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Meet Youth Olympian and martial arts prodigy Haya Jumaa

2018-04-03

In the second episode of our new web series, we introduce Canada’s HAYA JUMAA, martial arts sensation and arguably the only Karate athlete who has already participated in the Youth Olympic Games. 

While Karate will make its debut as a sport in the Youth Olympic Games this year in Buenos Aires, the Karate family already has a member who has experienced the joy of being a Youth Olympian. She just competed in another sport. 

“My dream has always been to participate in the Olympic Games; The Olympic experience for me was amazing! I would tell all the karatekas going to Buenos Aires this year to continue training hard; anything is possible, you all can succeed there,” said Jumaa who took part in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games as a Taekwondo athlete. 

“Qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games is already a great step. Competing there is amazing, and whether you get a medal or not, you all are champions”, she added. 

REAL TALENT FOR MARTIAL ARTS

Haya Jumaa has proven herself to be an impressive martial artist. While most struggle to master one discipline, the promising Canadian has excelled not only in one modality but in three. 

“I started doing Karate at four years old, and I began competing at six. I started with Karate, but I also did Taekwondo. My parents are both karatekas and they had a dojo. At my dad’s dojo they had Karate, Taekwondo, Kickboxing… all these martial arts, and in fact, I was doing all three!” said Jumaa. 

“Since it was an Olympic sport, I decided to focus on Taekwondo, so I could go to the Olympics. Then, I qualified for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore to compete in Taekwondo,” explains the promising athlete who finished in fifth place at the Youth Olympic tournament.  

The remarkable athlete reached the quarter-finals of the tournament and lost to Thailand’s Worawong Pongpanit who ended up getting the gold medal at the event in the 49kg category. Previously to her Youth Olympic debut, Haya Jumaa had also competed at the Taekwondo Youth Championship reaching the 16th-finals. She also won gold at the Bahrain International Taekwondo Championship in the under 46kg category. 

“I love doing Taekwondo because it really helps the legs and the flexibility. It is very fast, and I really like the cardio of Taekwondo,” said the 24-year-old athlete. 

Born to Karate-loving parents who currently own the “National Centre for Karate & Martial Arts” dojo in Mississauga, west of Toronto, Haya Jumaa also demonstrated her outstanding abilities in yet another martial art: Kickboxing. 

“I participated in the Kickboxing World Championships and I have won several medals in this sport. I have always enjoyed some contact, so I really like Kickboxing. I like to combine different sports. I feel I have the skills I need for this. I guess you also must have the talent. You have to be born with it; if you love it, you can do it,” added Jumaa. 

“IF YOU ARE A KARATEKA, YOU CAN DO ANY OTHER SPORT”

Some say that variety is the spice of life, and Haya Jumaa has managed to spice up her sports career by mixing-and-matching different modalities. The Canadian prodigy reckons that far from dividing, different martial arts complement one another. 

“Karate was my first sport, I started with Karate. From my experience, if you are a Karate competitor, you can do any other sport. I managed to have some success in Taekwondo and Kickboxing; Karate really helped me with both. I feel that all these modalities really help me improve in Karate,” said Jumaa.   

Nothing seems to stop Haya Jumaa from achieving her goals. Not even moving out from her birth-country. The 24-year-old karateka was born in Dubai (UAE) but moved with her family to start a new life in Canada. 

“It wasn’t hard for me to live in Canada after living in Dubai. Canada is really nice, and people there are great, so it was easy for me to adapt there,” declared Jumaa.  

“KARATE HELPS YOU STAY GROUNDED” 

The young athlete representing Canada is studying Kinesiology and Health Sciences and hopes to become a dentist. Now her sights are set on succeeding in Karate. 

“When I heard that Karate got into the Olympics, I thought that I should start focusing on Karate. My goal in Karate is to continue competing in Karate 1-Premier League to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. I also plan to participate in the Pan American Championships in May and then, in the World Championships in October. These are my main goals this year,” said the promising karateka who produced a remarkable performance in Karate’s major events last year. 

Haya Jumaa won four medals last year, after claiming silver in both Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam and Halle/Leipzig and taking bronze medals at the Karate 1-Premier League Paris and the Karate 1-Series A Toledo. Previously, she had finished in third place at the 2011 Junior World Championships. While she continues the path to greatness and hopes to keep on making a name for herself in martial arts, the Youth Olympian and multiple martial arts medallist has a clear idea of what makes Karate so special:  

“Karate helps you to commit; it helps you respect others. Even if you are world champion, you must be humble and respectful. This is what Karate is all about. Karate helps you stay grounded. “

EPISODE 01 “Meet..” web series: “Meet Internet sensation – and ‘Karate Nerd’ – Jesse Enkamp”    

 

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