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'It's a way of life': Edmonton-area boy keeps martial arts dream alive through virtual class

Liam Potvin, 12, moved to B.C. last year but he's still attending St. Albert taekwondo classes via Zoom. (Supplied) Liam Potvin, 12, moved to B.C. last year but he's still attending St. Albert taekwondo classes via Zoom. (Supplied)

A boy who moved away from the Edmonton area last summer isn’t letting geography stop him from advancing his taekwondo skills.

Liam Potvin, 12, has been with Phoenix Taekwon-do in St. Albert since he was seven and currently holds a junior black belt. Last June, his mother’s job relocated their family to Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, pulling him away from his classes.

“I became part of a family, so leaving it was kind of hard and I decided to continue even though we were apart,” Liam said over Zoom.

“I like taekwondo itself, but I also really liked the dynamic and the people that surrounded me.”

Liam Potvin taking a taekwondo class from his living room. (Supplied)

Liam was unable to find a Dojang on the island and tried other types of martial arts but eventually reached out to his grandmaster, asking if he could continue classes through Zoom.

Myriam Potvin, Liam’s mother, says moving to Vancouver Island was a family choice due the nature of her wife’s job.

“Every time we move around somebody loses something. In this instance, Liam lost a big part of himself. He was training two to four times a week,” Potvin said.

Potvin also describes the Dojang as a big family with everyone cheering each other on, wanting their students to be successful in life.

“It’s not just a martial art. It’s not just going to training a couple times a week and you go home, it’s a way of life.”

Craig Stanley, Liam’s grandmaster, teaching him taekwondo via Zoom. (CTV News Edmonton)

Craig Stanley, Liam’s grandmaster, says he’s a dedicated student and teaching virtually is something he did during the pandemic.

“What I do is that I do a section with those guys and I’ll add five, six, seven moves and give them some corrections and then while they’re at home, not on Zoom, they can fix those corrections,” Stanley said.

While Liam isn’t able to show off his patterns in person, he’s still able to test for the next level of his black belt.

“We know he’s active, we know he’s practicing so when the time rolls around where he can be eligible for his next degree, we know he’s working on training,” Stanley said.

Liam will be coming to Edmonton in April for an upcoming tournament and with his virtual training, he plans to be ready. Top Stories

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