Golden haul for karate club

Central Leader - - SPORT - By BEN ROGERS

A Mt Roskill karate club ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing of a gold rush at this year’s New Zealand Karate Na­tion­als.

The Sho­tokan Shi­to­ryu Karate As­so­ci­a­tion took home a treasure chest of 12 gold, seven sil­ver and eight bronze medals from the com­pe­ti­tion.

The Mt Roskill branch, which meets at Wes­ley In­ter­me­di­ate three times a week, ac­counted for two golds, three sil­vers and five bronze medals.

Sen­sei Johnny Ling, who has been coach­ing karate in New Zealand for 22 years, be­lieves his stu­dents have proven they are per­form­ing at an in­ter­na­tional level.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously it’s be­cause they have a good teacher,’’ Ling laughs.

Ling is an in­ter­na­tional karate ref­eree and has seen the best fight­ers in the world com­pete. He en­joys pass­ing on that knowl­edge to the kids.

‘‘There are so many things to learn, the knowl­edge to learn is so deep and it’s very chal­leng­ing, tech­ni­cal wise, and learn­ing how to be a good teacher.’’

The black belt teacher says karate can teach kids con­fi­dence, fo­cus and lead­er­ship.

Gre­gory Smith’s two daugh­ters at­tend the karate classes and have had huge suc­cess in com­pe­ti­tions since tak­ing up the sport.

‘‘With the help of sen­sei Johnny, my two girls have won over 20 gold medals na­tion­ally and from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion just this year.

‘‘He works hard to up­lift New Zealand karate stan­dards to a global level and wants to bring home a world cham­pion within the next five to six years. The par­ents such as us ap­pre­ci­ate his ef­forts and all as­sist when pos­si­ble.’’

freely

Gold rush: The gold medal win­ners from Sho­tokan Shi­to­ryu Karate As­so­ci­a­tion.

Go to cen­tral­leader. co.nz and click lat­est edi­tion to watch a video of a SSKANZ stu­dent com­pete at na­tion­als.

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