Award Gold Level participant
“Ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, kachi, kyu, ju” … are the first words that I was proudly mumbling in Japanese at the age of 4, since then I first entered for the first time in the training gym. “OSS!” was how I saluted everyone, because I felt that it sounded different than “Buna ziua!”, but also because I was always told of the importance of respect. At the beginning everything was as a game, I wanted to be like the heroes from the movies, but with passing of the time I had realized that this sport was not just a simple sport, but a lifestyle. Why do I say this? Probably because many people, me as well, confuse karate with what it is seen in the movies, when in fact it is the contrary. Karate does not promote violence, but offers life lessons about what respect, trust and self-control represent.
In this “bare hands” battle, the spirit and the mental are essential? KARA means void, meaning that the mental void needs to be searched, giving birth to intuition and offering protection to the spirit. When we close our fist (TE), we close the spirit, we close in ourselves in the pursue of inner force, and when we open our fist we progressively return to freedom and creativity.
I have to admit that there were times when I wanted to play in the park instead of going to training, but what has motivated in all this years was first of all the desire to follow my father’s steps, which was multiple times national champion. Another motivation followed: the result of my work, medal after medal: 1, 2, 3 … 87. We count them with much pride!
And yet, after 13 years of karate, I still find myself at the beginning of the road… I have participated to countless competitions and training stages, but I have never stopped, even if the soles of my feet were bleeding and the bruises were more visible.
The effort was rewarded: I have become, such as my father, multiple times national champion and vice champion, I have participated at the European Championship in Greece, 2008, where I was ranked 11th place and where I have felt the sour-sweet taste of victory (It was a good ranking, but I was used only with gold and silver medals), in 2012 I was named the “sportsman of the year” on Fagaras area, and now I am training for the European Championship from Dresden, which will take place next month in Germany. Of course, this competition will be very important for in terms of my sport development and also for gaining experience, but my dream is even bigger than this. I wish to represent Karate-Do Shotokan Romania at the World Championship in Venezuela, which will be held next year, competition that is a dream for any sportsman that wishes to excel.
Not only the Karate changed my life, but also my involvement in the youth development program – The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Romania (DofE), a program that is, above all, a challenge to self-knowledge. By becoming an Award participant I have the opportunity to be seen as an unique personality. In order to reach this self-knowledge, I shall compete only against myself, and to achieve my goal, I shall be determined and perseverant. It can be said that I wish too much, because I have opted directly for the Gold Level, but overcoming yourself is an amazing challenge.
Thus, considering the sections of the DofE program, I have set the following goals:
– Personal Abilities – I am intensely studying English in order to improve my language knowledge and to pass the CAE exam, because the Cambridge English offers an internationally recognized certificate, proving your English level. I have earned the Certificate for intensive course on “An Insight into British Cultural Institutions held in London”, issued by Dolores Ditner (Chevalier des Palmes Academiques), thus I can say that my intermediary English knowledge are good; in the month of June I shall prove maximum involvement by passing the CAE exam.
– Physical Abilities – by doing sport you maintain your good health and good spirit, you can improve your abilities and the fitness, but my objective was to become European Champion in 2015 and World Champion in 2015. I can proudly say that I have managed to obtain second place on the European Championship in Germany, and for the upcoming World Championship in Venezuela, to train more intensely.
– Volunteering – throughout our lives we share and we receive. Thanks to the volunteering section, I have met many people, whom otherwise I would not have met, I have developed Empathy, tolerance and patience. I have activated as a volunteer in organizing of the IT Course for elders, held within the European project “ENPSYGE- Educational Network for Elder Psichology”