MURAT SARIKUS thrives on Swedish soil

Murat Sarikus is a very prominent Taekwondo practitioner and Martial Art News had a chat with the Turk who now lives in Sweden.

With several national and international medals Murat Sarikus is a top taekwondo practitioner. Martial Art News wanted to know more about Murat’s background, his goals and whether he likes living in Sweden.

– I was born in Istanbul in 1986 and started taekwondo in 99 when I was 13 years old. Since then I have been participating in competitions continuously. I’m a national athlete in both the poomsae and the kyorugi category of taekwondo. I’m a black belt 6th Dan level and a graduate of Marmara University, Faculty of Sports Sciences. I have medals from more than a hundred national and international competitions. In 2012, I was transferred to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Sports Club, which is one of the largest and most important taekwondo clubs in Turkey and the world. They host many world, European and Olympic champion athletes and I still have my active athlete license in Turkey with the same club, he says and continues:

– Taekwondo is a very big and popular sport in Turkey and it is the sport branch with the most licensed athletes after football. We currently have more than 500 000 licensed athletes. Every year we regularly win medals at the World Championships, European Championships and all the Olympics organized from the first Olympics to the last Olympics. In the upcoming Olympics, we will compete with five athletes. I was selected as the athlete of the year in Turkey at the Golden Caretta awards held in Northern Cyprus in 2019.

The passion that Murat has for taekwondo is unmistakable. He truly lives for the sport that he has been practicing since his teenage years. While having high goals for himself, he also wants to be a role model for others.

– Ever since I can remember, I have had a great enthusiasm for individual sports and struggles for success. I think I can express myself in the best way in this sport. It is a sport that requires high physical performance as well as mental strength and determination. Therefore, taekwondo is the right sport that matches my personality. Taekwondo is at the centre of my life, so I care about this sport very much. I have been doing taekwondo regularly for 25 years. And there is not a moment when this sport leaves my mind. I try to train at least five days a week. Of course, the duration, frequency and intensity of my training can vary depending on the competition programme, he says and adds:

– My main goal is to go to the furthest point I can go by pushing my limits to the end. Of course, while doing this, I aim to be a good role model for the people who follow me. So far, I have won many medals in the World Championships and European Championships in this sport. I have hundreds of national and international achievements in total. But still, the most important thing is to create an athlete identity that is appreciated by people for its character and principles as well as its achievements. My main goal is in this direction. My biggest sporting goal this year is to participate in the World Championships in Hong Kong in November and win a medal for my country.

Even though taekwondo is a huge part of his life he also takes time for his other interests that gives him peace of mind.

– Apart from training, I love to walk in nature. Of course, reading books is one of my biggest hobbies. I haven’t tried any other sports, but I think I have a predisposition to many sports in general. I try to do my best in everything I do and try to have as much fun as possible while doing it. In a beautiful country like Sweden, it is very possible for a person to spend quality time for himself and acquire good hobbies.

Murat currently lives in Sweden and has worked as a trainer at a taekwondo club. At the moment, he is in negotiations with another club and does not want to reveal which one until everything is finished.

– In 2022, after competing in the International Swedish Open tournament in Sweden, I received an offer to coach here. I have been dreaming of doing taekwondo in a country other than Turkey for a long time. And Scandinavia was always an option in the corner of my mind. I moved to Sweden in June 2023. I am actively competing by preparing for international competitions. Living here is definitely different from living in Turkey. First of all, Turkey is a very crowded country and more than 16 million people live in Istanbul where I lived. The first thing I noticed in Sweden was the silence and peace. Both the positivity of the people, the high standard of living and the perfect nature make this place really different.

– Budo-Nord is really a world famous big brand. I knew this brand when I was in Turkey. After I came here, I wanted to contact Budo-Nord and sent an e-mail. And I received a really warm welcome. It is really a great pleasure for me to cooperate and work together with such a big brand. Being a member of this brand gives me the feeling of belonging to a big family. I hope that I can achieve great success with Budo-Nord for many years to come and take the brand and myself to greater heights. By using products of brands such as Budo-Nord and Adidas, I feel much more comfortable in the sports I do. I can show my best performance with the quality and ergonomic designs of the products. Currently, my biggest goal this year is to win a medal by participating in the World Championships to be held in Hong Kong in November. For this reason, I continue my work in a planned and programmed manner.

Read about Ji-Pyo Lim

Also read about the Turkish Taekwondo Federation

Tomas Loman

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