Upload media Facebook

Interview with Rene Smaal

03/08 2017

Rene Smaal -European Champion, from Netherlands is spending this summer in New Caledonia - Australia.

What is your main reason to spend your time here?
I was invited to give a training seminar for the Pacific Cup in New Caledonia 5-8, July afterwards. I went to Australia where I teach in many places, yesterday I was at the National State training where I taught a large group of Australian fighters to prepare them for their nationals they have in one week.


How do Australian athletes train? Are they really good?
I believe they train lots of drill, have good mindset and put lots of effort in it. They understand the game, of course they see on the internet how the world karate athletes are doing on competitions. It was very nice to teach them and I felt happy to be around them. What I noticed is that there is still a difference in the way Im used to train and what I've seen with most of them. As I discussed with my friend Adam Minster this week and also trying to tell the athletes, its about how you train. What intensity you do it with. I tried a lot to focus on giving 100% and pretend you are in the competition instant of being on training. Giving it all and not being afraid to get very very tired, as long as you do the exercise 100%. Its not a problem if afterwards you want to relax and get your breath for 10 seconds. You should train how you fight. So put yourself in a mindset that you are standing there on the tatami against your opponent. You can't expect to be perfect in competitions if you don't practice this in training. I also noticed that the training is more based on individual. I know karate is an individual sport but that doesn't mean that you should train like this. Both you and your partner(s) should help and motivate each other. Like this you can lift each other up and reach success!
But as I've noticed the hunger of the fighters and the will to win is so big that Im confident that they will be more successful in the future! 


In Australia you celebrated your birthday. Do you have good friends there?
Yes I've got some good friends who also visit me in Holland. James Giuliano and Adam Minster are the once who live in Melbourne and where I stayed most of the time here. Also I've been with Trevor Ken where i stayed during my stay in Sydney for four days.

My birthday was great! Adam Minster organized a great day in Melbourne, during the day we went to the skydeck where we enjoyed an amazing view. Afterwards I went to teach and they were all singing and got me a cake with candles. I made a good wish which is shown also on the Facebook. Was one of the best birthdays, just be with karate and seeing people train very hard. I spent it in a special dojo where lots of people were from national team. Loved their spirit! Hope many other athletes from Australia take this amazing spirit!

How do like Caledonia?
I love New Caledonia, its KARATE IN PARADISE !! The country is so beautiful and people were very friendly. Its the best combination of Karate and relax. Ive never been to such a beautiful Island.
Ian Basckin did an amazing job organizing the training seminar and the event.
The training seminar was very nice because there was friendly environment and everybody tried to learn from each other. We already talked about next years plans.

Were you succesfull in fishing?
Haha, fishing was lots of fun. I've done it only once with my friend in my city Apeldoorn (Holland) where it was just in a lake. This is a totally different experience and loved it! During this trip we went three days for fishing... couldn't get enough. The fishes they got out of the sea were incredible! I was lucky to get two fish the same time, big success for the Dutch guy. In overall, its so nice to be on the boat and enjoy the water, the sun and enjoy a drink with my karate friends, Yukimitsu Hasegawa, Kristina Mah and Clément Leroux. Thank you Clément for your hospitality.

What are your plans for this year and for the future?
As many probably know I took a little break because I've got way to busy having top sport and an own dojo. Therefore I took a step back so I can reload my battery. I did only one Karate1 in Rotterdam where I did nothing but enjoyed the karate sport. My next step is the German Open in September. I look forward to be on the mat again and enjoy the fighting! I know everybody is focused now on the Olympics. For me I take small steps, just want to focus on each competition and see where it goes from there. Karate makes me happy and thats what I like to focus on. The best things happen when your doing things which make you happy.

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