As the first Hungarian, our colleague Péter Dávid is the European Taekwondo champion and bronze medalist at the World Championships, in the IV.-VI. dan category (sabum (instructor)). After Peti closes his laptop at Atoll, he devotes his free time to the Korean martial arts. And for the past seven years, he has also been coaching the team of athletes of the Sasok Taekwondo division in Köbánya in Budapest.
In the last few months, you have achieved huge sporting successes, please tell me more about them.
The official European Championship of the ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) was held in Cluj this April, where in the dan category IV-VI, I was able to stand on the top step of the podium. And in September in Finland, at the world championship, I won a bronze medal in the category IV-VI dan formative category. There are 9 dans in the sport of taekwondo, and the VI. dan is the highest degree, among which a competition is held.
On behalf of Atoll, let me give you a heartfelt congratulations on your success. Can you please elaborate on the road that got you here?
I was preparing to obtain the V. dan category, when it occurred to me that if I was physically ready, after the successful completion of the exam, it would be worthwhile to register for the European Championship. Both my coach and wife were very supportive of my decision. Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve the V. dan category – breaking bricks didn’t work for me, but overall this did not disappoint me that much. However, since I had not competed in this category before, I had no great expectations of myself and my performance and thus started the competition with the calmness of an underdog.
Instead you won a gold medal, which is impressive! 🙂 What do you think ultimately led to your success?
By that time, I had reached the point where I didn’t feel any pressure, and I approached the competition in a good mood. I was driven to see what I could achieve in the given situation. The competition started, with the form exercise and I continuously focused only on the next task at hand. When I won the 4th form exercise and thus reached the final round, I only then realized how far I had come. From that point on, the desire to keep going was all that was on my mind! I somehow ended up winning the European championship, I had won the competition!
At the World Championship, I think I was lucky with the draw, as I had strong opponents, but it could have been much more difficult. Throughout the competition, I focused only on myself and what I could control and tried not to think about the stakes in front of me. In the end, I managed to bring home the bronze medal.
At the European Championship you did not yet have the V. dan category, if I understand correctly?
No not yet. After the EC success, László Harmath, IX. Dan Grandmaster, and the founder of Hungarian Taekwondo, decided to grant it.
Let’s take a trip back in time, tell me how this Korean martial art became part your life?
I grew up in Békéscsaba and my mother first took my older sister to do taekwondo, because then she would be able to manage both her own sporting needs by doing fitness while also babysitting at the same time. Then somehow all three of us found ourselves participating on the taekwondo classes. Our family was completely hooked by this sport and thus all of us in the family, apart from my father, actively play this sport. Fortunately, my wife also supports me in this and actually goes to practices for herself. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her and without the support of my family. It also helps that Atoll is very flexible with working hours, and if I am not working on a project deadline, I am able to finish my work, off hours after training.
However, this is not an easy sport and we can probably say that it is also not one of the most popular. What do martial arts give you?
It’s hard to answer that. In fact, it has become such a part of my life that I can’t imagine life without it, it’s just something that I need to do. There was a 2-year gap that I took around graduation, and this wasn’t good. I had the feeling that I was missing something. The community is very good and I would miss it if I stopped. I’m don’t feel like I am something more because I do it, but I feel I’d be a lot less if I didn’t do it.
What are your plans for the near future? What is your next goal?
Next year there will be another EC, and this would be the next competition that I plan to compete in, and after that, the next World Championship will be held in Croatia, which is quite close to us geographically, and thus I would like to participate on that as well. The competitions are very physically demanding, so I think that after these competitions, I will decide to retire and continue to do this sport as a coach and just as a hobby.
It is with great pride to see that the Atoll development team is strengthened by such a dedicated person, who demonstrates such great concentration and perseverance outside of work! We once again heartily congratulate you on your achievement and we wish you much success in the upcoming competitions!
Peter’s September wining moves can be seen on the link below at 1:44, 2:38, 3:13, 3:25.