Athlete Profile: Samery Moras
WHO IS SAMERY MORAS?
Hi, my name is Samery Moras. I am a taekwondo athlete from Utah. I am 23-years-old, and I am currently competing in the USA fin weight division.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT TAEKWONDO AND WHERE IT CAME FROM?
Taekwondo is a martial art. It is from Korea, and a few of the differences from all of the other martial arts is that taekwondo is an Olympic sport. We do a lot of kicks, and we just do Olympic style sparring. We also have poomsae, which is a set of forms. We do board breaking. We do all kinds of cool martial arts moves.
WHEN DID YOU START TAEKWONDO?
I started taekwondo when I just a baby. My parents actually owned a gym in Peru, which is where we started, and my sisters were all doing it. So, it was kind of a family thing. And I actually didn’t like taekwondo when I first started. I didn’t like it until I was about 15-years-old.
I actually hated it. I hated sparring, which is what I do now most of time. I eventually grew up and realized the reason I hated it so much was because I was scared of it, and I didn’t want to be scared of it anymore. That’s what really got me into it. I wanted to push past my fear and be able to do the things I wanted to do without being limited by it.
WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING LIKE?
For my training, right now I am kind of at an off-season. I’m taking some time off because I recently injured my foot. So, I’ve kind of been getting back into it, just working around my injuries and just trying to improve my sparring without putting so much stress on my injury.
But in my normal training when it’s on season, we train twice a day, six days a week, and all that time I have to be training, making sure I sleep right, I have to be eating healthy –that’s as far as my day-to-day life.
In training, I do all kinds of things. I have gym workouts with weights and stuff like that, and then as far as in the dojang, it’s what we call it in our studio, that’s where we do a lot of kicking and sparring training.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A COMPETITION?
The mental aspect of the sport is actually one of my favorite parts. I have all the techniques- and a lot of athletes have all the techniques down- so what it comes down to at a high level is getting your mind into the match. You have to make sure that you go in with confidence, that you’re secure about what you’re doing, that you take all the skills that you know how to do and you get your mind ready to just explode and attack on them.
You have to make sure that you work through whatever is blocking you, whatever your fears are, and that’s something that I really try to work on for myself. I try to make sure that I feel confident going into a match, and I also watch my students. I teach taekwondo as well, so I try and show them how to do that, and that also helps me build it on myself, because I have to practice what I’m teaching.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST TAEKWONDO SUCCESS TO DATE?
My biggest taekwondo success would have to be this year. I have made the US National Collegiate team for the past three years in 2013, 2014, and 2015. This year, I actually won my last match by knockout, and that was pretty impressive because I was down by about 8 points, and I was going to lose –it was the final match. And all of a sudden I’m like, “Oh no, I have to do this! This is what I want do to!” So, I ended up knocking the girl out and then later on I was named the US female athlete of the year. It was a big accomplishment, it was a great day, and it was one of the most proud days that I have in my memory.
WE KNOW YOU TRAVEL A LOT TO COMPETE. WHERE HAS TAEKWONDO TAKEN YOU?
I travel a lot for competitions, and I actually used to hate traveling, but now I kind of had to get over it because it was an inevitable part of the sport - and it’s been amazing!
I’ve gone to Korea twice. I’ve gone to China, I’ve gone to Australia, I’ve gone to Costa Rica and Tahiti. I’ve gone to Peru. I’ve gone to Argentina. I mean, I’ve gone everywhere, and everywhere I go is just a whole different experience. I get to meet new people, I get to spend time there and learn a little bit about the country. It’s just been a very mind-blowing experience, and I’ve learned a lot from it.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE THINKING ABOUT STARTING TAEKWONDO?
If you’re trying to start taekwondo, it’s a great sport. Not only do you learn the sport side of it, which is the kicking and being more physically fit, you also get to learn about self-defense. You also get to learn about training your mind and achieving goals.
So, I think it’s a great kind of thing to get into if you’re looking into trying something new. If you’re hesitating and just wondering what to do as a beginner, that’s ok. Like everything else in life, it’s not going to be easy at first.
You’re going to struggle; you’re going to run into obstacles. You’re going to say, “Oh, I’m not flexible. I’m not fast enough. Everyone else, they have it down, why don’t I have it?” But the truth is, you kind of just have to keep going with it, and it’s just a journey. Just do your best and learn as much as you can from taekwondo.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU ONLINE?
So, that’s it from me! You can check me out at Instagram. My Instagram name is @samerymorastkd. I also have a Facebook, so look up Samery Moras, and make sure you check out eSupplements. They have great products, and I love them. So, check them out!