Biochemistry student Ali Aoude earns silver medal at Taekwondo National Championships
Aoude competed in the 18-32-year-old middleweight division at the competition in Detroit this past summer.
Growing up, Ali Aoude didn’t believe he was tough and never knew how to defend himself. That changed during his junior year of high school, when at age 17, Aoude began taekwondo.
“Taekwondo has quickly become a lifestyle for me and has given me everything that I had ever wanted from it,” said Aoude, a UM-Dearborn biochemistry and pre-med student.
This past summer, he competed in his first national taekwondo championship, the 2017 U.S.A. Taekwondo National Championships at Detroit’s Cobo Center. The result? He took home a silver medal in the 18-32-year-old middleweight division.
“Anytime anyone competes in their hometown, they typically perform better since they are representing their origins,” he said. “I competed so well because I was not only doing it for myself, but for my hometown as well. This made me want to stand out and prove to others that Detroit is composed of athletes who are strong, dedicated fighters.”
To qualify for the national tournament, participants must have placed in the top three at their state tournaments. Aoude trained for about two months for the state competition, where he earned first place in his division. Soon after, he began to train for nationals.
“My schedule consisted of me training 18 hours, six days a week, for three months,” he said. “But it was worth it—all of my hard work and time I had devoted in the gym paid off.”
Aoude trains at Koubeissi Taekwondo School in Dearborn.
He currently holds a red belt—two belts away from black. This means he won’t be able to compete in the national team trials in January because participants must have a black belt. Aoude said he needs about three more months of training in order to receive a red stripe, the belt earned before a black belt.
Aoude gives credit for his achievements to his school, his trainer and his parents.
“My trainer, Master Ali Koubeissi, is like a second father to me,” he said. “He has always stood by my side, motivating and encouraging me to train harder. And my parents have consistently supported me in this journey.”
Since Aoude began taekwondo, he’s learned many important lessons. The most important being discipline.
“I’ve learned not only behavioral discipline, but discipline in the way I talk to people, how I act and how I present myself,” he said. “It has taught me how to be humble.”