This thread is dedicated to my trainer, Dwayne Woolliams.
Before I cam across T-Nation, this is the guy who taught me about weight training and conditioning for martial arts about 3yrs ago. (Up to that point it was weight training = bodybuilding for me. Stupid, I know.)
A good althete as well as a good trainer, he deserves some credit. And now that he is pursuing a second sport, I would like to wish him all the best.
Dwayne Woolliams has spent almost 38 years overcoming handicaps.
Born with an arm deformity, Woolliams (above) has been a New Zealand judo champion, and is a national coach and now hopes to represent New Zealand at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics in sport pistol shooting.
Such has been his remarkable progress since taking to the sport nine months ago, he won gold at this year?s Australian Games.
?I just felt the need to do something for myself,? said Woolliams, who runs the Mind, Body & Soul gymnasium in Howick.
?I?d done a bit of shooting for three years but nothing serious until I took to sport pistol. It?s an awesome sport, one half of which is precision shooting where you can take your time, and the other half duelling which is faster and more instinctive.?
Not surprising for a fit man who coaches 25 students at his Chidokan Judo Club, his strength lies in the duelling.
Woolliams? Australian Games success secured entry to the Padova Cup in Italy where he will contest an international event against 39 other competitors tomorrow.
Accompanying him is wife Linda and 10-year-old daughter Brianna.
?We will make it a bit of a holiday. I?m going to Switzerland to buy a grip,? he said.
With a best score of 555 of a possible 600, Woolliams hopes to register a personal best.
?My best would have been equal to 11th at the European champs and I figure I will need to shoot 560 to make the final,? he said.
?If I can do that, then shoot 565, that should get me a podium finish.?
He credits his rapid rise in the sport to the high performance academy where he trains alongside New Zealand reps including the Howick husband and wife team of Jason Wakeling and Jocelyn Lees.
?Having won Commonwealth Games medals, they are three of the best and have been very helpful to me,? he said.
It?s a tight squeeze fitting five practices a week around other commitments but not insurmountable for a man of steel resolve.
The tattoo on his left arm says it all: ?Give me firm ground and I will move the earth.?
Sidenote from me:
1) The deformity he carries is a bit more serious then what the article mentioned - not only his right arm is deformed, in fact his entire right side of the upper body is deformed / underdeveloped. Imagine representing NZ Judo wih HALF of a lung. (I realised it when he talked about that the police accusing him not blowing properly into the sampler during an alcohol breath test)
2) Despite the deformity, he uses his right arm well in a fight. You pay big time if you take him as a cripple.
3) I think this is what T-men all about.