Karate kids excel at kata
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.”
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.