National title is 19 years in the making
IT WAS 19-years in the making, but it was worth every minute according to Guy Thrupp.
The Proserpine local recently claimed the middleweight open championship at the 38th annual Australia Kyokushin Karate Association’s Australian Open Full and Non Contact Karate Tournament earlier this month. The 24year-old is a member of the Proserpine Kyokushin Karate Club, and credits the win in Sydney as the greatest achievement in his career.
Thrupp attended the event in 2006 and 2010, finishing as a runner-up in a junior tournament before placing third upon returning for the full contact middleweight division. “It was a pretty good feeling. I’d been runner-up a fair few times [at other tournaments] so it feels good to come out on top,” he said.
“I fought a blackbelt from Sydney in the second round and then a Polish champion in the final...it [winning] has been a long time coming.”
Thrupp’s karate journey began aged five, when he was eager to follow in the footsteps of his siblings.
“My brother and sister used to go to karate. They were going along and I thought I was missing out, so they decided to take me along,” he said.
“I wanted to quit after a cou- ple of years because I was sick and tired of it, but my father said ‘when you can beat me in a fight, you can stop’. I’ve been going ever since.”
Thrupp said he only started enjoying karate at 17, at which point he was inspired to get the best out of himself, which prompted a trip to Japan.
In April last year Thrupp travelled to Okinawa where he trained under several shihans.
“It was pretty intense,” he said.
“They start off really young over there and the level is pretty high. I’m pretty good around here but when you get over there it equals in terms of ability.”
Since then Thrupp has twice fought at the All Japan Championships, the tournament to go to according to the former Proserpine High School student, securing a top 16 and a top eight finish.
After all these years, it’s understandable the sport has transformed into more than an average hobby for Thrupp – who trains every day across both karate and mixed martial arts.
“It’s a lifestyle. I’ll probably train until I cannot walk anymore,” he said.
Thrupp’s next mission is a national event for the Australian Kyokushin Federation in December.