1st degree Black Belt and Taekwando National champion Stephan Venter is currently preparing for a trip to represent South African in the ISKA World Martial Arts Championships in Florida USA. He took the time from his busy training schedule to chat to Obzeva.co.za as we learn more about the sport of Taekwando and this prestigious event taking place in July 2015.
Obzeva.co.za: Let’s talk a bit about you and your background – who is Stephan Venter?
SV Answer: I am a 23 year old guy, working in IT networks. I totally love my Taekwondo Training, at present I am a 1st degree Black Belt , I am assisting in senior classes and also involved with MMA kickboxing coaching.
Obzeva.co.za: How did you get introduced to Martial Arts as a sport?
SV Answer: I got introduced to the sport as a 7 year old, by one of my friends. Tried out at Master West’s Academy. I loved the training, and immediately joined.
Obzeva.co.za: The particular style that you do is Taekwondo. Tell us a little more about that? And why did you choose that style in particular?
SV Answer: Taekwondo is a Korean Martial arts form. The technique of this style, the Kicks, Weapons and Forms are absolutely outstanding. I have the best Instructor. He is always there to help me to improve on my technique and speed.
Obzeva.co.za: Take us through the different disciplines in this sport, and which one is your most favourite?
SV Answer: Sparring (fighting), Breaking (boards / tiles / cement blocks), Forms / Kata , Weapons ( Bo-Staff, Nunchaks, Short stick, Sword ). My favourite is the Sparring. I love it.
Obzeva.co.za: You hold a black belt in Taekwondo, and also have provincial and national colours in the sport. Take us through the process you have had to go through in order to receive these accolades.
SV Answer: It took loyalty, dedication and lots of hard training. My Instructor taught me to set my goals and dreams high, and to believe that I can achieve it. To obtain colours I had to participate and win the Northern Gauteng Taekwondo Championships and the South African Taekwondo Championships. I was then chosen to participate in the ISKA / NMA Destiny Open Championships where I had to win to qualify for my National colours.
Obzeva.co.za: Let’s talk about the challenges in the sport. What would you say are some of the difficulties people at your level of the game experience the most?
SV Answer: FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE is the biggest challenge. To get sponsorships for participation in World Championships tournaments is most difficult.
Obzeva.co.za: I understand that you have been selected to represent South Africa at ISKA Championships in July 2015. What is ISKA?
SV Answer: International Sport Karate Association is a World Championship tournament OPEN to all forms and styles of martial arts. The tournament is held yearly at the US Open of Martial Arts in Disney World, Orlando, Florida. The US Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championships celebrated its 40th anniversary the July 4th weekend, 2015. More than 4,000 competitors and 10,000 spectators attend this two day event each year. Very exciting.
Obzeva.co.za: The tournament is dubbed as the “the Greatest Show in Martial Arts.” What makes it so great? What is so special about tournament?
SV Answer: The high standards . It is unbelievable . If you win in this Championships, you have reason to be proud of yourself . Last year one of our South African Instructors came second in the breaking, he was only the 2nd South African to be invited to do breaking on ESPN.
Obzeva.co.za: Of the various disciplines in the tournament, which ones will you be taking part in?
SV Answer: Sparring, Weapons, Forms and Breaking.
Obzeva.co.za: As a young man in South Africa, how do you think the sport has enabled you in other areas of your life?
SV Answer: The sport made me a motivated and confident person, and determined to reach my goals and dreams.
Obzeva.co.za: What do you think needs to be done to promote interest in martial arts as a sport in South African?
SV Answer: South Africans are still not exposed about to martial arts. My Instructors advertise all the time. This sport is absolutely great to develop young kids and teenagers. It keeps you healthy and focused in life.
Obzeva.co.za: What about your other interests, what do you do in your free time?
SV Answer: I train, there is no time for rest now, I want to be the best.
Obzeva.co.za: Top five greatest songs of all times?
SV Answer: .099 Michel Telo Ai Se Eu Te Pego .A King safe as houses .Die Heuwels Fantasties klein tambotie boom .Johnny Cash ring of fire .Scooter-the Logical Song
Obzeva.co.za: If people want to assist with fund raising funds for the trip to the ISKA Championships where can people contact you for more information about the tournament?
SV Answer: They can call me on 082 8273 628 or Master West 073 2429 368