A Chat with Karate World Champion Alisa Buchinger
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A Chat with Karate World Champion Alisa Buchinger

A Chat with Karate World Champion Alisa Buchinger

Austrian Alisa Buchinger is the karate world champion, and she also holds multiple under 21 titles. We interviewed this impressive Salzburg native – who is currently listed second in the WKF worldwide ranking – about her career and the success that she’s experienced as well as her motivation.

What led you to start doing karate? How did you discover that you had a passion for it?

I was 5 years old when I started training…I enjoyed the sport from the very beginning and so I stuck with it. The thing I like most about karate is that one has to master a variety of things. It’s not just about endurance – technique, speed, power and tactics all have an equally important role. Actually you have to train everything and be good in all aspects of the sport in order to be successful. That’s good I think, that one doesn’t just train one thing.

Still, at the end of my career, I should be able to say that I accomplished what I set out to do.

 What motivates you?

 I always have a goal, like for example becoming a world champion, which is something I also achieved. Now I have the goal to take part in the 2020 Olympics. Having a goal in mind that I would like to reach is what motivates me.

How important are goals for you?

 Goals are very important for me: whenever I set a goal for myself, I also want to reach it. If you’re as ambitious as I am, then reaching that goal is sure to happen sooner or later! Of course it’s possible that one fails and loses…that’s all part of it. Still, at the end of my career, I should be able to say that I accomplished what I set out to do.

How do you deal with success on the one hand, and setbacks on the other?

 Both have advantages and disadvantages. Moments of success are naturally amazing, a time to be happy and just feel good. Nonetheless it’s not going to be any easier in the future because the competition never rests. As the favorite, you are the one people are going after. You’re the one to beat. The difficulty is that one has to learn to handle that pressure. On the other hand, it took me some time to learn to handle setbacks. I’m bad at losing, and so I first had to learn to deal with results that were not so good. It’s really important to learn that.


Were there moments in which you were discouraged? What kept you going?

 There’s always a moment when one doesn’t know how things are going to turn out. On the whole, there haven’t been times when I actually wanted to give up. Still sometimes you can reach a point when you have achieved what you wanted to achieve, and you don’t know how to move forward. Everything is up in the air. Fortunately for me, at such times I was able to set another goal for myself relatively quickly – for me that meant taking part in the Olympics. Really, quitting was never something that I thought about doing.

If you want to achieve something, then give it your all and never throw in the towel.

 You also support aid projects in India…what is your goal in doing that?

 My goal there is that I want to encourage women to grow in self-confidence, and to better recognize their value as women. Part of this is helping them to be able to say no, and to be stronger in general.

Maybe you have a motivation tip for us?

 If you want to achieve something, then give it your all and never throw in the towel. That’s all there is to it: sticking with it and not stopping!

What goals do you have lined up next – so you have the Olympic Games, but are there other goals and projects that you’re working on?

My longer term goal is participating in the 2020 Olympics. Before that there’s the European Championships in May and the World Championships in November. Of course then there will be a lot of qualification events for the Olympic Games. There are quite a few interim goals that I would like to reach on the way to the big “Olympic Games” goal.

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