Endurance through adversity
IT HAS been a rollercoaster start to 2020 for Alistair Lawson.
In February his dual gold medals at the World Poomsae Championships Selections in Perth saw him qualify for the World Taekwondo Championships in Denmark. Yet just a few weeks later, the championships, which were set to be held in May, were cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Lawson said this announcement, along with effect of the virus on his martial arts school Endurance Taekwondo, was difficult to handle.
“We had huge plans for the year, I had just won a place on the Australian team and things were looking amazing. Then all of a sudden, our world, much like a lot of others, came crashing down.”
But soon afterwards, World Taekwondo Europe announced it would be holding the first ever online Open Poomsae Championships in May, with the competition open worldwide to people with a global athlete license.
Despite his dejection at the World Taekwondo Championships being cancelled, Lawson recognised the innovative competition as an opportunity.
“The thing with competition that I like is the fact that you’ve got something to work towards. The fact the World Championship was pulled and all the stuff I’ve had to do with my club, I had sort of put my own training a little bit on the backburner.
“But now I’ve got this I have incentive to keep training and keep working hard. You’ve just got to keep going and keep moving and have that thing to aim towards.”
The online championship will run slightly different to the norm.
While competitors will still be randomly assigned two of the eight Poomsae patterns, they will then have 24 hours to upload a video of themselves completing the patterns, rather than having one chance to complete them live.
Lawson has also had to adapt in his running his martial arts school.
He has switched to running virtual classes for his students and said they have been received very well.
“The interaction is fantastic, we have adapted the classes to be grade focused and are now able to really work on all students’ skills and keep them active and moving forward with their taekwondo goals.”
The transition to virtual training also had some unforeseen benefits, as a handful of people from India, Britain and America have discovered the school and are now part of the sessions.
Lawson said online teaching has revealed some new possibilities for Endurance Taekwondo going forward.
“I’ve got some ex-members over in the states and they want to come back on board now we’re doing this.
“We might end up in the position where I do one or two online classes a week even when we’re back in the dojang. That would be interesting to keep that flowing through.”
People can learn more about Endurance Taekwondo’s online training sessions by heading to endurancetaekwondo.com.au.