The Karate World Champion Firefighter Aiming at Tokyo 2020 | Day Jobs

DAY JOBS When you’re young
you don’t fully understand but, when you’re older you realise the effort
that is required. Then you embrace everything and you feel proud when
you represent your country. My name is Paula Rodriguez.
I come from Madrid, Spain. I am a military firefighter. Karate will make its Olympic
debut in Tokyo 2020. As European Champion,
it is my goal to be there. (MADRID, SPAIN) I started karate
when I was ten years old. My friends were doing it,
so I joined them. Before karate,
I tried other sports, but I wasn’t good enough
in any of them. I remember karate was becoming
more professional when I was 17 years old. Before that,
for me it was a hobby, but the moment
I entered the national team, I realised things
were becoming more serious. Here is my very first medal
from a European Championship. I was the European Champion
in 2003. I was my first time
in the national team. The next two years
were also very good; I won medals in the European
and World Championships. I am very proud
of everything I can see here. Karate is becoming
an Olympic sport. It is a dream come true
for any karateka. When the Spanish team
came second in the World Championships, I was already over the moon. So, when you know
you could win an Olympic medal, you feel like
the happiest girl ever. I think that sports helps my
job and vice versa. They balance each other
perfectly. My colleagues help me a lot, so I never miss a training
session or competition. I didn’t dream of becoming
a firefighter. My best friend works here, he is also
my karate instructor. Seeing him working and doing
things here inspired me. So, I tried and I have been
here for ten years and I have never looked back. We worked 24 hours straight
on one day and we have
the following four days off. This facilitates my sport
and training commitments. The first thing I do is check
the trucks. I make sure the equipment
is stowed correctly and is in a good condition. If there is any anomaly
or something is out of place, I have to log it
for the Duty Chief to rectify. I am the Duty Chief today and Tejedor will be my deputy, heading the fire
and rescue team. I will be using truck
number one, the dragon. Sandra on number two
for refuelling. Paula, you will be assistant
fire and rescue chief officer and Alberto is on
communications today, so if you need anything,
he will sort it out. Teamwork is essential. If an emergency comes up, your life depends
on your colleagues. I have been stationed here
for ten years. Some of the firefighters
were here before me, so I have known them
for a long time. Others started later,
so I don’t know them as well, but, in the end,
they are like my second family. Since we can spend 24 hours
a day here, we end up getting on very well. What do you think about Paula? Paula? Paula is a great person. She’s a good worker,
well behaved. I agree, I’m happy with her. Obviously if we don’t say that, she’ll give us a couple
of karate kicks. Does she help you out
as a colleague? She does,
here, Paula, wash these. Hey, hey, no more. I’ve known Paula
since she first started here. She’s an excellent work
colleague. She makes a huge sacrifice combining this job with
her karate training at the highest level. She is always available
when we need her. She is exceptional at her job. There are never any problems. She is up for anything
and prepared for any eventuality. The biggest problem is you
can’t make a living out of karate at the moment. It’s hard because
I have to split my time between work and training. In other countries,
they practise karate full time. They wake up,
they train, then eat and so on. They just train Monday
to Sunday. For me, it’s unfeasible
to do that, I have to work harder, but when you love what you do
then it’s not that bad. Hello! Hi. Hi, how are you?
Long time no see. My family and friends
have helped me by being on my side. In order to have good times, you need to go through some
tough ones and they have always been
there for me. They always respect that I have
to dedicate most of my time to training and competition. This year, there has been
a lot of travelling. It has been hard and long. You haven’t stopped,
you’ve always been on the move. I know, it has been good. The first year
we did really well. They built the new team
and a month and a half later we were in
the European Championships. Yes, that was incredible. That was beginner’s luck. Now that we are training
more the results have been OK, but not as good
as the beginning. Because when you start from
scratch it is easier to make
improvements. (19:48) I always have positive
things on my mind; you always have to focus
in what you do well. There are good days
where everything runs smoothly and it’s easier
to think more positively, but there are also times when it is more difficult
to get going and on those days
you focus on the objectives and the feeling
of winning a medal. Kata is like imaginary fight
against imaginary opponents. You are hitting the air. You have to try to break down
kata into small parts and keep repeating
until you make improvements. Every Kata practitioner
has their own identity. Paula has to develop
the characteristics that she conveys. Her power,
her way of feeling karate. Part of being a good competitor
is athletic capability, which is what the judges
look for in Olympic karate. Physical conditional
is increasingly important. Our new team coach has recently
given us more gym routines. So, we train at the gym as much
as we do on the tatami mat. The referees focus
on different things. When I compete in a team, the first thing they focus
on is synchronisation between the three athletes. Their movements have
to be identical. So, that three people
appear to be one. They give points for speed
and strength. Karate is a martial art;
you learn to defend yourself and attack back. So the action must be fast,
explosive and strong. Karate is a martial art
founded on discipline. It has made me the person
I am today, both personally
and professionally. Discipline helps you
with everything. It helps with work,
while training and fighting without losing your focus. Going to the Olympics
is not something I have thought about just yet. I want to take it slowly,
step by step always training, fighting
and trying to get a place, but even if they are
challenging, dreams are worth fighting for. So, we will try and get there, if we win a medal
then that will be perfect.

14 thoughts on “The Karate World Champion Firefighter Aiming at Tokyo 2020 | Day Jobs

  1. My Name is Dylan i am a kickboxer and i can fracture the opponents bone with a strong kick, i have broke 200 opponents bones

  2. Gostei muito,,parabéns ,,sou bombero,,campeão Mundial,,karate-wuko2001-2011-wkf,jogos mundiais de policias e bombeiros,,parabéns voce e uma grande atleta,oss,,meu nombre,,Damião Omero.

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