Monday 29 March 2010

Profile of a World Champion - Stuart Maden

Stuart Maden receives his gold medal for Junior Male Power at the 2009 World Champs.

This is part of a series of articles profiling our Kiwi world champions who achieved so much success for New Zealand at the 2009 World Champs in Argentina

TKDAction: What year did you start TKD training and what was the name of the club and your instructor?

SM: I Started training AT United Taekwon–Do club in 1996 with Blair Martin as my instructor.

TKDAction: When did you get your black belt and what was your club and instructor?

SM: I got my black belt in May 2006 whilst still training with Blair Martin at the same club.

TKDAction: Which international events have you attended and what were your achievements at each?

SM: 2006 Junior World Champs, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
- My first world champs and I got no medals but still had a great trip and great experience.

Slide show of Stuart training and competing at the 2006 Junior World Champs in Honduras (30)...

2007 World Champs (Junior), Quebec, Canada
- Gold in Team Power
- Bronze in pre-arranged sparring (partnered with David Burr)

Slide show of Stuart training for the 2007 World Champs in Quebec, Canada (52)...

Slide show of Stuart at the 2007 World Champs in Quebec, Canada (52)...

2009 World Champs (Junior), Mar Del Plata, Argentina
- Gold in Power
- Gold in Team Power
- Bronze in Team Specialty

Stuart training for the 2009 World Champs in Mar Del Plata, Argentina (52)...

Stuart performing at the 2009 World Champs in Mar Del Plata, Argentina (47)...

TKDAction: What were your goals for the 2009 World Champs?

SM: My goals were to win everything I was entered in and I knew that our team had a good chance to do so. Sparring was a little harder being honest as we are not as strong in this and by then we did not have Shane Black (injured in individual sparring) to help.

TKDAction: Can you describe how you felt when you stood on the podium and had received your gold medal?

SM: So hard a question! It was a big mixture of feelings. Relief was one, after so much training and hard work and all the things in the year, like finishing school and personal problems. It was a relief, felt like the world had been taken off my shoulders. I was PROUD to have done this for my country and for myself. I felt like a little power god haha! But I was still focused on winning other events so I guess I didn’t get to indulge in my success. As for the team medals, I just felt very proud of all the boys, especially in power as we had to all step up at the last second and do what we do. They make me proud.

TKDAction: What were some of the challenges you had to overcome to compete at the world champs?

SM: I found I didn’t get enough time to train just before I left as I had too much work but through the years it was hard trying to manage work, school and training. It is a lot for someone my age but I always somehow managed to have some good weekend times. Playing chess (LOL) on Friday night with friends, you just manage to do it somehow. You just have to plan stuff.

When I say YOU that means your mum/dad. Thank your parents for helping you because when you are older you won’t have them to help you the same.

TKDAction: What would your message be to a young junior who you thought was good enough to trial. What would you say to them to encourage them?

SM: I would say to the young ones that is not so much about the medals or the outcome. The most important thing is to enjoy your journey and the good times and listen and watch. Pay a lot of attention to people, you learn more that way and keep training hard.

You never know, you could be a World Champ one day just like me!