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Interview with George Tzanos

03/09 2015

George Tzanos was born in Thessaloniki in Greece, currently lives in Athens. He started with karate at the age of 5 years. He loves extreme sports and among his leisure times activities belong also Judo, wrestling, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, boxing and Taekwondo.

1st place World Games 2009 Taiwan
3rd place World Games 2013 Colombia
2nd place Combat Games 2010 Beijing
2nd place European Games 2015 Azerbaijan
3rd place World Championship

European titles
1st place 2007 juniors , Turkey
2nd place 2008 , Estonia
3rd place 2009 , Croatia
2nd place 2010 Greece
3rd place 2011 , Switzerland
1st place 2012 , Spain
2nd place 2013 , Hungary
1st place 2014 , Finland
2nd place European Games 2015, Azerbaijan

Do you remember the feeling when you first time put on the karate gi? When was it and where?
Yes. I remember it was an unforgettable moment. I still remember that I was so happy that I was wearing the gi everywhere and I was showing to my parents all the time. I started when I was 6 years old in my first karate dojo in Athens, next to my house.

Where do you train now? Who is your trainer?
Now I train in Athens, at my coach´s place Aris Kravvaritis, one of the best coach of Greece. Than in Sparta with Kostas Gouvousis, my national coach, who is also for me one of the best coaches in the world. I train also with my teammates in my new karate club In TKA (Tzanos karate Academy) and with my good friend Triantafyllis in his own club.

When you were a kid, were you a nice kid or did you like to fight?
I was nice, but to tell you the truth I had to fight often, because like a kid I had some troubles in my school. Fighting was helping me a lot to get the respect that all kids must have for themselves. Of course since I grew up, I realized, that fighting is not the solution, but unfortunately sometimes you can't avoid it.

You won your first Greek national title when you was 13 years old and since than you have never lost it. How important is this tournament for you?
It's very important for me and I will try to keep this for as long as I can.

Can you tell us how your training before tournament looks like?
I work lot on technical part, speed, stamina and power long time before competition. And short time before I work on my tactical, reflex and psychological part. But always I try to change some things and put some new ideas from other sports and martial arts. This thing helps me to feel refreshed and enjoy every moment of my preparation.

Do you also pay special attention to nutrition? Or do you eat anything you want?
I pay a lot of attention to nutrition. Nutrition is the second university that I am studying now. For me it is the most important thing in our life. Everything starts from nutrition, Everything

How many sit ups do you do during training?
I don't remember exactly, but I think it's a lot.

You have won a lot of medals at European and World Championships.Which one is your favourite?And what is the most intense experience which you have from the tournaments?
I had won a lot of european medals. From 2008 until today including European Games 2015 I have had medals every year. This is big pleasure for me. I also won World Games 2009 and I took medal also in 2013. About world championship in senior I was very unlucky until now cause always something happened to me some days before world championships and I couldn't win yet the official world championship. But I will fight for that with all my heart. Even at the last World Championships in Bremen I was feeling so good and one month before I make surgery to my hand and I couldn't compete. The best moment for me is always the feeling of first place and nothing less.

How do you celebrate your wins?
Unfortunately I don't celebrate often cause after one win you have to think to the next competition and be focus on that. But when I am very happy I organise some good parties to celebrate it with my friends and my family.

At European Games in Baku you have won 2nd place. How did you like that tournament? What was good or bad? And how difficult was it for you to reach the finals?
In Baku, it was very strong competition. All sportsmens were very well prepared and focused cause for karate it was something like European Olympics. I felt very well and focused. I lost in the final from Azerbaijan in the decision by hantei, I keep only my mistakes and I move on.

What is your favourite technique? How do you practise it?
I have a lot of favorite techniques and sometimes I like to train it alone.

Have you ever used karate in real life as self defence?
Unfortunately yes, but I hope I will never need to use it again.

Do you also do another sports besides karate?
Yes. I like football, beach and extreme sports and beside karate I love to train another martial arts, like BJJ, MMA, wrestling, Judo, taekwondo and boxing.

Which place in Greece would you recommend to our readers to visit?
Our islands are so beautiful. Every island is special with a lot of beautiful things to see. I recommend to all people to spend their holidays there. They gonna love it.

Are you preparing for your next tournament in the near future?
Now we have only some open karate competitions, after the European Championships and after the World Championships.


Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best in the future. Karate Live