Wednesday 14 April 2010

Profile of a World Champion - Aramai Tahau

Aramai Tahau receives his gold medal for Junior Male Special Technique at the 2009 World Champs. He invited his team mate, Shane Black who won the silver, onto the podium to share the moment.

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?

AT: I started training in 2002 at the Horowhenua Taekwon-Do Club under Mr Andrew Salton.

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

AT: I graded to 1st degree in December 2005 in Auckland while a member of the Horowhenua TKD Club under Mr Salton.

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

2007 World Champs (Junior), Quebec, Canada
- Silver in Team Special Technique
- Participated in Micro weight sparring

Slide show of Aramai training for the 2007 World Champs in Quebec, Canada (38)...

Slide show of Aramai performing at the 2007 World Champs in Quebec, Canada (22)...

2009 World Champs (Junior), Mar Del Plata, Argentina
- Gold in Special Tehnique
- Bronze in Team Specialty
- Participated in Middleweight sparring, 2nd degree patterns, team patterns and team sparring.

Aramai training for the 2009 World Champs in Mar Del Plata, Argentina (40)...

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

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

AT: I really wanted to win a gold medal in any event but my main goals were to medal in sparring and special technique. In the end I achieved a gold medal in special technique.

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

AT: The feeling up there was very overwhelming, having cameras shining in my face and the N.Z crowd yelling out was great. Having the gold medal placed around my neck at the same time as my team mate Shane recieved the silver was amazing and my biggest highlight of my Taekwon-Do career.

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

AT: I had to overcome a couple injuries. First I pulled my hip flexor and then I tore ligaments in my knee both within 10 months of the tournament. This took very serious physio work to get me in the ring and training. There was also my NCEA. I had to make sure I got enough credits throughout the year to pass because of the time of the tournament. I also had to give up my other sports like basketball. My biggest challenge was getting over my injuries.

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?

AT: Go hard give it a go. Train as hard as you can. push yourself to your limits. Enjoy what your doing and look at the positives from it.
!!Kia Kaha!!