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How to train with the national team in Mexico City and to study at the same time college in Guadalajara 500km away?
You’ll discover it in this interview with a top taekwondo athlete.
Carlos Ayala @carlos. ayala.yee is a former taekwondo Mexico National Team taekwondo athlete.
His story is of perfectionism and constant challenge.
He represented Mexico not only in Taekwondo but also in football (soccer).
At 18, being a new young member of the taekwondo national team he went to his first international competition: the 1993 New York City World Championships at the Madison Square Garden.
And he won a bronze medal.
Two years later he would be Pan Am Games champion in Mar del Plata 1995.
And he was part of the first national team in the world to beat Corea in a world tournament (1996 Rio de Janeiro World Cup).
He now is director in a global firm. He also shared with us how elite level taekwondo training experience and his like for challenges has helped him in the corporate world.
Please enjoy the interview with Carlos Ayala, a real taekwondo passionate lover.
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Football and Taekwondo
Carlos Ayala’s childhood was full of travelling and sports. His father had to move constantly to different cities for work and so does all the family.
Carlos Ayala began playing football and he was part of the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol (Mexican Football Federation) team.
So he had the opportunity to represent the country in football and to play against teams of other countries like the United States and Canada.
He started to practice taekwondo with two times world medalist and sparring lover GM Moritz Von Nacher.
Then his family moved again to Guadalajara. And then he started learning with another legend of mexican taekwondo, GM Ramiro Guzmán.
Training there he had the opportunity to train also with figures like Enrique Torroella, bronze medal in Seoul 1988 Olympics.
Family and education
Carlos Ayala’s family was strict but very supportive.
Carlos and his siblings were able to practice the sport they wanted. As long as they put passion there and train giving their 100%.
Beside their dojang was a gymnastics school, so he and his siblings started to practice gymnastics also.
It is interesting the reason why Carlos Ayala decided to specialize in taekwondo.
He shares with us that it was not because he felt an outstanding special passion for taekwondo. It was only that their school schedule was better to practice taekwondo instead of the other sports.
It was not that his parents were thinking of making him a world medalist or something like that.
Their priority was always his academic education.
World Cup and traveling by plane every week.
Carlos Ayala made it to the taekwondo national team very young. And also very young he became world medalist in 1993.
He was from Guadalajara, 500km away from Mexico City, where taekwondo Mexico National Team trained and lived.
By that time he earned an academic scholarship in one of the country’s more prestigious and expensive universities. His parents couldn’t afford a school as expensive as ITESM, so he really wanted academic success.
The university was in Guadalajara, where he was from.
To compete at the 1993 World Championships and Central American Games the university allowed him to pause his studies for one year to allow him to train.
Later the moment came when he had to continue his studies and when he had no more chances to stop if he wanted to continue with the scholarship.
He participated in the national qualification tournament for the 1996 World Cup and he won it.
All the winners were called to train in Mexico city with the team. But he thought he couldn’t make it, as he had to study in Guadalajara.
The trainer Master Eun Seok Hong also wanted him in the team.
So he had what he now considers a crazy idea. He arranged his school schedule to study Tuesday and Thursday.
The Jalisco’s state taekwondo association helped him to purchase flights so he could train from Friday to Monday at Mexico City.
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He feels that it was not the best preparation that he could have facing a World Cup.
But it was the only way it could be done. And he also comments that he already had a lot of international competition experience and obviously you don’t forge that.
But he was not expecting anything. He went just for the joy of it.
And that is how he got his best achievement in taekwondo.
A great lesson, ideal conditions never exist. He could easily forget about taekwondo and focus on his semester thinking he would not be allowed to train and study.
But he made all what he could do and it worked.
It is always a pleasure to hear experiences of people that all of their lives has been fighters.
Please enjoy the interview.
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