Mr. David Kerr Visits From Brazil
The last three days have been an experience of a life time. We were honored to have Mr. David Kerr visit us from Brazil for a special seminar. Mr. Kerr is the record holder in ITF TKD history for winning the most amount of medals at World Championships in Sparring.
On Friday when I first met him I was so surprised to see how quiet, gentle and humble he was. When he changed into his dobok and started to move, I swear I have never seen anyone move so fast and with such accuracy and grace. He’s so light on his feet. I could watch him spar all day. There was just a small group of us training with him which was very special since we could ask questions and get more guidance. We worked on our side kicks and the precision of them with little games. Then those drills became more complex and detailed with hand counters. It was exhausting but it was a blast. The time went by so fast.
I had the opportunity to go out for dinner along with my coach Mr. LeGrow, one of the National Coaches, Mr Tran, Mr. Kerr and a few other coaches and friends. It was a great to hear all their stories of how they got started and what obstacles they’ve had to overcome. I found it really cool how they would talk about sparring legends and previous fights. They could talk about the type of person they were sparring against and the others knew exactly what person they were talking about without using names. I didn’t want the night to end but I knew I had to be back at the dojang first thing in the morning for the actual seminar.
Saturday was crazy. I was sore every where from the day before but I couldn’t wait to get started. The dojang was packed with serious competitors from Ontario and Quebec. Most of these people will be going to Nationals in Vancouver as well. It was also a good chance for me to train with the National Sparring Coaches, Mr. Tran and Mr. Parent.
It always amazes me how much more there is to learn and that’s why I never get bored. It can be a bit intimidating sparring with instructors with so much more experience but at the same time, I was really excited to step up my game and challenge myself. We are all there to improve.
At the end of the training, we ended early because everyone could tell that we were all exhausted. It’s so tiring both physically but also mentally from all the concentrating and focus. We all sat in a circle together for an hour and just talked. It was a great time to ask questions not only about the techniques but also about the mental training for World Championships. When I looked around the room I realized that more than half of the people there have competed in at least one Worlds. That should give you a good indication of the caliber of students. One thing that was very clear after the discussion as that all of these people have had their fears, insecurities, challenges and injuries. It’s how they dealt with them that got them on the podium. I just sat there taking it all in 🙂 We ended the night with a nice pasta dinner together.
This morning came so early! Everyone walked in feeling tender and sore from the day before. Today we spent most of the day just free sparring. It was very valuable for me to spar different people (men and women). After watching all the sparring Mr. Kerr gave me some valuable advice for me to work on. I had a amazing time and it was a great experience.
I can’t wait to learn from Mr. Kerr again tomorrow. A special thanks Mr. LeGrow for setting this seminar up and giving so many people an opputunity that many only dream of. Thank you also to Mr. Kerr for coming to Canada and teaching us so many valuable skills. Travel home safely and hopefully our paths will cross again in the future.