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The 5th degree black belt instructor attended a three-day course for “trainers of elite athletes” in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from March 31 to April 2.
Sessions lasted for 12 hours each, consisting of 50 per cent of theory and 50 per cent practical.
The objectives of the course included updating assistants; presenting new theories in kumite training; techniques, tactics and strategies; as well as advances in science applied to karate as a sport.
Woon-A-Tai told Chronicle Sport that the high point of the course was the exposure to development of “explosive power”, a technique used by renowned athletes like Michael Jordan, Olympic sprinters, boxers (notably Evander Holyfield) and baseball players.
However, the state-of-the-art equipment used in developing the technique is very expensive and Woon-A-Tai said he would have to innovate ways in producing them here.
Another feature of the course was looking at data compiled from the last six World Karate Championships that revealed where the bulk of medal went and why those continents were dominant.
Towards this end, the course would help raise the technical level of the trainers in the Pan-American region, so that their top athletes obtain the technical level demanded by the wider world of karate.
Sensei Tokey Hill dealt with developing explosive power. He is a well-known capacity and trajectory world champion in 1980 and coached the USA National team for many years.
Hill’s workshop was done in the following sections: athletic development, distancing, footwork, flexibility, strategy, tactics and technical.
The other resource personnel was 7th Dan Antonio Oliva, an international coach, who focused on preparing the national team athletes. This part of the course dealt with the general preparation of National team members and specific preparation of each member, the latter included topic such as psycho-tactical preparation and correcting errors, among others.
“It was a very thorough course,” Woon-A-Tai said.
Participants represented national Olympic bodies from the region and Woon-A-Tai expressed public gratitude to the Guyana Olymic Association and PASO for making his participation possible. (Isaiah Chappelle)