Valerii Bruns is a renowned Ukrainian Taekwondo coach who travels the world with his athletes.

He is a kind man who relates to everyone in a polite way with the principles of Taekwondo, however after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the events that have shaken mankind, his smile has turned into sleeplessness.

He participated with his competitors in the President’s Cup 2022 in Dürres Albania, while his family was in danger in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

From one day to the next his life changed. He decided to participate with his athletes until the last day of the competition, but his head is in his country, where his children live, all linked to his Taekwondo schools.

He spoke to several times at the hotel and the competition in Dürres. He does not understand why the Russian president acted in such a way, «it seems unreal».

He expressed gratitude that the ETU supported a delegation of athletes to return via land and also said that the support of World Taekwondo to the Ukrainian people is very important.

Martial Arts life

Nor has he spoken ill of the Russian people, let alone the Russian athletes and coaches who have shown their solidarity at the tournament. In fact, he has family in that country and speaks Russian.

Now he will have to go to the home of a great friend who will receive him in Estonia. He does not know for how long. Some of his students will travel with him and others to friends and family in other parts of Europe.

«I don’t know when I’m going home, I’m very sad,» he said.

Carlos Hernandez