Karate kids ex­cel at kata

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - Peter Carruthers Peter.Carruthers@ news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

KARATE: The kids of the Can­non­vale kyokushin karate dojo are cel­e­brat­ing af­ter bring­ing home a huge haul of sil­ver­ware from a kata tour­na­ment in Mackay last Satur­day.

To­gether with sis­ter kyokushin do­jos based on Hamilton Is­land and in Proser­pine, young Whit­sun­day mar­tial arts stu­dents are prov­ing they have what it takes to beat the best in the state.

Fif­teen-year-old com­peti­tor Ryan Stephens took out first place in the 14–16 year old divi­sion pair kata with his brother Liam and placed third in the brown belt se­cond kyu com­pe­ti­tion.

Stephens has been a kyokushin karate stu­dent since he was five years old.

“Ever since I started it I loved it,” he said.

He said he en­joyed the dis­ci­pline, train­ing and the ca­ma­raderie of com­pet­ing with team mates.

“And knock­ing peo­ple out is good too.

“Tour­na­ments are re­ally awe­some be­cause you ei­ther win or you lose and los­ing isn't re­ally los­ing be­cause it makes you try harder next time.

Stephens said kata is a non-con­tact set of move­ments used to demon­strate tech­nique which are eval­u­ated by a panel of judges.

■ Jada Har­ri­son se­cond 11–13yrs white 7th kyu

■ Ryan Stephens first 14–16yrs 3rd kyu and above

■ Liam Stephens equal se­cond 14–16yrs 3rd kyu and above

■ Nate Har­ri­son se­cond pair kata white 7th kyu

■ Ryan Tay­lor se­cond pair kata white 7th kyu

■ Liam To­mas first pair kata 6th kyu 4th kyu

■ Jonathan Heat­ley first pair kata 6th kyu 4th kyu

■ Liam Stephens first pair kata 3rd kyu and above

■ Ryan Stephens first pair kata 3rd kyu and above

■ Se­bas­tian Heat­ley se­cond pair kata 3rd kyu and above

■ Jack Wil­son se­cond pair kata 3rd kyu and above

“It in­volves a lot of prac­tis­ing to get ev­ery tech­nique per­fect.”

Stephens also won the over­all best kata in Mackay.

“It was pretty great be­cause there were lots of black belt head hon­cho sort of peo­ple. Win­ning is cool but it was also cool to show that I can do my best and beat the peo­ple higher up,” he said.

The Can­non­vale dojo had a to­tal of 24 com­peti­tors travel to Mackay. Sen­sei Belinda Wood­ham said she was pleased at the form of ev­ery stu­dent.

“We are ex­tremely proud of their ef­forts both on the day and in train­ing lead­ing up to this event,” she said.

“They all went very well. We have some kids that have only just started train­ing and are only white belts do well.

“The tourn­i­ments are about giv­ing ev­ery­one a go not just send­ing in the elite.

“I was proud of the whole lot of them, not just the award win­ners.”

PHOTO: PETER CARRUTHERS

KARATE KIDS: Nate Har­ri­son, Johnathon Heat­ley, Liam To­mas, Jack Wil­son, Ryan Stephens, Se­bas­tian Heat­ley, Liam Stephens, Jada Har­ri­son and Ryan Tay­lor with their haul from a re­cent tour­na­ment in Mackay.

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