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 @livingprooftkd
James 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 Olympics
James 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 Performance
Peak 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 Taekwondo
As 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.
You can also find it on YouTube:
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