Roberto Tamayo Martínez is a boy from Alquízar, in the province of Artemisa, who some time ago decided to wear taekwondo’s white dobok and learn a martial art based on kicks and fists right after he saw a sports exhibition when he was seven years old, according to his mother.
He immediately approached his father, a methodologist with the municipal sports division, and told him he wanted to be a taekwondo fighter, and his devotion to the sports since the beginning has allowed him to successfully overcome obstacles and improve himself every day.
He joined the Cazadores de Alquízar club and dedicated hours every day to perfect his techniques and elasticity by exercising on the club’s mat and at home.
The onset of COVID-19 in Cuba put his love for the sports to the test, but he did not hesitate to look for new ways to keep training while he relies on the guidance he receives online from many around the world who help him fine-tune his skills.
Roberto participated in virtual tournaments of the poomsae style, held in Mexico and Argentina, in which his combination of defense and attack against several imaginary opponents gave him very good in his category of 9-10 years.
He finished third in the most recent competition of this kind, the First International Poomsae Championship, organized online by the Cuban Taekwondo Federation (FCT) in April, and was the only child from the province to get a medal, the reason that FCT president Ivan Fernandez Quiros himself presented him with his blue belt.
This achievement prompted him to increase his preparation at home with the support of his parents, whose main fear it was since day one that Roberto could get injured. Add to this the additional benefits of practicing, especially in times of pandemic, which has become his safest form of entertainment at home to overcome the boredom that affects homebound children these times.
Roberto’s family and club mates, as well as everyone in the province of Artemisa, consider that the bronze medal he won in the First International Poomsae Championship amounts to a golden one, as it reveals this little boy’s potential to become a great representative of Cuban taekwondo, using his flying kicks to reach the top of the podiums.
Marked by the variety and spectacular nature of its kicking techniques, taekwondo is one of the best-known combat sports on the planet and the most popular one. It relies exclusively on hand and foot exercises and is totally deprived of weapons, either traditional or modern.