The Philippine karate team’s almost two-month bubble training at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna was meant to shed the karatekas’ rust from months of inactivity.
Their training in Turkey is meant to toughen them.
“Our training at Inspire was really hard. It was very difficult,” shared Jamie Lim, a Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, in the Inspire Sports Academy live sessions Thursday evening.
“It was really intense. We really use all the equipment in the best way we can. We lifted a lot of heavy weights because it was available. We feel a lot stronger. Perfect foundation.”
Lim and her national teammates Joane Orbon, Ivan Agustin, Alwyn Batican, Sharif Afif, and Jason Macaalay are focusing on the development of skills and techniques, as they hold their second bubble training in Turkey for the Olympic qualifiers in Paris in June.
The nationals arrived in Turkey last week.
Lim, daughter of basketball legend Samboy, said their bubble training at Inspire prepared them for their Turkey training headed by coach Okay Arpa.
“We really pushed ourselves physically and mentally and now we’re here in Turkey, we really feel strong and prepared for our training camp here. We have sparring partners now and we feel better because of our foundation in Inspire,” she said.
For his part, Batican said he’s going to make the most out of their sparring sessions against top-level karatekas in Turkey.
“I will try to get as much experience as I can get. As much as possible, I will try to spar against the foreign athletes to get the experience I need. At Inspire, we already got the physical aspect of karate,” he said.
“What we need now is to get a lot of experience, commit mistakes as much as possible in training so we won’t commit more in competition.”