AT 17, Aidaine Laxa, one of Cebu’s highly regarded taekwondo jins, is going for her fourth international competition as she trains for the Taipei 2018 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei.
Having won a bronze medal in the Asian Juniors Poomsae Championships in Kazakhstan and just recently, a gold medal in the National Poomsae Taekwondo Championships, Laxa won’t be resting just yet as she trains three times a day from Mondays to Fridays and once on Sundays for the Taipei 2018 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Taipei City on Nov. 12-19.
The senior high school taekwondo player will be facing jins from Korea, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, and China.
Laxa will be joining the team standard category and is now training with coaches Rani Ann Ortega, Glenn Lava, Lee Min Haeng, and Galilee Tinaya.
“Our coaches’ focus is on our weakest parts. They develop our strength through conditioning exercises and lots and lots of repetitions of our forms,” she said
But even with her experience, the second dan blackbelter still feels the pressure.
“I feel honored to represent our country once again yet I feel pressured as well since this is the toughest tournament in our sport because more than 50 countries from all around the world will be participating,” she said.
Laxa has been competing annually in all the national competitions and has also joined the Asean Championships in Vietnam, the Asian Cadet Poomsae Championships Taipei and the Asian Juniors Poomsae Championships Kazakhstan.
As for local competitions she said, “Di na na ko macount ang local... Maybe more than 50 times na siguro ever since nagstart ko ug taekwondo.”
She started with the sport at a young age.
“I started taekwondo when I was six years old at a summer clinic in my school. I started competing the same year I enrolled in taekwondo. I was a yellow belter at that time and I won a gold medal,” she said. “Taekwondo did not only teach me how to defend myself, it also taught me how to be respectful, disciplined, obedient, and strong-willed.”
Having tons of hardware in tow, Laxa stays humble as she admits to her own struggles.
“Yes, I have encountered struggles and one of these is juggling my time between studies and sports,” she said.
And it is in these times that she draws inspiration from her family.
“They have been the most supportive people in my life and they always motivate me to strive hard, although I am far away from them,” said Laxa, who also dreams to be a lawyer and is currently a Grade 11 student at the University of Sto. Tomas.
Laxa, who will be competing in the senior division next year, is encouraging other kids to try taekwondo.
“I encourage the kids, especially the youth, to enroll in this sport. The practitioners of this sport are persons who are well-disciplined, respectful, and confident. It is good to start when you are still young because taekwondo not only develops you physically, but it also instills good values in you,” she said.