Nelson College student Adam Schwass is a walking weapon.
The 15-year-old recently won the best overall black belt at the South Island Taekwondo Regionals held in Christchurch in May.
Adam defeated a former New Zealand rep in a closely-fought final.
“It was a pretty even fight, we were both running each other around.”
He says a few well directed head kicks and punches helped make his score a winning one.
The young fighter says his victory was the result of many months of hard work.
“I went there with the mindset to win,” he says.
Adam finished the competition with a medal haul of two gold and one silver, to go with his 15 points and best overall black belt.
He will now head to the nationals in Wellington next month before going to Australia in September for the TKD World Cup.
His short career only started five years ago.
He has since enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks, ticking off 10 different belts before earning his black belt in December last year.
Adam says it had been a long journey, but a fulfilling one.
“A lot of effort goes in and it can be hard to find the time to train outside of school.”
Adam says his fighting strength is his fitness.
“I’m able to keep up with the fight for the full rounds.”
He says you can have all the strength and technique, but if you can’t last the distance you will not be a successful fighter.
He says self-control and not using what he has learnt out in the street are key.
“The club itself is like a family, everyone is supportive of each other.”
Next year, a New Zealand team will travel to Germany for an international tournament.
“My goal is to be in that team,” Adam says.