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Janice Lagman: ‘Poomsae is a high-level sport’



Days into the fourth year of poomsae as an official event of the UAAP, Tiebreakertimes caught up with world champion and UAAP champion coach Janice Lagman at the Blue Eagle Gym as she shared the discipline’s rising prominence and importance both in the league and Philippine sports.

Poomsae enters UAAP consciousness

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Janice Lagman: ‘Poomsae is a high-level sport’

Lagman shared her delight that poomsae is going into its fourth year as an official event in the UAAP. “Happy kami kasi it’s part of UAAP na talaga. It’s really different when it’s official. It’s really serious na,” she delightfully remarked.

One of the reasons that made the UAAP Board decide to bring in poomsae as a medal sport is the achievements made by the national poomsae players. With this, Lagman, a national team member herself agrees, “I think it helped a lot kasi siyempre ma-rerecognized rin talaga siya (poomsae) when it comes to international competitions, when national team players win. Siyempre makikilala sila and makikita ng Board na it’s really a high-level sport na talaga.”

Proving her statement, Lagman shared that poomsae, which is also one of the disciplines contested in the Southeast Asian Games and has its own World Championship, is now being considered to be included in the next staging of the Asian Games.

Poomsae in the UAAP

Last season, in just its third year in the UAAP, poomsae had one of the most thrilling finishes. After the competition proper, the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University both went away with two golds, a silver, and a bronze medal tally to tie for first place. The officials for the tournament had to convene with the coaches of UP and La Salle as to how they would settle the deadlock. In the end, it was decided that the quotient system will be used to determine the champion.

The results were:


With a +13 quotient, the University of the Philippines was declared champions for this season’s Poomsae event.

This season will be no different according to Lagman. “All teams are really strong now,” she said. When asked who would be their greatest opponent to the crown, the UP coach furthered that, “Sa ngayon talaga hindi ko talaga masabi kasi may mga schools na may mga palaban talaga eh.” She also stated that most schools have their share of national team players. That being said, Wednesday will be a day full of surprises as the UAAP Season 78 poomsae unfolds.

Poomsae builds character

To succeed in a competition, Lagman believes that a poomsae player must exhibit a right balance of attitude, technical, and performance skills. She shared that in her own tryouts for the UP team, she checked on the player’s willingness to compete and to learn. Lagman also believes that as a poomsae player, focus is important.

The veteran internationalist stressed that one’s performance in the gym should be the same with that in the competition venue. She said, “Yung performance level na ginagawa mo dapat during training, dapat i-mindset mo na parang ganito na yung competition.” What is one of the most important attitude a poomsae jin must have come competition? “Yung fighting spirit,” Lagman quickly answered.

If last year’s competition is any indication of how intense the competition is in UAAP poomsae, this year could be just the same. Will the UP Fighting Maroons prove that their title was no fluke? Will the DLSU Green Jins show that they deserve the crown? Or will another school take the crown this time? UAAP Season 78 Poomsae championships on Wednesday, October 21 at the Blue Eagle Gym.


Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.