1% that can be the difference between winning and losing at high level sports.If you are interested in mind and spirit development, how to get more of your training without training more, how to improve your cut kick, this episode is for you.Why is it not so bad if you lose by point gap?Stephen wanted to go to the Olympics, because he used to see them on TV every two years. But he didn’t know how the process was.He enjoyed taekwondo but was not aware that he would first had to earn his spot at the national team and that it was only the beginning of a long journey.Stephen shared with us that when he won his spot for the first time to the Junior US National Team, he didn’t even know that after it he would then go to represent his country in the Youth World Championships in Greece.A whole new experience for him. And in terms of results nobody would say that his performance was good.He lost by a wide score against Korea. He didn’t know to what level of competition he was facing.He thought it was a fact that if he won US Nationals he would go World Championships. That was another tournament for him.But the most important thing was that when he got that “bad result” he went back home very motivated to train harder.Again we have two options when we don’t have the results we want. To drop out or to continue and improve.Would you get up at 3:30am pursuing your dreams?Stephen had support of a program that gave elite athletes a job in order to help them to continue training. He was beginning a promising career at General Electric, probably many people’s dream job.Part of his responsibilities for that work was to answer a call at 3:30am. That was the hour his day started.Then he did his first training of the day, after it he worked until afternoon, then did his second training of the day. And finally he was lucky if he went to bed 8:30pm, which was not that often.His career in General Electric was rising. But his performance at training was not what he was expecting, he was lacking many hours of sleep and the qualification process for Rio 2016 was starting.Stephen always had the dream of going to the olympics so in a not so easy decision he quit the job and focused 100% on his training.His boss was not happy, but understood the decision.It is interesting how many people didn’t understand his decision. In nowadays society many times we tend to value profitable careers more than other options life offers to us.But Stephen considers leaving that job was the best investment in his life.Just one week after quitting the job his performance improved a lot.Challenging his mind in the road for Rio 2016Stephen, with the support of his parents started to train first for the spot at US Olympic team, second to win the Pan Am qualifiers and then to Rio 2016As mentioned before, he wanted to build a strong mindset for the challenge.So he travelled to Poland to learn the Wim Hof Method directly from Wim Hof.Wim Hof is a Holland man who has pushed the boundaries of body and mind. He has broken Guiness Records for ice and cold exposure.His method, based on breathing, cold exposure, and meditation can help to push the mind to its limits, to improve resistance to cold and to modify the immune system response.Before attempting to practice the method I recommend you to research a lot and to check Wim Hof’s website. Two years ago I purchased a 10 Week course 50% off on a Black Friday deal. Maybe that offer is still this year.Well, let’s continue with Stephen’s story.He traveled to Poland to a Wim Hof’s training camp. When he started to practice the cold exposure and breathing technique. Most of the people were there because they wanted to improve their health. Stephen was the only one looking to improve his sports performance.Still nowadays Stephen practices the technique everyday, and he uses it before training and competition.I asked him if he can tell a difference between training using the Method and training without using it.He has done that test and commented that probably the difference is around 10% in his performance during training. Which is actually great.Getting more of your trainingStephen also shared with us how much we can improve in our training by doing it more specific and focused.If we have to improve something, let’s go straight into it. For example, for Olympic taekwondo competition, you don’t have to waste your time practicing jumping side kicks.In sport taekwondo nowadays there are certain specific areas in which you should focus. For example the cut kick. Stephen also shared with us some advice to improve the cut kick.But you can apply this principle for other aspects of training and life.Stephen's conversation was very rich, he also shared with us how his faith in Christ has helped him through his journey, how he helps the athletes he coaches, some ideas he thinks could work to improve taekwondo as a viewer friendly sport and more.Please enjoy the interview and share with us what do you think of Stephen’s work.
To succeed at an elite level in sports requires a high level of specialization. Small details are determinant.Being successful in one sport and moving to another can be very risky. You can go from being the best to just be one more.Our today’s guest has experienced great success in two different martial arts.He has been twice Kickboxing world champion and has been twice world medalist in Taekwondo. Silver in Chelyabinsk 2015 and Bronze in Muju 2017I’m talking about Damon Sansum.Damon was recruited to the GB Taekwondo team as part of the Fighting Chance program, which scout athletes from other martial arts to compete at taekwondo.He had the skill and mindset necessary to adapt to a new style of competition.He kindly talked with us about how he made it, how he had dedicated his life to martial arts and how he after his retirement is still contributing to the martial arts world adding high level technology to it.Damon works with Kick.ai, a Finish company that is incorporating data driven technology to martial arts training. Damon shared with us all the exciting things he is doing with this martial arts startup.I highly recommend this interview. Damon has a great passion for martial arts, technology and self improvement.Please enjoy.How to win confidence if you are scared of competitions?Damon started to train martial arts with his father, a martial arts expert who for many years was a bodyguard of Mohamed Al Fayed's family.He started to compete in small competitions of KickBoxing and Karate point fighting.You could think that being Damon Sansum, he always had the confidence to fight and win.But it wasn’t always this way. When he was around 15 he was scared of competitions and not performing as good as he did in the Club. Sometimes he even got sick before tournaments.His father even suggested that he take a break and to come back when he really wanted to compete.After that pause he started to compete again, in certain particular fight where he again didn’t perform as good as he wanted he remembered thinking:“You know what, is not gonna kill you, is not the end of the world, you gonna have to fight anyway so go and fight and give it your all”.Two or three hours later he fought again and won all his fights that day and beat everyone who used to beat him. Later became a senior European KickBoxing champion at 16.That was when he started to be serious at training and competing.Fighting chanceAfter a very successful career in Kickboxing including being twice World Champion he was thinking of retirement because of a shoulder injury.He was not able to perform as good as he wanted. By that time the Fighting Chance program was launched.And he discussed with his father the idea of giving a try to Olympic Taekwondo as it was more focused on kicks than punches. So he could continue training and competing at a world class level.He applied for the tests. Participated in a 5 days camp fighting against all kinds of martial artists but with taekwondo rules.Damon proved he had the necessary talent to succeed in taekwondo, first in the camp and after it in competitions.Of course it was not easy. He had moments of doubt when he asked himself “What am i doing here?” but his efforts were compensated and soon he started to medal in important competitions.Martial arts, technology and Kick.aiOn October 2019, Damon decided to retire from taekwondo competition.Damon shared with us that he knew that he was very interested in martial arts and technology as he knows is how the world works now.We are like part robots having our phones all the time in our hands. After his retirement Damon wanted to do something that could mix technology and martial arts.The day after his retirement he had a message from Jan-Eric Wargelin from Kick.ai. A Finish Tech start up developing data driven technology for the world of taekwondo and martial arts.Damon flew to Finland, met the Kick.ai team, tested the technology and realized how good and accurate it was.Now he works with Kick.ai contributing with his experience and knowledge of martial arts and taekwondo to the development of Kick.ai Technology.By the way, Kick.ai is launching the new Club Pro and is offering a 1 on 1 demo to selected martial arts club owners. If you want to know how Kick.ai can help you with engagement and retention please contact Damon or me to arrange it.Please enjoy the interview with this amazing guy. He also shared with us some stories he has accumulated through his martial arts journey.
How to train with the national team in Mexico City and to study at the same time college in Guadalajara 500km away?You’ll discover it in this interview with a top taekwondo athlete.Carlos Ayala @carlos. ayala.yee is a former taekwondo Mexico National Team taekwondo athlete.His story is of perfectionism and constant challenge. He represented Mexico not only in Taekwondo but also in football (soccer).At 18, being a new young member of the taekwondo national team he went to his first international competition: the 1993 New York City World Championships at the Madison Square Garden.And he won a bronze medal.Two years later he would be Pan Am Games champion in Mar del Plata 1995.And he was part of the first national team in the world to beat Corea in a world tournament (1996 Rio de Janeiro World Cup).He now is director in a global firm. He also shared with us how elite level taekwondo training experience and his like for challenges has helped him in the corporate world.Please enjoy the interview with Carlos Ayala, a real taekwondo passionate lover.Football and TaekwondoCarlos Ayala's childhood was full of travelling and sports. His father had to move constantly to different cities for work and so does all the family.Carlos Ayala began playing football and he was part of the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol (Mexican Football Federation) team.So he had the opportunity to represent the country in football and to play against teams of other countries like the United States and Canada.He started to practice taekwondo with two times world medalist and sparring lover GM Moritz Von Nacher.Then his family moved again to Guadalajara. And then he started learning with another legend of mexican taekwondo, GM Ramiro Guzmán.Training there he had the opportunity to train also with figures like Enrique Torroella, bronze medal in Seoul 1988 Olympics.Family and educationCarlos Ayala’s family was strict but very supportive.Carlos and his siblings were able to practice the sport they wanted. As long as they put passion there and train giving their 100%.Beside their dojang was a gymnastics school, so he and his siblings started to practice gymnastics also. It is interesting the reason why Carlos Ayala decided to specialize in taekwondo.He shares with us that it was not because he felt an outstanding special passion for taekwondo. It was only that their school schedule was better to practice taekwondo instead of the other sports.It was not that his parents were thinking of making him a world medalist or something like that.Their priority was always his academic education.World Cup and traveling by plane every week.Carlos Ayala made it to the taekwondo national team very young. And also very young he became world medalist in 1993.He was from Guadalajara, 500km away from Mexico City, where taekwondo Mexico National Team trained and lived. By that time he earned an academic scholarship in one of the country’s more prestigious and expensive universities. His parents couldn’t afford a school as expensive as ITESM, so he really wanted academic success.The university was in Guadalajara, where he was from.To compete at the 1993 World Championships and Central American Games the university allowed him to pause his studies for one year to allow him to train. Later the moment came when he had to continue his studies and when he had no more chances to stop if he wanted to continue with the scholarship. He participated in the national qualification tournament for the 1996 World Cup and he won it. All the winners were called to train in Mexico city with the team. But he thought he couldn’t make it, as he had to study in Guadalajara. The trainer Master Eun Seok Hong also wanted him in the team.So he had what he now considers a crazy idea. He arranged his school schedule to study Tuesday and Thursday.The Jalisco’s state taekwondo association helped him to purchase flights so he could train from Friday to Monday at Mexico City.He feels that it was not the best preparation that he could have facing a World Cup.But it was the only way it could be done. And he also comments that he already had a lot of international competition experience and obviously you don’t forge that.But he was not expecting anything. He went just for the joy of it.And that is how he got his best achievement in taekwondo. A great lesson, ideal conditions never exist. He could easily forget about taekwondo and focus on his semester thinking he would not be allowed to train and study.But he made all what he could do and it worked.It is always a pleasure to hear experiences of people that all of their lives has been fighters.I hope you enjoy the interview.Thanks for hearing.
I’m glad to bring you a NEW EPISODE of Taekwondo Passion.The story of Kashish Malik. A young athlete with high aspirations from India.Gold medal in South Asian Games 2019. Only indian athlete to reach quarter finals in Jakarta Asian Games 2018 three months after being diagnosed with jaundice.She didn’t want to learn taekwondo but her sports instructor challenged her.She loved taekwondo so much that she changed her goals of a high position in the Government of India to start pursuing an athletic career.She is fighting outside the ring trying to inspire future indian taekwondo athletes.Fighting internationally she has learned that in competition you can be an opponent with other athletes, but outside it your opponents are also beautiful souls.Kashish is young but determined, an athlete that never gives up.Please enjoy the interview and let us know your thoughts on the comments section. Feeling a superheroThe story of Kashish Malik has a common beginning on successful taekwondo athletes.They were very active kids, not always with the best behaviour. She was a very sporty girl who loved to play cricket with her brothers.When she was 6 year old, playing to be a superhero Kashish Malik jumped over the back of her brother, causing him to fall to the floor and to have a tooth broken. Later she got in trouble at school for defending against a bully.Her sports teacher and also a taekwondo instructor saw her energy and invited her to take taekwondo classes.But the martial art was not attractive for her. As she already stood up against the bully with no need of taekwondo, why would she need it?The teacher challenged her to go to his taekwondo school and sparr with one of his students. As she was new to the martial art naturally she didn’t win.But even though it was something new for her she didn’t give up.Now she is one of the best athletes of her country. The first to win a gold medal at the South Asian Games and with a strong compromise to inspire future Indian taekwondo athletes.How to help athletes to pursue a career in taekwondo?Taekwondo is a martial art practiced in the whole world. Often we hear that is only the second most practiced sport after football.It is an Olympic sport, but still we do not have a solid professional platform for athletes around the world. As we talked with Erica Stephens the Grand Slam is one of the first attempts and I hope in the future we will have more events like this.Pursuing a taekwondo career is a difficult task for many athletes. Kashish shared with us that she wants to make taekwondo more popular in her country, because although many people practice taekwondo in India, athletes are not encouraged to go for the olympic dream.It is seen as very risky, because if you don’t succeed it is considered a waste of time. But it is not the same with other more popular sports, like cricket.This is common around the world. Athletes and their families have to make big efforts to fund competitions and training, we can hear about it in our interviews with Terrence Jennings and Victoria Stambaugh for example.Kashish shared with us that she wants to win an olympic medal to change this. One medal can change everything. As Bradly Sinden shared with us, there was a big difference after Sarah Stevenson’s olympic medal for Great Britain.The fighting spirit of Kashish “I never give up”Kashish is a fighter, she proved it at her first taekwondo class and later in her career she had to do it many times.She was selected to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Three months before the competition she got jaundice. The doctor said that she couldn’t go to the tournament, her situation was bad and she couldn’t even walk sometimes.The doctor's main reason was that she needed to recover and that it was very irresponsible to compete. Kashish had made the decision to go. She didn’t want to lose the opportunity to represent her country in such an important tournament.She wanted to give a medal to India. So she decided to compete, supported by her family and her coach. The day after she was discharged from the hospital she went to train and to prepare for the tournament.At the Asian games she was the only indian athlete to reach quarter finals. She lost with 2017 World Champion Lee Ah-reum, a very good result considering she was only 18 year old.More on the interview.Surely, we’re going to hear of Kashish career soon, she is pointing high and she doesn’t let obstacles stop her.She had another important knee injury before the Manchester 2019 World Championships. She even hid it to her teammates afraid of losing her spot for the competition. That is another story that is better to hear from her voice. Links below, please comment and let us know what did you learn from Kashish interview.
What is the most important thing any health professional should have?How sports organisms could fight against weight cutting?Is the 5% rule working to protect athletes?How should you rehydrate after weight cutting?Is there an age from which weight cutting could be less risky?NEW podcast EPISODE with a taekwondo passionate professional.Erica Stephens @nutritionfortaekwondo is an Accredited Sports Dietitian who works with athletes of all kinds of sports. Boxing, Muay Thai, Cricket, and many others. Of course she also works with taekwondo athletes. She even has written a book about specific nutrition for the sport of taekwondo.She has a Master of Nutrition and Dietetics (2010) and the world renowned International Olympic Committee Diploma in Sports Nutrition (2016).Erica was a former Australian National Team taekwondo athlete that represented her country internationally and made the Australian Olympic Shadow Team for the 2004 Athens Olympics.Erica stopped training taekwondo to focus on her studies, and she is passionate about using the combination of her academic and sports experience to help others.If you are interested in nutrition for taekwondo, health care, Aldous Huxley, weight cutting and fasting. This interview is for you.Disclaimer: Weight-cutting is a dangerous practice. By no way we are encouraging anybody to do it. This article and interview purpose is to promote discussion about the topic. Before doing it look for professional advice.How to rehydrate after weight cutting?I was curious about this, because I’ve heard that the best way to recover after weight cutting was just with small and continuous swallows. Apparently that was the best way to do it.Erica shares with us that the rehydration protocol should be specific for how much weight was cutted.About the small swallows they don't make any difference. You should rehydrate drinking normally, just avoiding to drink in an exaggerated way that could make you throw up.Is there an age from which weight cutting could be less risky?Weight cutting is risky. But weight cutting at a young age is very dangerous. To do it can compromise metabolic functions, grow and long term age.An 18 year old can be legally adult in some countries and can be responsible for his acts. Does this mean that an 18 year old should cut weight?Erica mentions that although as an 18 year old you can be legally an adult. There are still some physiological processes going on. And that nobody should cut weight under 21 or 20 years old.I think in this area we have a lot of work to do. Because as we have weight divisions in youth taekwondo, it's common that weight cutting happens, with all its potential damage.Fighting against extreme weight cuttingI asked Erica about possible strategies to fight extreme weight cutting in taekwondo. She answered that a very successful program was made by the NCAA in college wrestling.NCAA encourages athletes to just lose 1.5% of total body weight per week. Now they have a mandatory assessment of body fat and hydration as a condition to compete. Also every school has to establish in which class a wrestler will compete for the season.Maybe we are still far of it, but maybe if technology give us in the future a way to monitor athlete weight cutting in the future we could fight against it better.The 5 percent ruleOne of the World Taekwondo strategies to fight extreme weight cutting is the random weigh-in the morning of the competition.If you are selected for the random weigh-in, you only are allowed to weight less than 5% than the division limit.Erica shares with us that at this moment there is not enough evidence if the rule is working. First I thought that it could be potentially more damaging because athletes could not be fully recovered but Erica mentions that is not only to lose weight what damages, but also the bounce after making weight.Because you make your body go for two extreme weights. So, the rule may reduce the potential damage of the bounce.At least it is a first attempt to do something. Maybe not perfect but it shows will to fight against extreme weight cutting.Intermittent fasting and high performance athletesIn the last years (although is an ancient practice) it is more common to hear about intermittent fasting and its possible benefits.So, an athlete can possibly be benefited from this practice? Erica mentions that high performance athletes require a lot of energy. In a sport like taekwondo you need to have that energy immediately.So, intermittent practice is not the best tool for a taekwondo high performance athlete. You want to perform the best in competition, and to do that you have to also perform your best in training.If you don’t have enough energy, your performance at training will be deficient and so your performance at competition.The most important thing about helping othersErica likes to read about everything. Not only her area of expertise. Even that sometimes what she reads is not related to nutrition, it has helped her in her practice.She shared with us that there is a study made for psychologists that concludes that the most important thing to help another person is not the academic background, the expertise, or the books the psychologists have read.The most important thing is rapport. The ability to get along with the other, to empathize.Erica shared with us that reading has helped her to improve this ability by talking with her patients about any topic in which they are interested. It is not necessary to be an expert in that topic, the most important thing is to show interest.Please enjoy the interview and share with us your thoughts on the comments.
I’m very glad of being able to bring you this new Taekwondo Passion episode.The main purpose from the start of the podcast was to bring you inspiration interviewing outstanding human beings involved in taekwondo.And this interview can not be described in another way.Victoria Stambaugh’s taekwondo journey has been amazing.She qualified for the Tokyo Olympics last March, after a long career pursuing the Olympic dream. To achieve that Victoria has had to overcome countless injuries and 6 knee surgeries. Victoria recently opened Believe Commit Achieve, an amazing Taekwondo and Parkour facility in The Woodlands, where people can learn the important qualities of discipline, self-control, mental toughness, and perseverance while gaining physical knowledge of movement mastery through Taekwondo and Parkour.Victoria is compromised with the taekwondo community and with sharing her experience hoping to inspire others. She conducts 1-on-1 and group training sessions, leads seminars and gives motivational speeches.She kindly talked with us about her career, what she has done to overcome injuries and surgeries, how she modified her approach to training prioritizing mental training, the importance of surrendering to the outcome, and how she’d like to see taekwondo competition after the lockdown.Combat sports family tradition.Victoria’s father and grandfather were professional boxers. So, as she grew up she learned basic aspects of boxing that later helped her in taekwondo, like footwork and head moves. But Victoria’s family didn’t want her to participate in a sport as violent as boxing. So, first she started Karate and then looking for a place where she can be more competitive started in Olympic Taekwondo.Victoria had a multisport youth, as is common in successful athletes. She played soccer, basketball and track. She decided to specialize in taekwondo when she realized that she could make big things there.How to overcome injuries.Victoria’s career has been constantly marked by injuries, so her will and spirit have been constantly challenged.Is not easy to overcome one knee surgery, imagine how hard it has been to do it with six.Her first big injury was when she was just before her first World Championships, in Copenhague. She hadn’t the obligation to compete injured, but she felt a big compromise to do it.And even that she could barely walk she managed to have a very even match. After that World Championships she had an Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction in 2010. After it meniscus and ACL reconstruction in 2012, two reconstruction ACL surgeries in 2013, and two meniscectomies in 2018 and 2019. While she was asleep on her last surgery, after the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games, the doctor realized that Victoria’s knee was worse than what he expected. Talked with her parents and together decided to do what was the best for her. That resulted in taking out a big part of the meniscus, leaving her knee with only 20 to 30 percent of it. When she woke up after surgery, and she was told the outcome she couldn’t believe it.She thought that all of her abilities had been taken from her.Victoria thought it would be impossible to make it to the Olympics in that way. But she did it. How? She shared it with us in the most beautiful part of the interview.Surrender the outcomeVictoria thought that she was done, thinking of competing again sounded crazy for her, she doubted that she could ever be an athletic person.The only reason why she continued was that she surrendered to Christ and prayed. She said “If this is gonna happen, it’s gonna be because of you. I’m mentally and physically exhausted, I can go on anymore unless you open the doors for me”.So, for her, the most important thing was letting go of any control. Releasing every thought of control and releasing everything to God.Releasing control in training, visualization and Olympic qualifiers.Victoria even stopped training for a while, and when she got back she didn’t train like before. Two or three trainings per day five or six times a week.Training a lot is also a way of trying to control the outcome. So, she stopped doing it. Just trained once a day, three days of the week for taekwondo and two days for weight and physical training.The rest of the time she dedicated to strengthen her will, her mental toughness and to prepare mentally for her fights.Every day she was studying her rivals, watching videos of other fighters to come up with ideas, visualizing. That was the difference for her, to surrender the outcome.BCAAlong with her boyfriend and his best friend. Victoria had the dream of a place where they can contribute to the community helping people to build skills like discipline but also physical skills.The only obstacle was that she was 100% focused on the Olympics. During the lockdown with the Olympics postponed they decided that was the moment.So in Summer 2020 they opened “Believe Commit Achieve” academy. A training facility in The Woodlands where people can learn Taekwondo and Parkour, to gain abilities to control their bodies and minds.If you live in The Woodlands area and want to train with experts. You have a world class option on BCA.Thanks for reading. Links to the full interview below. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube and Overcast.Remember, if you like our work please share, subscribe, comment, give us a like on our content. That is a great motivation to continue.
Carmen Marton is a former taekwondo world champion from Australia. She won the gold medal at the Puebla 2013 World Championships. She also won a Bronze medal at the Madrid 2005 World Championships.She’s participated in international competitions since the year 2000 being one of the few athletes from that generation that is still active and continue training and fighting. In fact, she has competed in three olympic games.She is still active in competition but also she works as an ambassador of the Pink Belt program that offers taekwondo scholarships to women suffering domestic violence.Carmen’s long career is still going. I think mainly for two reasons. The first one is that she loves to help others, and her career is an inspiring example for many people.The second one is that she loves taekwondo.Fighting in different weight classesCarmen has fought in many different weight classes. From -55kg to -67kg. She loves fighting. If it is necessary to change weight class in order to fight in some competition. She’ll do it.Fighting in some other weight classes has helped Carmen to learn more about taekwondo. The game always changes, says Carmen. And you have to be prepared for anything.So, for example, if she is going to fight in a very upper weight class. She will focus on her speed and on moving a lot. This willingness to learn is very remarkable If we have to fight in another weight class for any reason, to use this as an opportunity to grow in our taekwondo.London 2012Carmen has been really near to the Olympic medal. In London 2012 she beat Iran and Sweden, lost with Turkey and in the repechage fought against Germany in a match that was very even until the third round.There was a moment at the end of the second round where Carmen scored three points. But she stopped attacking to let the opponent ask for the review.Carmen shares with us that after it she learned that if a referee doesn’t stop the fight, the match is still going. You will never know if the other athlete will let you do the same later in the match.That was a lesson that helped her one year later when she was pursuing the gold medal at the Word Championships. If the referee has not stopped the fight. You as an athlete have to continue doing your jobFirst Australian World ChampionFor the World Championships at Puebla she and her team, her sister and father made all in their hands to have the best possible preparation. Sport science marks that if you are travelling to another timezone and altitude, you need a certain number of days to adapt. Before the World Championships they travelled to La Loma, a high performance center in San Luis Potosi, Mexico to end their preparation. She fought the last day of the tournament and the final was the last women’s match.Carmen shared with us that her most difficult fight was the first one against India. A World Championship is a long competition, with 6 or 7 fights. And during the road to the final a lot of things can happen, there can be fights where doubts can appear.But Carmen had the capacity to be accurate and to win that first match that gave her confidence to continue advancing in the tournament.Headshot pointsAs some other athletes have pointed out Carmen shares with us that she’d like to see Video Replay for headshots.Now, with the PSS, an athlete can do a powerful kick straight into the opponent's face and that kick may not score, because the system only counts kicks in the helmet.Many voices claim that this is against the spirit of taekwondo and we hope we will have in the future a solution for that matter.Pink Belt Program and youth athletes financial advice.Carmen is ambassador of Pink Belt. A program that offers one year scholarships to learn taekwondo to women that have suffered domestic violence.The purpose of the program is not only that women learn self defense, Carmen points out that also it is very important that women experience the social benefits of taekwondo, that can help to build confidence and self esteem.As Carmen says, Taekwondo isn't just about the sport. It is about building community, about having friends outside your normal circle, it is about learning and going out of your comfort zone along with others.Carmen is very concerned about education and giving others opportunities. She is learning about financial education, a subject that we don’t learn at schools but can have a real impact in our life.She recommends young athletes to care about their future. It is important to educate ourselves in how the decisions that we make on lifestyle can work in our favor or against us in the future. More in the interview.This was a very rich interview as Carmen’s long career Some topics she chatted with us about were:Fighting in different weight classesPolitics in sportsLearning stunts and UFCFlat white coffeeMelbourne Taekwondo Center
Terrence Jennings is a former London 2012 Olympics Bronze medalist. He is a coach in the World Class Athlete Program, an initiative of the US army that helps athletes to focus on training and represent the United States at international competition.He started to compete very young and make it to the Youth United States National Team.He is very passionate for the sport, he shares with us some important moments of his career and how he still enjoys training, coaching and watching videos to learn.He has learned from amazing taekwondo masters and coaches like Patrice Remarck and Juan Moreno, in the interview he talked about them and how they helped him to grow in taekwondo.Every taekwondo journey starts with the first classTerrence Jennings was a very active kid. So, when he saw an ad of a new local martial arts school showing a ninja turtle he was immediately attracted to the sport. And since the first class he loved all the flashy movements of taekwondo.He loved playing different sports, like football, basketball and soccer. But he mentions that in team sports there are always things that you can’t control because you depend on others.Just one chance to break the boardTerrence's first instructor was very strict. When you were at a belt testing and you had to break a board you only had one chance. Terrence remembers a class partner who in his belt test failed to break the board. Everybody thought that he would have another chance, but no, the instructor made him to wait three months more to do the test again and reattempt to break the board.Terrence reflects that sometimes you don’t have a second chance. And you have to do your best when you have the chance.First competitionsTerrence remembers that at first his school was more focused on point sparring.In one of his first competitions he was disqualified for excess of contact, although he was a child he felt disappointed. He thought that maybe that was not the right activity for him.After a while the school started to focus more on Olympic taekwondo and that’s how Terrence was introduced in what later would be his way of life.Terrence’s first competition was when he was a green belt. His parents drove him one hour to the place of the tournament in Maryland.As in many children tournaments he remembers that the only thing he did was kicking.He went to the middle of the ring and when the fight started it was just one minute of continuous kicking by both sides. No checking or feints, not moving, just kicking until the coach told him to stop.Making a teamEarly in his career he met Coach Patrice Remarck, a two time World Medalist from Ivory Coast who was studying at the University in Washington DC and started to coach in Terrence’s academy Olympic style taekwondo.None of the students really know what exactly was Olympic taekwondo, they just followed the instructions of Mr Remarck.One of the strategies that coach Remarck did was to bring the team atmosphere into the dojang. With warm ups, uniforms and behaviour that gives the children that sense of being part of something bigger.Coach Remarck was very strict about earning the right to use a National Team uniform. You could not just put the USA letters in your uniform because you were not allowed to train with that dobok unless you were already a national team member.That is a great motivation, to earn the right to use your country’s name in your uniform.Under coach Remarck guidance Terrence’s career started to go upwards, he made it to the Junior National Team and started to compete internationally. Before ranking tournaments coach Remarck encouraged his athletes to go to international events like the French or Belgium opens in order to gain experience from fighting the best athletes in other countries.A hard decision and the London 2012 Olympic GamesAn interesting point of the interview was the decision of changing his training place pursuing his dreams.Having an elite coach was a blessing for Terrence’s. It allowed him to compete internationally and to be one of the top athletes of the USA. But in order to pursue his dream of going to the London Olympics and to win a medal he had to make some difficult decisions.In a combat sport at an elite level you also need to train with partners that challenge you all the time. That was why he moved to Miami to train at Peak Performance with Coach Juan Moreno who had one of the best teams in the country.Coach Moreno even found him a job to help him to afford his stay in Miami. So he worked at a warehouse starting at 6am and then he just moved to train, every day.But hard work pays off. Under Master Moreno’s guidance Terrence won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics. The complete story on the interview.On the interview Terrence talked with us also about:How was his preparation for the London 2012 Olympics?What to do when referees are unfairly penalizing you?How to fight against weight cutting?How does the US Army World Class Athlete Program work?
Raul Landeo is a lecturer in Biomechanics in the Australian Catholic University in the school of Behavioral Sciences. He has done research for taekwondo, he has worked with the Australian Institute of Sport between 2012 and 2017 as an adviser in taekwondo developing a taekwondo development program.He has contact with other researchers in the area of Taekwondo, like Coral Falco, Tomas Herrera, and Jesús Ramal.His life goes between researching, teaching at the University and trying to have a happy life.Raul was born in Peru. He started to practice taekwondo because of his brother, who still is a taekwondo coach. Raul was not very interested in taekwondo because he was not flexible at all, but when he went to see his brother compete the passion was born.When he started to train most of the training they did was just for passion. Raul considers that he and his teammates didn’t see themselves as athletes, they did all the training just because they liked it.It was like a trip to the unknown. A thing that maybe is lost a bit, because sport taekwondo (as any high level sport) is very specialized. So sometimes athletes train because they have to train. Raul gives us the example that sometimes before training with his brother they used to see a Kung Fu movie, and back from training they used to run 5km home just for the love of it, not because of a training program.Training for the sake of trainingRaul teached taekwondo in a club that he inherited from his brother. In 1988 he received the news that Peru would organize the Taekwondo Pan American Championship. By that time, Raul was halfway from being an athlete and a coach.He was preparing his students for the team trials as he was also preparing himself for it, but he realized that he couldn’t do both things. Reflecting, he thought that by training a good team he could increase the chances of medals for his country than if he only focused on himself. That way three of his athletes made it to the national team and of them won the gold medal at the Pan American ChampionshipsRaul was inspired by a presentation of Ireno Fargas in a course for all the Pan American coaches in Puerto Rico, in that course Raul understood that you have to understand all the physiological process of training in order to improve at high level sports.He started to study a lot, also trying to understand biomechanics to improve technique. He adjudicates later success with Peru National Team to that passion for studying and improving. He also was inspired when he testified the improvements of the Cuban Taekwondo in just a few years, going from not knowing the sport and being karate practitioners to become medal winners and contenders.After a successful time with Peru National team, he had the opportunity of moving to Australia, as his wife got a job there and since that time he has made his life there.Scientific research in taekwondoRaul's research experience is in Biomechanics. Force production, moving patterns, what is efficient? What is not? What kind of training should we do to facilitate the development of certain aspects of taekwondo.Raul mentions that there are certain interesting areas of scientific research in taekwondo, like pedagogy, injury prevention, biomechanics, but is necessary to make that knowledge accessible to coaches.Raul points that all science should be done for society and not for other researchers. So, there is a need for a way to make the taekwondo research results available for the taekwondo coaches.Raul’s simple advices from his taekwondo research for coaches and athletes.Raul's current research is about the interaction between the athlete and the coach. When we do a step or footwork before a kick we interact with the floor, if we improve the interaction we can improve the kicking of the person.Raul mentions that is a strategy to improve but taekwondo is very complex and success in taekwondo is due to many different factors. Minimize the contact time with the ground. This naturally will be subordinated to the tactical situation and not it applies all the time but as a general rule is a good way to evaluate your progress. You improve as the contact time of your foot with the mats is reduced. Watch your posture. Being upright in a natural anatomic posture helps a lot in the quality of the kicking action. If you have a natural posture your pelvis has more freedom and your scope and reach increases.Do not wear shoes where you train and try to be barefoot the most time you can. Humans are born without shoes. The anatomy we have gave us the capacity to live without shoes. We have 70000 receptors on the sole of the foot, from which we receive a lot of information about the environment. To wear shoes is to be blind to all the information we can get from them. The ironies of weight cutting.Many of our interviewees agree that weight cutting is a problem in taekwondo (as in many other combat sports).Raul points out something interesting. At elite level, most competitors cut weight. As we all know this can reduce performance. So, it is very probable that as anybody cuts weight, you’ll fight in a competition against a fighter that either way you were gonna fight as both of you cut weight. Obviously that is a difficult thing to solve, because, who is gonna be the first to stop cutting weight trying to change this behaviour.A possible solution Raul suggests could be to split each weight category in two, one for athletes above a certain height and another for athletes below that height.It seems a good idea. For cadets I think europe is starting to change the rules and limit the competition for certain heights. A scientist with a wide scope and a human heart.Raul chatted with us in a peaceful and humble manner. I consider him an example of what a science and researcher should be. A person willing to share his experience with others, and a specialist with profound knowledge in his area but also with a wide scope of life. He recommended us some masterpieces of literature and shared with us that he is one of the top sellers for Gabriel Garcia Marquez 100 years of solitude as he is always giving that book as a gift.A masterpiece that we both agree should be a great introduction to the world of Latin America.
Paulina Armeria is a mexican born italian taekwondo competitor. Most of her career has been fighting for Mexico until last year when she changed her life one day to another to start living in Italy and competing for that country.As her grandfather was Italian, she has both countries citizenship. She received an academic and sport opportunity so she didn’t hesitate to take it.Before traveling the world, you have to learn how to ride a bike.During all of our lives, we have chances to learn and grow up. One of the early lessons that Paulina remembers from her childhood was precisely from her grandfather Remo Vecchi, when he was teaching her how to ride a bike.By the way, Paulina’s grandfather was a professional cyclist and biker. He was an Italy cycling national team member and when he moved to Mexico he participated in many competitions, founded a motorcycle factory and then a motor competition team.But that’s another story.When she was 4 or 5 years old Paulina’s grandfather was teaching her how to ride a bike and in her first attempt she fell off the bike and started to cry. She was expecting her grandfather to comfort her as her knees were bleeding. But it didn’t happen. He made her ride again. A few years later she understood that moment as a big lesson, because when you fall you have to try to recover as early as possible. That not only applies to sports but also for life.We are more than our achievements.Her grandfather gave her another lesson without even talking. When he passed away she and her family were moving his stuff and they found pictures and pieces of newspapers, until that moment she realized all the amazing achievements that he made in the past.I’ve known some amazing people that you never heard them boast about their past feats. Until you hear it from other people. You need to be very humble and self secure to achieve such amazing things and never to talk about it.Paulina remarks that we should be proud of our past but we are not only our achievements. What is the solution to avoid dancing lessons? Taekwondo!Paulina was a sporty girl. She was supposed to start dancing lessons, but she didn’t like it. At the same time her school was promoting taekwondo classes.So her first motivation to start in taekwondo was a way to don’t take dancing lessons.She fell in love with the sport and she started to attend normal classes. After some time she had to move out of her comfort zone to start training taekwondo in a more competitive environment.One month is nothing in a long athlete career.When she went to her first big tournament she made it to the final but lost on the golden point. A very good result for being her first competition of that level.The preparation time for that competition was too short, only a month, but in her mind she thought she trained a lot.After the competition she said to Mario Labastida, her trainer -That was so sad, to lose after such a long time of effort and training.His answer was simple, he laughed and said to her. -That was not a long time. That was only a month.Mario taught Paulina that the things that are worth take time and that you have to be disciplined to reach your goals.Going to an upper weight class to winPaulina struggled to make Mexico’s national team. Her first opportunity came when the national team trainers doing scouting saw her fighting and invited her to train with the team. They saw her talent but she still hasn't won the place there fighting in a tournament.She was happy to be in the team but she wanted to be there by winning a national competition. By that time she was 17 and fighting on -53kg. Her mother saw that each tournament was harder and harder to make the weight. She was still growing.After making weight she used to fight lacking energy, different to how she performed in training. With her family and trainer support, she decided to try at -57kg. The results were completely different. She felt much better and won her spot at the national team.That was the way she started to compete internationally. She’s been Panamerican Champion, silver medal in the Toronto Pan Am Games and Bronze medal in Taipei 2017 Universiade.Out of the comfort zone againLast year Paulina was looking to an opportunity to study abroad. And she wanted to choose a place where she could also train taekwondo at a high level.Naturally one of her options was Italy, because as she had the citizenship it was always on her mind.She asked Carlo Molfetta, the Italian National Team manager if she could train with the team in case she moved to Italy and help them in some way. In combat sports is always useful to test your athletes against others.The answer of Carlo Molfetta was very favorable. The Italian Federation was not only open to let Paulina train, but also to let her fight for Italy. Obviously she had to compete in italian nationals to win her spot at the national team, but she had the right to do it as she had the citizenship.In December 2019 she won the Italian National Championships, she is preparing for the European Pre Olympic looking to be in Tokyo 2021.My fight, your fightOutside taekwondo Paulina is a very educated person. She speaks three languages. She recommended Ronda Rouses’s book My Fight your Fight as it helped her to prepare for Juegos Centroamericanos. She also recommended The Power of Now, a book that is often recommended by athletes I’ve interviewed.Another interesting recommendation was Man in the Search for Meaning, the classic book by Dr. Viktor Frankl. During the interview I remembered that Frankl has an essay about Sports and Logotherapy, where he states that the main competition for an athlete is against himself not against others.Please enjoy the interview. You can let us know what you think of it on the comments section.
How’d be to coach one of your white belts in the World Championships?Carla Bacco is a taekwondo coach from Canada. I really enjoy interviewing her because she’s had an amazing taekwondo journey.Carla combines teaching regular taekwondo classes with high level coaching in sport taekwondo.She has coached in World Championships, World Youth Championships, Pan Am Games and other international competitions.Being a white belt competing as a green belt.She started to learn taekwondo with Master Jorge ArenasWhen Carla went to her first competition his instructor registered her as a green belt although she was just a white belt.I think probably that was more common in the past but still happens a lot specially with talented athletes, which of course was Carla’s case.Still, it must be an astonishing experience as a child.Can you imagine? You know that earning a belt requires a lot of effort and progression and suddenly you have to compete with others with a superior belt.But Carla was a natural born sparring lover. She said that for her to sparr was like a game.That’s common in successful sparring athletes. They enjoy the activity that much that they do it just for fun.That passion for the sport took her soon to the Peruvian National Team.In 1996 she went to a Senior Panam Championships in Cuba. That was her first international competition… when she was only 13 year old!Of course, her mom was very hesitant in letting her compete at that age. She was the only daughter so she was very nervous.Send your little girl to another country in a team where they are also older male competitors of course it mustn’t be easy.Carla highlights that the important thing was that her mother trusted in the process, let her go and allow her daughter to grow.What to do when the place where you want to train is too far?Another interesting point of Carla’s journey is that she had to move from Peru to Canada when she was 16.She went from living and training in Lima, the capital city of Peru to live in Hamilton, a small town in Canada, a completely different country.One of her first priorities was finding a dojang. One of the best places to train was in Toronto, that was one hour and fifteen minutes from Hamilton driving.But by that time Carla couldn’t drive. So she started taking the public transport service and the trip was 2 hours and a half each way. That’s really taekwondo passion.She made it for three months but was at a certain point untenable so she started to train in a school at Hamilton.Carla showed us a very important thing.You have to do the best with what you haveSometimes the best places to train are not as near to us as we wish. We never have perfect conditions.So, we have to do the best with the situation we have, and analyze if it's worth spending 2,3,4 or more hours in transport.Why not better dedicate those hours to train? Maybe you won’t get training of that super high quality but you will have more time to train.I guess now with the world after COVID options to train remotely will spread. Well, they are actually doing it.On coaching and competing at the same time.When she started to teach taekwondo and brought her athletes to competitions she usually mixed competing with coaching.She loved to still feel the adrenaline of competing but she realized that if she wanted to excel at taekwondo coaching she had to focus on her athletes.The decision was worth it. She’s experienced the privilege of being part of Canada’s National Team coaching staff. She’s also coached at Junior and Senior World Championships. During the interview we also talked about the differences between what you need to be a good athlete and what you need to be a good coach.For example, when you are an athlete you have to focus mainly on yourself. I mean, other people is important buy your main concern is you.When you are a coach it is very important to improve your skills, but is more important the way you help others.One of the things that she loves about coaching is being able to help people that are passionate for taekwondo.Teaching a student from white belt to World Championships.One of her students qualified for Puebla 2013 World Championships. Taking a student from white belt to World Championships must be an amazing experience.And her athlete advanced three fights. He was really near to the medal. I thinkg it must be a beautiful experience as Carla told us.To start your taekwondo journey with a little kid and help him or her to aim bigger goals.The way taekwondo works now there are certain countries that allow that to happen.For example, the Russian Federation promotes that the instructors who take an athlete to the national team, later they are allowed to take their athletes to international competitions.It is a model that can be very motivating for coachesWhat do you think of it?You can tell us on the comments section. I put the links to the interview below.Please enjoy!
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