-Every Medal Has A Story -
National Kickboxing Championship 2006
In 2006, the Romanian National Kickboxing Championship was held in Bucharest. Statistically, many competitors participate in the -85kg division—the division in which I compete. That year there were only three of us.
I won my two fights, and thought I had become national champion until my coach approached me with some immediate news. He had just informed me that there were also very few competitors, in fact only two, in the +85kg division. This prompted the organizer of the competition to make the decision that because there were few of us in both divisions, the winner of each division would fight the other. Then, that winner would become the only national champion. I said to my coach, “Ok. Let’s do it!”
I asked my coach, “Who won the other division?” He pointed across the gymnasium to a guy who appeared much taller and bulkier than me. He looked as though was easily 100kg. I watched him for a few moments as he had already begun his warm-up and I started to feel further uneasy by his rough and heavy breathing. I almost felt as if I was living a scene from the movie Kickboxer where Jean-Claude Van Damme was watching Tong Do hit the pole.
I turned to my coach and said, “I’m going to resist and keep my distance, and use my karate skills, my speed and tactics as best as I can until I give you the sign to throw the towel.”
The fight began and my opponent started approaching me. I did not feel afraid anymore as I remained very focused on my karate skills. He started to make a move. I stepped left, right and then attacked. He blocked very well. I realized I had to attack faster. I was lighter and more agile, and realized I needed to use my strengths to my advantage. He stepped in front. I stepped back and reacted right away with a quick jab. He looked nervous and started to intensify his attacks. I kept my control and focus, and began to move in circles around the ring. I let myself feel the moment and timing, and I gathered up all the energy I could find to attack with timing cross in one shot (sen no sen). I felt as though time had frozen for a few seconds as I saw my opponent falling to hit the floor. I felt very happy and encouraged. I could hear my coach shouting-out, “Good job, Sorin!”
The referee started to count, and at the eighth count my opponent stood up. He was still dizzy so I began to attack with all sorts of techniques to prevent him from recovering. Ten seconds later the bell rang. The first round was over.
One minute later the second round started. My opponent had enough time to recuperate. I continued to use my karate skills, to keep my distance, to react right away and to throw some techniques. The fight was over. And as all my points tallied up, I won the fight—the national championship.
What I learned from this experience was to NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOUR POWER, and to FOCUS ON YOUR BEST SKILLS. As I look back to many competition experiences, I feel that I have encouraged and taught myself and others to overcome obstacles in daily life as well.
I would like to thank my coach Dan Deliu for helping me through all my years of kickboxing and Muay Thai.
I would also like to thank all my karate coaches for your continuous support.