By Yoonsoo Heo, The Korea Daily Star] Lee Seung-an (18-Gyeongnam Sambo Federation/Trigger Sambo Gym), who wore the Korean flag as a high school student, is heading to an international competition with excitement.

The Korean national sambo team is participating in the 2023 Asia-Oceania Sambo Championships, which kicked off on May 5 (local time) at the Birine Arena in Astana, Kazakhstan. On Tuesday, Park In-woo (23-Amurta) won a bronze medal in the Combat Sambo-71kg category. On the 11th, Lee Seung-an (-64kg) and Shin Jae-yong (-58kg) (29-Gwanak-gu Sambo Federation) will compete in the sport sambo category.

Sambo, a martial art from the former Soviet Union, is known for being the foundation of many famous fighters. Emilianenko Fyodor (47), the “Fighting Emperor,” and former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (35) have tasted the top based on sambo.

It is not widely known in South Korea 메이저사이트, but it is steadily gaining ground. It was developed by special forces to subdue enemies, so it has practicality. It receives extra points when applying for police officers and military officers. It”s a bare-handed self-defense technique that doesn”t involve weapons, so it”s accessible to all ages.

Lee’s family history proves that age and gender don’t matter. Lee’s father, Lee Dong-hwan, owns a sambo gym. He is also the chairman of the Korean Sambo Federation’s Life and Sports Committee. Inspired by his father, Lee started playing sambo at the age of 11. His older sister and younger brother also play sambo.

He”s won many awards. Since elementary school, he has won prizes in both sports and combat sambo. At the national selection trials in April, he took first place in both the first and second rounds, proudly wearing the Korean flag. “My father and coach taught me well,” Lee said, adding, “At first, my results weren’t so good, but I’m getting better and better.”

Coach Son Jong-hyun, 40, said of Lee, “He grows faster every day,” and added, “After experiencing international competitions, his skills are bigger. I told him to go and compete whether he wins or loses.”

Lee is also excited about his first international competition. “Before I came to Kazakhstan, I was very nervous,” he said, “but now that I’m here, I can’t wait to play. I’m excited.”

This will be Lee’s first international competition under the Korean flag. Lee has cut a bit of weight to prepare for the Sambo powerhouses of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia. He lost seven kilograms in sambo, a sport that doesn’t typically see much weight loss, and was determined not to be outclassed on fight day.

“I lost weight while eating enough food, so I’m confident that I won’t have any problems with my physical condition,” said Lee. “It’s still not good, but I’ll get through it,” he said of the elbow injury that plagued him before his departure.

“When I was selected for the second national team, my goal was to add the word ‘national’ to my name,” said Lee, “and now I will bring home the title of the world’s youngest gold medalist. My goal for this tournament is also to win first place,” he said.

Finally, Lee said, “If I win the gold medal, it will feel great (very good),” and added, “I would like to tell my parents, who help me a lot, that I love them.” Lee showed the characteristics of a young high school student.

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