Na­tional ti­tle is 19 years in the mak­ing

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

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.

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