After a journey to the international stage for Taekwon-Do, Cochrane martial artist Nathan Peacock returned from the 2023 ITF Taekwon-Do World Championship in Tampere, Finland.
As part of Team Canada, Peacock participated in the individual male sparring category for the 63-to-69-kilogram weight class, which he said will be a truly unforgettable and invaluable experience.
“I’ve put 17 years of my life training at this point, and now I’m meeting people who have more [experience], and are quite literally the best in the world,” Peacock said. “So, it’s truly a humbling and a very awe-inspiring experience.”
As part of a 38-person team representing the Taekwon-Do community of Canada, Peacock said a major highlight of his time at the Sept. 4 to 10 tournament was being able to compete alongside his teammates.
“That was a fun aspect, the camaraderie with guys all across Canada, so I can’t wait to see them in the next Canada-[based] tournaments,” he said.
Peacock said his division featured 45 competitors across the globe. Although he said he didn’t come home with any bling, he is proud of his performance at the tournament.
“I was able to win against Finland, and The Republic of China; so I may not have won any medals, but the way I view it, is that those are two of the countries I beat,” Peacock said. “There’s a little bit of pride going on there, but that’s something I’m proud of.”
Now back on Canadian soil, Peacock said it is a surreal experience to come back after competing on the international stage, but he is honoured to have the chance to represent both Cochrane and Canada.
“Just coming back into town, and Trinity Taekwon-Do starting again, and I’m seeing all my students and whatnot who even woke up at 4:30 a.m. to watch my matches,” he said. “It’s truly an honour, and it’s awesome to know that I have this many people looking up to me.”
With the world championship already behind him, he plans to continue competing and believes that experience is always the best teacher. With the Taekwon-Do World Cup on the horizon, Peacock said he views it as a potential option for his next appearance, but it depends on a variety of factors.
“For the time being, I have new drills, and I have new things I want to train on, to essentially make a Nathan 2.0,” he said. “So that next time, I step on that international stage, I’ll be much more of a force to be reckoned with.”
Trinity Taekwon-Do head coach, Cameron Macdonald, said for all members of the Cochrane dojang, it was an exciting feeling to see him compete at one of the highest levels.
“Everybody played a role in supporting that journey for him, whether just being a training partner, or possibly helping with his GoFundMe page,” Macdonald said. “So, I think that it goes beyond Nathan’s experience, and it’s spread throughout our club.”
Macdonald hopes that Peacock’s endeavours in Finland help inspire other students to try their hand in more competitions, and motivate them to train their hardest.
“I think it’s fitting that people can see Nathan’s journey to the World’s as something that would have taken a lot of courage, training, and not just physical strength, but mental strength too,” Macdonald said. “I think that’s a good message I want to spread across our club as a result of his experience.”
Peacock said he wishes to give a special thanks to everyone who has supported him, those who helped donate to his GoFundMe drive, and all the members of Trinity Taekwon-Do. He outlines that he will never forget this experience, adding that this is the biggest stepping stone for him as a competitor and instructor.
“It’s those in particular that have been a crucial aspect of who I am today, and how I’ve gotten to where I am today,” Peacock said. “So for that, I thank them profusely. Thank you so much.”