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Interview with Cleiver Casanova

13/10 2015

Cleiver Casanova,

lives in Venezuela, member of National Karate Team of Venezuela,

2015-03-19 XXIX Pan American Adult Karate Championship - Toronto (CAN) Male Kata-2nd Place
2014-05-26 XXVIII Pan American Adult Karate Championship - Lima (PER) Male Kata -2nd Place
2013-05-16 XXVII Pan-American Championships (ARG) Male Kata- 2nd Place
2013-03-16 Karate1 Lasko (SLO) Karate1 World Cup Male Kata -1st Place
2012-12-08 Karate1 Salzburg (AUT) Karate1 Premier League Male Kata- 3rd Place
2012-05-31 XXVI Pan-American Karate-do Championships (NCA) Male Kata -2nd Place
2012-01-14 Karate1 Paris (FRA) Karate1 Premier League Male Kata- 2nd Place

When did you start practising karate?

I started to practise karate at age 12.

Who was your first teacher?
My first sensei was Giklis Carrillo, even started doing karate as green belt in shotokan style ... my current sensei is Alexis Juan Molina and Molina (brothers) and my coach is sensei Alejandro Castro, National Team.

Can you describe how your training before a competition looks like?
I train about 5 or 6 hours a day from Monday to Saturday, between the art of karate and the physical part consisting of functional training, machines etc.

What is your favourite kata and why?
My favorite kata is unsu because it suits my strengths in executions ... it is a kata that impresses much, besides being a difficult kata to perform.

Do you have any injuries from karate?
Yes, I had injuries, five years ago I broke my right foot and it was quite difficult for me as I was entering the senior category and had several major competitions at that time. But I kept in my training on crutches and sitting because I could not keep up.

What does karate mean to you?
For me, karate is a way of life, karate does not teach you only hit effectively, it teaches you to be a better person, to reinforce your ethical and moral and individual values, that everything in life requires effort and a sacrifice ... as the best fight is the one that is avoided.

What do you think is the most important thing every karate student should learn during his-her training?
For me there are two fundamental things in students training ... the first, the record (because everything is achieved if you are constant and persistent in what you want) and reinforce values (humility, perseverance, desire to excel).Everything else, sporting and competitive level comes at some point if you are consistent and persistent.

What are your impressions from PKF Toronto 2015?
Toronto 2015 was a very well organized event from every point of view, it is an amazing city where I got the silver medal reaching the final with the four time World Champion Antonio Diaz.

What is your attitude to competitions? How important are the medals for you?
Yes, it's important, of course ... because it is a reward for your work on the tatami, but it is not essential always to win .... the real reward it is the belief that you gave your best to compete, sometimes successful (at podium) and sometimes not achieved ... yet, it does not mean you have not got a good job.
All depends on how you assume the losses, if you learn to get up and keep going or if you get defeated and let others move forward. Karate is a sport that I love that always all mejorn not only it's, that forces you to give your best every day and try to be one of the mejorer in what you do.

What is your best memory from karate?
My best memory was when I won my first national championship, it was something I could not believe at age of 18 .... it was something I had worked a lot and had never made an more unforgettable moment in my career in which I confirm myself that constant work sometime definitely works well ... this medal let me start to join the national team of Venezuela.

What does karate give to your life?
Karate in my life is that .... a way of life, as stated in the dojo kun.

What are your leisure time activities?
The study at the university, watching the movies, share the time with my colleagues etc.

Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best in the future. Karate Live