FULL CIRCLE: Once a student of the arts, Pinoy Taekwondo star Japoy Lizardo is now a teacher

ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 07, 2019 05:25 PM
Once a student of the arts, Japoy Lizardo is now a teacher
"Ako naman very blessed din ako, and very happy na right now, I’m coaching yung mga bata. Yung mga natutunan ko before pwede ko ngayon i-apply sa mga students ko ngayon."

Japoy Lizardo could not help but smile as he recounted his sports journey during the official launch of the 2019 Milo Summer Sports Clinic, Thursday morning at the Milo Stadium in KidZania, Bonifacio Global City. 

Lizardo shared that he began as a swimmer, before trying out basketball, and then eventually finding his calling in the martial art of Taekwondo. 

From there, the rest was history, as they say. 

Lizardo went on to win two gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games, and loads more in the Asian Championships. 

But more than the personal accolades, Lizardo shares that it's the values that he's picked up from being an athlete that will stick with him forever. 

Now, the 32-year old, while no longer competing on a National level, remains involved with the martial art as a mentor, and he shares the very same lesson to his students as well. 

"Sobrang laking naitulong sa akin ng sports, kumbaga sobrang naging malaking part ng buhay ko, actually until now, I’m still doing Taekwondo, I teach kids," he shared. "Sa sports naman, more than the skills, siyempre number one yung skills, kasama na din yung values na matututunan mo sa sports na, lagi ko nga sinasabi sa mga students ko, yung skills, yung pagiging athlete mo, hindi naman permanent yan, pero yung mga matututunan mo through sports, yan yung pang-habang buhay mo na dadalhin."

Lizardo was present during the yearly summer program's launch because he serves as an advocate for it, having also gone through the Milo Summer Sports Clinics before. Lizardo, in fact, swears by it. 

"Sobrang naging effective nung program for me kasi ito yung nag-establish ng foundation for me, yung basics, yung sports," he explained. "Pagka-nakapasok ka ng MILO Sports Clinics, dun mo malalaman na there’s a technique pala kuing paano maging effective yung isang sipa or yung isang bagay."

"Yung MILO Sports Clinic, nakatulong din sa akin, sa guidance, hindi lang sa sports kundi pati dun sa mga values na natututunan ko, I think more than the skills nga, yun yung isa sa mga parang kung bakit ako nandito parin sa taekwondo. Marami tayong mga challenges na mararanasan sa sports na minsan gusto na natin mag-quit, pero dahil dito, na-mold ka, na-train ka kung paano mag-handle ng ganung klaseng challenges," he added. 

Now a father himself, Lizardo wants nothing more than to see his two-year old son Jace follow in his and his wife's footsteps. Japoy's wife Janice Lagman is also a decorated Taekwondo practitioner. 

Should little Jace decide to be an athlete in other sports however, daddy Japoy knows exaclty who he wants to help mold and develop his son's talents. 

"Yung MILO Sports Clinic, isa yan sa known sa Philippines na nagpo-produce ng mga world class athletes, and ako naman, si Jace, siyempre gusto ko rin na yung mag-hahandle sa kanya, hindi man taekwondo, ibang sports man, MILO Summer Sports Clinic parin kasi alam ko na ma-hahandle siya mabuti, ma-gguide siya ng mabuti."

From being a once participant, Lizardo is now one of the program's hand-picked instructors, and has been for the last three years. 

With his journey coming full circle, Lizardo shares that he's nothing but happy to be able to share his experiences and his learnings with the stars of tomorrow. 

"Ako naman very blessed din ako, and very happy na right now, I’m coaching yung mga bata. Yung mga natutunan ko before pwede ko ngayon i-apply sa mga students ko ngayon."

 

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