“Successes is not coincidental and it is not achieved freely, but rather it is the product of hard-working and insistence on your abilities until you reach your goals,” said Taimur Gokkaya, a Kyokushin coach
Taimur Hussein Abdul-Rahman, 35, who is known as Taimor Gokkaya, found his keen hobby of sport in 1997, when he was a secondary student. He and his friends used to go to the cinema to watch movies from which they would learn the art of self-defense. His favorite movies were those of Bruce Lee.
Gokkaya was influenced by such an art until one of his friends informed him that they played Kung-Fu. After that, he took the first step toward the art, when he participated in a Kung-Fu course at the Bahu club during his summer breaks in Kirkuk.
Gokkaya became a Kong-Fu player for two years at the club. Eventually, he quit it when his trainer was flooded with other tasks, that he could not allocate sufficient time to his players.
Nevertheless, Gokkaya did not give up and joined Kirkuk Club, where he became a Taekwondo player and was trained by a prominent trainer, Hussein Abbas. In the year of 2000, he harvested the product of his hard work, when he won first place in the city’s Taekwondo championship.
Gokkaya experienced a difficult life at the beginning of his journey; he used to go to work every morning at 4:00 a.m. and finished at 10;00. After taking rest at home for a couple of hours, he went to his evening school at 1;30 p.m. and later to the club to exercise.
After three years, Gokkaya was recognized as a Taekwondo coach after the establishment of the Mosala club in 2003, which he was also one of the cofounders. However, he did not end his membership at the Kirkuk club until he becomes the top trainer at Mosala club in 2010.
In the same year, Gokkaya was the first person in Iraq to start taking training courses on Kyokushin, after visiting Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka to receive the courses. He then started giving the training to his players at the Mosala club.
Despite being a trainer at the Mosala club, Gokkaya has also been the trainer of the Kirkuk’s Police club since 2006.
Despite his years of experience, he also has a master's degree in Taekwondo, reaching black belt level in Tai Kwando and Kyokushin.
Meanwhile, Gokkaya has become the trainer of the Iraqi Kyokushin team, which participated in the Kyokushin championship in Turkey. His team won four gold medals out of five in the championship.
We implement the rules and do the exercises 100 percent
“We implement the rules and do the exercises 100 percent, not to mention that we always exercise,” Gokkaya explained the reason for his success.
Gokkaya’s team, likewise, joined the Iraqi national team after their participation in the national championship and winning the fights.
He has attended several international training and referee courses, including the world Tai Kwando championship in South Korea and the International Fajr championship.
Since 2003, the Iraqi government has started neglecting the sports sector that ranges from the closure of sport center to the assassination of players; for instance, 13 Tai Kwando players of the national team were killed in 2006.
“Before 2003, the situation was better than now, there was an annual plan and program to send the trainers to the international championships. The Iraqi national team had its share in the Iraqi Olympic Committee, there was the newest equipment and any player who had an ID could play, they were even provided with supplements,” Gokkaya claimed.
There was the newest equipment and any player who had an ID could play, they were even provided with supplements
“The situation is different now, there is no plan and support, we get informed about the championships through Facebook, to the degree that we are provided with insufficient time to prepare for the championships.”
Gokkaya explained that they are not funded to participate in the championship. Instead, they are using their own resources. “We are forced to spend our money to participate in the championship due to lack of funding. Not every player can do that. In the last championship in Turkey, the players living in Baghdad could not afford it.”
We could not participate in the Kyokushin championship in Germany because we got a rejection for a visa
He also added that “there not is moral support and we are not admitted to visa. In 2012, we could not participate in the Kyokushin championship in Germany because we got a rejection for a visa.” He said.
Gokkaya's journey has been long, started with his hobby of wathing Bruce Lee movies, and continues as a local and international champion. Gokkaya became a bright star in his profession, which was the product of hard-working and consistency.