Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Danielle Jarvis

A ST Marys gym will have two rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the na­tional ju­nior karate cham­pi­onships in Mel­bourne next month.

Humzah Rashidi, 10, of St Marys, and Julian Laine, 7, of St Clair, train with Dou­ble Im­pact Taek­wondo which runs classes at Rev­o­lu­tions Health and Fit­ness Gym in St Marys.

Tracey Laine said she only en­rolled son Julian in taek­wondo to give him some self­de­fence skills.

“It’s wor­ry­ing that this gen­er­a­tion can’t even ride their bikes down the street with­out fear of some­thing hap­pen­ing to them,” Mrs Laine said. ››

“Due to so many kids be­ing kid­napped, or worse, I de­cided to en­rol him and his four-year-old brother in self-de­fence.”

Julian be­gan taek­wondo train­ing just 18 months ago and al­ready has earned a pur­ple belt af­ter be­ing dou­ble-graded twice.

“His sen­sai sug­gested we put him in his first tour­na­ment to give him con­fi­dence and purely for the fact that he be­lieved he was good enough,” Mrs Laine said.

Julian placed first in NSW for the sword com­bat event at the In­ter­na­tional Sport Karate As­so­ci­a­tion’s (ISKA) Aus­tralian Open in Liver­pool last month.

“I’m so proud of him,” Mrs Laine said.

“I think he will do well at the Aus­tralian ti­tles.

“Whether or not he gets all the way, I’m just so proud and I wish him luck. ”

Mrs Laine said Julian’s first love soc­cer had been left at the way­side as his pas­sion for taek­wondo grew.

The Aus­tralian Open com­pe­ti­tion also saw tea­mate Humzah Rashidi place sec­ond in the state for the point spar­ring com­pe­ti­tion.

Humzah’s mum Ka­t­rina Cof­fee said she was ner­vous watch­ing him com­pete, but she was con­fi­dent even be­fore he set foot on the mat.

“Humzah has been train­ing for the last 12 months or so,” Ms Cof­fee said.

“He told me ‘I’m go­ing to walk away with a tro­phy to­day mum’.

“He’s got a lot of am­bi­tion.”

Ms Cof­fee said she could see Humzah study­ing his op­po­nents’ moves and us­ing them to his ad­van­tage.

“He has more com­po­sure than a lot of other kids his age,” she high­lighted.

As a re­sult of their high achieve­ments, Julian and Humzah were in­vited to com­pete in the more se­ri­ous ISKA Aus­tralian cham­pi­onships at the Whit­lam Leisure Cen­tre, Liver­pool, on Sun­day, Novem­ber 27.

Humzah Rashidi and Julian Laine pre­pare at Rev­o­lu­tions Gym in St Marys for the na­tional karate ti­tles later this month. Pic­ture: Justin San­son

Humzah Rashidi and Julian Laine.

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