History > Hall of Fame > Champions > Interview with David Kerr, three-time World Champion in sparring

Interview with David Kerr, three-time World Champion in sparring

Interview made by Swedish TKD Association, 12 September 2004
David Kerr
  1. Home town and country?
    I live in Sâo Paulo, Brazil. Sâo Paulo is a very industrial city and has about 18 million inhabitants. I think it is the third biggest city in the world. Many people think about Brazil as a party place with beaches but Sâo Paolo is a working city. It is the most important city of Brazil.
    I lived in USA between the age of 7-12 years old.
  2. Your education and occupation?
    I work only as a Taekwon-Do instructor but I got my college degree in social communications specializing in radio and television. Now I am trying to get in to get a masters degree in sports psycology.
  3. Why did you come to this seminar in Sweden?
    Well, it was during the Pan American Championships that Master Trân asked me to come with him to a seminar. He later asked me to come to this one so here I am.
  4. Why did you start to practice TKD?
    At that age I was a martial arts fan, I loved Bruce Lee and martial arts screens. When I got home from school I started to kick and punch in the livingroom and my mom looked up Karate in the yellow pages. And she put me in. In America karate is kind of a general name or martial arts. So she put me up and I ended in a Taekwon-Do school.
  5. Does practicing ITF TKD add something positive to your life?
    Of course. Of couse. What I can't even say because since I have memories I have been practicing Taekwon-Do. It helps my concentration and to deal with various situations that appear in life.
  6. Do you practice all parts of TKD equally or do you prefer a special part (self-defence, fighting, pattern, funamental movements, practice with equippment).
    I don't practice all equally. I practice mostly sparring. Since I enjoy sparring very much. And I compete and like to compete. A few years back I started to enjoy patterns a lot more. I do give importance to pattern but my main event is sparring.
  7. What is the secret behind you sucess?
    Oh, the secret behind my success... I don't think there is any secret. I dedicate myself to what I do. I train everyday, I train a lot. I take what I do seriously. And I think maybe it is my self critisism. I'm never satisfied with what I've got and I always try to do things better. And that is very important to a fighter, to keep growing and not to keep were you are. To always keep adapting like a fighter who has always been my idol, Paul Germain from Canada. He won he World Championships in 1984 and then he went all the way to the final in 1997. I think that is remarkable to be fighting in the top level for 13 years. You only do that by growing and trying to get better all the time.
  8. Will you stay with TKD after your carrer as a sportsman or was it only an youth-adventure?
    I think so. I like to continue as teacher. I like to get a coaching position. I know how to train and I think I have a good tactical vision of fighting.
  9. Have you ever felt that your sucess in TKD has changed people around you (friends, acquaintances)?
    Yes, you have to make sacrifices to compete at top level. It is a different life from everyone who goes out at night everyday from monday to monday. But I think that the more sacrifices you make the stronger you are and you achievment will be more valuable.
    My friends have not changed. I am even more recognized for what I've accomplished in Taekwon-Do when I go outside Brazil than in Brazil. For my close friends there are no problems. I've had them for a long time and they are the same people.
  10. Which of all your achivements in TKD is most important to you and why?
    That is very difficult to say. Most important, I think that is impossible. I mean the three times I won the World Championships they were three very special occations. My first one when I fought against Paul Germain in the final it was amazing. It was magical. The second time was also great because I was more confident and I was more aware of what I was doing. I was a better fighter so I was astablishing myself. In Italy it was also great. I felt very good and fast. I felt good as a fighter so all 3 were great occations so I really can't say which was the greatest.
  11. How do you think upon TKD and ITFs future? What shall we according to you focus on?
    I am optimisting towards the future. I think ITF has a lot to grow and has a lot to do. Taekwon-Do is a great thing and people should know about it and I think that is a mission for the ITF.
    I have talked a lot with many people and Master Trân about something that I think could make ITF TKD bigger. It is to make a professional top-competition with all the top-fighters in the world with money prizes and television distribution. This should be a competition good for everybody to see. Sometimes the World Championships can be tiring to watch. If you have a top-competition, as they have the K1 in Japan, I think more people would come to ITF TKD competitions. There should also be specatcular exhibitions with patterns, power breaking and special techniques.
  12. What are your near future plans in TKD and in your personal life?
    For Taekwon-Do the selections for the World Championships are coming in november so I'm training for that. And just to keep on training and we'll see. I will prepare myself for the next year.
    And my personal life. Well, I just left home and I live together with two roommates, a black belt from my school and a friend of mine way back since we were children. I hope to keep paying my bills and make some more money to make life easier because I'm kind of starting on by my own now.
  13. What is your favourite...
    - food?
    Well, I think my favourite food is probably chocolate. I love choclate. So for me to get on a diet before big championships is really nervewrecking.
    - film?
    I love movies. I watch everything that's woth watching. I can't really say a favourite film. I like very much "The Untouchables" and "Blade Runner". I like to study the scripts and how they do it. The americans have a great notion how to make interesting films. I like Woody Allen, Ridley Scott and Martin Scorcese.
    - music?
    Oh, I love music too. My whole family are mucisians. My mother has a doctor degree in pipe organ and she teaches in the state university in Sâo Paulo. My uncle was an international orchestra conductor and my other oncle is a very famous choir conductor in Sâo Paulo. So I was raised with music and I love it. From rock I like very much Van Halen, Bad Religion, Living Colour, Aerosmith and sometimes Guns N'Roses. I like pop music such as Lionel Ritchie, James Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Sade and Bob Marley. And of course classical music. Bach and Haendel. Who doesn't like Beetoven?