Ana Carmo Success Story
Ana Carmo Success Story
Ana Carmo an athlete.
A brief introduction to yourself?
I’m Ana Carmo, 32 years old Portuguese, currently living in Beijing, China, for already 3 years. I’m an architect, a Kyokushin black belt (1 dan), and a certified fitness personal trainer.
How did you develop your fondness for karate?
When I’ve started practicing Kyokushin Karate, I wasn’t excepting that I would fall in love with the art. Yet, for the first practice, I’ve decided to stick to it, that was the first big life change I did in my life. After that, and attaching to the practice of Kyokushin, many other big changes came along.
What drew you to Karate out of all other sports?
To be honest, it was something that never crossed my mind. I had friends in college telling me to practice with them, but I believe that everything in life has a moment and a time. In college with friends, was not that time. Everything, however, started maybe 1 or 2 years after finishing my degree, when I was back in my hometown, talking with a friend, that he referred that the next day he was traveling to Madrid with the kids for a karate competition. Out of that, I asked him: “What? Do we have karate in our small town? Well, can I try?” … For some reason, I still don’t know why or how I’ve said that, but one week later I went with him for the first time to the Dojo.
At what age did you start learning karate?
I’ve started practicing Kyokushin at the elder age of 25 years old. The process was slow and hard, cardio, flexibility are something that if you don’t do anything during your life, will decrease and it will be needed once you start any sport or activity practicing.
What is your style and what rank do you currently hold in karate?
The style of karate I practice is Kyokushin and currently, I’m 1º Dan.
What was the highest prize you won?
Kyokushin Karate is known for its full-contact and knockout Kumite, for that same reason, adding to the fact that I was already Senior, starting Kumite competition, know that I see it was a bit insane and out of sense. It took me two years and a half to go to my first full-contact competition, I was only Yellow belt ( 5º Kyu), I was able to get the judges to give as a tiet but lost in the second round with the feeling that fighting competition was not over. Since then I achieved second place in the Kyokushinkan Shihan Millan Memorial tournament, and second place (no weight category) in Atlantic Seishin Kyokushin Cup, both in Portugal. Right now, I’m preparing for three big tournaments in Nanjing, Zhengzhou, and Dalian, both in China.
What do you like more Kata or Kumite?
Both are important in the practice. Kata is a more interior study of the movement of yourself, completed by its application on Bunkai. Kumite is the spiritual test to you, body, and mind. Those understanding can be applied to your daily basis life when you learn how to control your breathing and nerves and the not giving up and hardworking ideology.
Do you have a favorite Sensei?
I think there is no favorite Sensei, every person that crosses your journey is important. Either they are Sensei, Senpai, Students, practice partners. But I indeed, I’m truly faithful to Sensei Almir Smith, Shihan Toshio Akiyama, and Shihan Zhong Zhao’s teaching and thoughts. They both were and are a big part of my journey.
How did you get to this position and how was your journey being in this sport?
Since I started practicing, I never stopped. It’s been already 7 years, not many but intense. I used to practice twice to three times a day to be better. Improve my stamina, my flexibility, and my core. Practicing Strength, yoga, and running all to complete my journey in Kyokushin. I left Portugal I was 1º Kyu, and I thought my journey now in China would be lonely. Two years later, I got the first Dan, at the hands of Shihan Zhong Zhao in Shanghai. He also trusted me to expand Kyokushin practicing as a Sensei in Beijing.
Do you take karate as your profession or is it just a hobby?
As for now, either Karate or Personal training is a part-time job, but I like to believe that I’m a full-time athlete, and definitely, I’m fighting to be a full-time Teacher and Coach.
Who’s been an inspiration for you throughout your sports journey?
Like I said before, everybody that crosses your path is important. Either they cheer for you, either they point fingers at you, both, good or bad, will make you stronger and fight for more and be better. So, the real inspiration needs to come from you.
What challenges did you come across on getting where you are at today?
You can share any injury story as well.
The biggest challenge was my age and my lifestyle at the time I’ve started practicing. I had a broken rib in a fight but still didn’t stop practicing. Right now, I have an injury in my finger, but I still didn’t stop. I think this is one of the strongest aspects of those who practice Kyokushin Karate: You will have an injury, broken bone any once and then, because the practicing is really strong, but also teaches you to be strong and never to stop. Unfortunately, Kyokushin Karate is too fragmented into too many organizations, it’s like a money and belt game. That makes me sad and at some point, you feel like you don’t know who to trust or where really to go. Luckily, in the latest years, I’ve been seen things changing and I believe that Kyokushin will be more united than ever. In my journey, I always had people that shared the same vision as me, and that makes me feel very honored to have them in my life and journey.
What motivates you the most about your profession as an athlete?
Just knowing that I will be better, that it was trusted to me to share it with my students. They trust me, and for me and them I will continue learning and improve myself, so they can also learn and improve themselves, knowing that the pain of giving up is harder to handle than the pain of keep going no matter the difficulties.
What are your strengths as both an athlete and as a person?
I normally say that I’m stubborn. I put something in my mind and I go through it till the end, no matter what, accepting the responsibility of where I am, who I am, and do something with it.
Do you have something you want everyone to learn?
I would like to say to people, especially to those who are starting: Be patient. It’s a life journey, it is life, and for that, everything, every step, every achievement requires time and effort. Don’t matter the goal, it matters the journey.