Interview with Nadia Petrova, whom many people know as Nadin4e. Nadia is the most famous and respected blogger in the world of Kyokushin.
Summer 2018, for her was very rich in terms of travel and activities. Three summer schools in a row: the KWU camp in Kamchia, the Jonathan Tineo camp in Barcelona, and the international school in Skadovsk by Shihan Sergey Vsevolodov.
In the last days of training camp in Skadovsk, this interview was recorded, in which Nadia told about herself, her work, trips, summer schools. This interview will be especially helpful for those who are going to attend the above mentioned camps this summer.
This interview is one of the last, which were taken by our friend and assistant Cherednichenko Yuri.
Yes. Today, we would like to talk a little bit with a wonderful girl from Bulgaria.
Thank you for calling me ‘a girl’.
We would like to ask you some questions. To start with, well, I know who Nadejda is, but I think, a lot of people do not know. Nadia, tell us about yourself. You are from Bulgaria.
What is your attitude to Kyokushin, in general, you and Kyokushin – tell us.
My name is Nadia Petrova. From Bulgaria. I am in Kyokushin since the last century. I started training in 1986 – 87. My brother was training, as far as I remember for about a year, before he was enrolled in mandatory military service. I just decided to check it out – what was this, why he liked it so much. And I liked it. I stayed.
I started trainings with my first sensei Petko Enchevski in my hometown Montana. The town is situated about 100 km away from Sofia. Then I had to stop for a while, because I gave birth to my son. After that, I was already living in Sofia when I decided to return to it. The first club that came to my attention was Shinkyokushin club Kanku Kai with sensei Boris Nikolov.
With time, how to explain it, my mind opened, my opinion about Kyokushin and karate in general has changed. I’ve changed somehow.
For me personally, I do not care about “we are Kyokushin”, “we are Shinkyokushin”, “we are this”, “we are that”. For me Kyokushin itself is the most important part.
This is the main goal in my life – to develop it, to show people what karate Kyokushin is.
The kids feel the rush on a tournament; the kids see the changes within themselves, in their behavior. And that’s why now, okay this was a bit off of the topic, but that’s why I cannot tell I am from this or that this organization, I am whatever. I just care about Kyokushin and I work for Kyokushin. The main goal is one – to develop and popularize it – that’s it.What else, oh yeah. For about 7-8 years I’m dealing with Facebook marketing. I am making social networks marketing.
My main job, for quite some time now is karate. I don’t say “Kyokushin” I say karate in general, because things are moving forward also outside Kyokushin, which is the best part.
My dream is that, I’ve shared this with a lot of people, my dream is that one day I would be able to work only with karate and I will not have any other clients.
More or less this is what I do. People know about me. It may sound not very modest but this is the truth. People know about me, I have my own website – nadin4eblog.com
I give information about different events on it. I can proudly say that I have the biggest Kyokushin page, Kyokushin fan page on Facebook. It has 472,000 fans.
And the total number of fans on my pages of martial sports in general, plus the pages that I am helping, where I am either and administrator, or I am an editor, they are around 1.7 million fans.
That’s it! That’s my pride! We’re working and we’re growing.
Do not be surprised. I’m nodding, because I really understand almost everything. Nadia, it’s 29th camp by Shihan Vsevolodov, we already have around 10 famous people, who are also on our site.
Why have you arrived only for the 29th and not earlier?
Exactly one year ago Shihan Vsevolodov invited me. Exactly one year ago. And on this day we made also our mutual picture – now, this year. Why now? Because now I got invited.
And now there was an opportunity for everything to become possible. Last year I received the invitation during the camp and I couldn’t come. Okay. If we are opening the topic about camps, in general, I must say, this year I’m doing something like a marathon that is not over yet. I have another, a fourth camp to attend to at the end of August. It is a marathon of camps.
It started with Kyokushin World Union, and its international camp in Varna, Bulgaria. After that I was in Barcelona at a Kyokushin camp with Sensei Jonathan Tineo. After that I came here.
And all this for one month. It is very interesting.
-Absolutely. But the adrenalin is on maximum. I am very tired but I really like it. Okay, for me personally there is no such thing as good or bad camp. Every camp has its charm and its positives.
For example, Kyokushin World Union camp, 12th edition, was as last year – totally the most attended camp in martial arts in the world. With the capabilities of the organizers, it is very likely that ext year there will be 1600 people, this year there were 1400 people. This is total madness. But it’s interesting. Everyone is divided in groups.
In the sports hall there were about 400-420 fighters, I’m talking about juniors, man, women, veterans – only fighters. And top of the class instructors – world champions, vice world champions, famous names in Kyokushin. That was probably the most interesting group, because they were making a lot of those, like now Shihan Vsevolodov shows interesting combinations, interesting things. There was only one time when there was a sparing. I was able to make just a few videos of different bouts, which we would not be able to see in a tournament. So, this camp has its record, its advantages and it truly was unique. Next year I expect more. We always want more.
After that came Barcelona. There, it was for 3 days and nearly 200 fights. Maybe 90% of the attendants, 280 people from all over the world, because there was also Chile, I think it was Chile…
Yeah, I am not very sure where they were from, there were people from South America. And just the level of the fighters was very high.
The training was as follows: 15 minutes warm up; around half an hour, one of the three main instructors – Sensei Jonathan Tineo, Shihan Koen Spitaels and Sensei Valeri Dimitrov – they were showing some interesting fighting techniques. As an example I will give “Valeri kick” and ‘kaiten do mawashi’ that they’ve tried. After that around 45 – 50 minutes – only fighting.
With some music for a background. It was both relaxing and interesting – total fiesta! Such a Kyokushin fiesta is happening very rarely. Literally, I was in Kyokushin paradise.
I saw such fights and I met such people, that I don’t know when else I would meet, maybe at some other camp, I hope.
And now here. I was excited to come here because, firstly, Roman, we are riends for many years. We work together, we communicate a lot, and he told me about the camp. The way it is organized.
There, on the field in 30-35 degrees centigrade heat. A unique, unique experience, unique experience. I barely endured the training that was from 10 till 12 in the morning. Because I’m training with air-conditioner. Less Kyokushin more fitness.And because I’m already a little bit spoiled. But I participated in every training. I was watching everything. The level of the camp is super high.
Shihan Vsevolodov is different.He is not, he’s not like a trainer who would go in front and just show “Ich, ni, san. Ich, ni, san. That’s it, we’re ready”. He is thinking. He is working. He is upgrading things. If in the morning, in kihon, they have done one thing. After that, at the fight, fight training from 4 PM that focuses on kumite, they would develop it and try it in a bout. It’s just, he is different, he is different. And I like that because one of my closest friends Sensei Hristo Terziev is also like that. At the end of the day, we are in the 21st century. Everything needs to develop.
Kyokushin cannot be the same as in 20th century. It just can’t. We are different. Our bodies are different. Our life is different. If back then the 8-9 years old kids in Japan lived in a hard time and were in an iron fist during the trainings, now the kids are a bit more spoiled. I’m not even mentioning the European kids. The European kids are super spoiled. The kids here were really concentrated – boys, girls, they were doing really great. I’m speechless. This strong discipline, which these kids have, where I’ve seen it? In Russia.
Those kids there are so disciplined. Whereas the European kids are just… I’m sorry for saying it, but this is my opinion, so I’m saying it.
I see something different, something truly unique. I like it a lot.
I recommend to everyone to come.
To any of those three camps. You cannot go to the three of them because…
A friend of mine was at KWU Kamchia World Camp and also at the Spanish one and she said, “It was a bit too much for me. I have to choose where to go”. And just to add something about the camp in Spain. Why that camp was so unique? Because there are clubs and fighters who do not have the opportunity to have sparrings with different opponents during the year.
I mean, that they have one competition at the end of the year. And throughout all that year, they have to keep a certain level, before having the big preparation for the tournament. But they don’t have the opportunity to make sparrings, to make kumite, kumite trainings like they are supposed to be. And here there is a camp that is in Spain, that is only kumite, a lot of fighting. You go there and you gather experience. For three days you gather a six months experience.
Or a year.
Yes, or a year. Because you have the chance to meet diversity. There were trainings that were for everyone – men, women, young, veterans, and juniors. Everything’s at one place. And the last 50 bouts that were on Sunday, then, after the 20th fight we got separated. We had juniors and veterans. Here were the national championship fighters and there were the women. And when the women got separated they really went wild and the sparrings were simply wonderful. And so, that camp also has its advantages and it makes sense to be attended.
Okay, let’s come back here again. This field is unique! It’s simply unique. I regret not being able to show on video how they are training. To see the beauty of the dust that is being lifted, it’s just unique. I really liked it. I really liked it. The weather is also very good. You boasted that for the first time in 8 years it rains but I’m happy. I saw everything. The sea is over there, it is knee deep.
We have this saying – the sea is knee deep. The conditions are wonderful, there is nothing more to say. I cannot make bigger advertisement then this. But my goal is not to advertise, but to say what really is. But people could see on their own. We published a lot of videos and pictures and more are yet to be published, and it’ll be seen. And people are happy, people are satisfied.
They have come here to train, and this is what they get – four times per day. Four times per day, at 30 degrees centigrade. Amazing! Unique! That’s it, one week only Kyokushin.
As Shihan Vsevolodov said in the interview, “They almost don’t take their kimonos off”. And so, that’s it. What more about the camps. Probably there is more but I can’t remember at the moment.
Okay, Nadia, you have visited 3 camps during one month.
But probably in your lifetime they are tens.
Shihan Vsevolodov can do anything. He is a professional as a trainer and also for organizing events like this. But is there anything that you could maybe say to him, that maybe he could change, maybe you can give him an advise, to add something in his camp.
Yes. Oh, yes, I was thinking about that. There are a few women, girls, here at the camp. But this is not a problem to make a small group, like you separate kids, to have a small group only of women. And because he is super experienced and super intelligent trainer, as an instructor, he can show to women something different. Of course, we are all people, all have bodies, but female fighters are different from male fighters, there is no question about that. Also, about the men, because many of them are actually very young guys, he has to show them how to ‘play’ with women. Because there is a difference. I’m going to give the simplest example. When we have a sparring we put on the breast protectors. The male partners know that we are using those but there are some who don’t really care and hit directly in the breasts. The fact that I’m wearing a breast protector does not mean that I don’t feel pain. It is the same as the ‘other’ protector, the one for males, for example. Why don’t we kick there, no matter that they are wearing protectors? It is just painful. So these boys have to fight intelligently with women. It is better if you hit me here higher or in the belly but not in the breasts. And women, what can women learn? For women it’s specific. For example…
It is observed that the performance of the jodan kicks is pretty good. Things like that. Just, one time to organize a training for girls only. Even for the small ones, to have the small group, for them it’s also going to be useful. That’s it. Now, naturally, I don’t want to separate men and women, I’m far from that idea. Although, a lot of men in Karate don’t want women in it. They think it is not for them, but everybody has the right to have an opinion. But we are in karate and if we can develop this further and if we can help, there is nothing wrong. This is my opinion.
Okay. In general what we wanted to ask you in ‘Hot Lead’ our viewers will hear from you. It was very nice to see you on our camp in Ukraine. Come again.
Thank you. I’ll come, thank you.
📸Roman Odessky @roman.odessky
Photographing kyokushin events (tournament, camp, seminar)