Karate kid kicks competition
She doesn’t perform ‘The Crane’, but Alexandra’s own Karate Kid is taking the world by storm.
Morgan Potter, 15, recently returned from Toronto, Canada with a kumite bronze medal in the 14 to 15-year-old division at the World Karate Championships.
The Dunstan High School year 11 pupil was one of 26 competitors chosen for the competition by world renowned Sensei Ray Irving, of Auckland, after a string of impressive performances at national events.
It was a ‘‘joy’’ and a ‘‘relief’’ to get a medal at her first world champs after being ‘‘very nervous’’ before the tournament and preparing for more than a year, Morgan said.
‘‘It gets quite nerve-racking because it happens so fast. You never know how good they [the opponents] are until you fight them. You have to think about how they are fighting and try and adapt to see how you can get in first without having a point scored on you.’’
The medal was nice but for Morgan, karate was more than a competition.
‘‘[You make] friends for life,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s just given me so much confidence that if I’m in a situation on the street, I can defend myself and I can handle it.’’
Morgan, a first dan black belt, has been learning for about nine years alongside her dad, former New Zealand powerlifting champion Bruce Potter.
She was a ‘‘bit lucky’’ training with him, as it had helped with the physicality that went along with the sport, Morgan said.
Potter was extremely proud of his daughter.
‘‘We’ve been training very, very hard for a long time now. A lot of extra days just one-on-one,’’ he said. ’’To come back with a medal is pretty amazing.’’
Potter, a children’s book author and artist, said the sport was very ‘‘family oriented’’ and it made a difference to children’s confidence.
‘‘It’s a heck of a lot of fun [and] it teaches you a lot of very particular skills. Everybody’s there to help each other out. As long as you’re getting out of it what you want to get out of it, that’s the key.’’
*Karate is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm for beginners, and 6pm to 7pm for brown and black belts, at the St Gerard’s School hall.