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Everybody started somewhere. In the My Journey posts we ask an accomplished athlete / star / thought leader how they got where they are now. We hope their stories will inspire and motivate you.

In this sixty third My Journey post, we had a chat with Khalid Zaalouki, a professional martial artist. We hope you enjoy Khalid Zaalouki's journey.
Khalid Zaalouki
Tell us a little bit about yourself :)

I live in Cologne (Germany) - my family is from Morocco. I love everything about sport and exercising. I like traveling, going out with family or friends.

How did you get introduced to your passion and when did it get serious?

I've been doing sports for 22 years now. I started with swimming as a kid then soccer, for the past 10 years I've been doing martial arts. For the first time, my father took me to a friend of him and I trained in his Tiger Gym. Then I felt "Wow...that's something for me". So my favorite sports is martial arts, especially muay thai and taekwondo. I started taekwondo in 2012 to improve my kicks for muay thai. But I also lift weights three times a week for my strengh. It is very important in martial arts to have a lot of strength, especially when you train with heavy weights. Since 2013 I do martial arts and lifting together. Right now, I also practice yoga because I always love challenges.

Can you share your biggest challenges? biggest challenges. The first challenge was the splits. I watched all the Van Damme movies so I wanted to master the splits. I learnd it by watching YouTube videos and my taekwondo coach helped me as well.

Later, when I started with lifting, I always had the goal to 'deadlift' 260 lbs. It took me 2 years to get there. I just did weightlifting three times a week. There is no secret than just doing it.

How do you handle pressure and where do you find your motivation?

I always give myself a healthy pressure by setting my goals in a specific time.

For example, as I wanted to learn the splits, I gave myself a deadline and I knew until when I have to do it. It is very important to give yourself a deadline, otherwise you'll always be like "I will do it tomorrow".

About Motivation: I am always motivated because if you are not motivated then you're not doing the right thing for you and you should find yourself something else that motivates you.

What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to the sport, of course)?

I dont think I ever had an embarrassing moment in sport because it's all a learning process.

How did your passion influence your life in other ways?

My passion influenced my life 100% in a positive way. I mean even as a kid I had a great self-esteem, but it got even better with my training.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day starts like this: most of the time I wake up at 8:00 am and I have breakfast. Then I do my stretching routine for 30 minutes. Then I do martial arts, and after martial arts yoga. Next day I ilft weights.

I have martial arts training 3 times and weightlifting also 3 times, and one day is my restday.

And what about your flexibility training? Where does that fit in?

I stretch everyday in the morning and after my martial arts training especially.

I do a lot for my hip flexibilty. Air kicks, front and side splits. I have a lot of videos on Instagram, its hard to describe it, you better watch it.

What are your future plans/goals/dreams?

My future plans are to build some more muscles and strengh and to meet Jean-Claude Van Damme again and train with him.

Any tips for passionate people who are starting to practice your sport now?

Before you start training, go to a doctor and let the doctor check you out. If everything is okay, look for a sport that fits to you.

Always try to challenge you and do pictures of your progress to have a good overview of your progress over time.

Anything you’d like to share?

Instagram and Facebook @taekwondoartist

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  • Author Image
    Jenny Posted February 01 2018

    Finally an interview with a person who does taekwondo :) Cool!

  • Author Image
    Kathy Posted February 01 2018

    Didn't know martial artists stretch this much!


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