Stereo train­ing fo­cused cham­pion

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

To sim­u­late what young karate kid Daylin Isaac would have to en­dure at world cham­pi­onship level, his dad, John, re­sorted to an un­usual train­ing method.

‘‘Be­cause I knew there would be loud­speak­ers, mu­sic, and a lot of other noise, we did a lot of train­ing in front of the blar­ing stereo,’’ he said.

‘‘I think it was re­ally good to make sure Daylin kept that fo­cus.’’

And keep his fo­cus he did – the Ti­tahi Bay nine-year-old came home from the re­cent Go-Kan-Ryu Karate World Cham­pi­onships in Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land, with two gold medals for his kata and ku­mite con­tests.

Al­ready a na­tional cham­pion, the young red belt beat more than 100 other com­peti­tors from around the world for his ti­tles.

Af­ter eight months’ train­ing at his dojo – he at­tends three GKR dojo, prac­tis­ing five days a week – and with dad at home, all the work paid off.

There was plenty of fundrais­ing done in the year lead­ing up to the tour­na­ment, too.

‘‘I’ve never been to a gi­ant event like this,’’ Daylin said.

‘‘It was so loud, I could not even hear what my dad or sen­sei were say­ing and I was re­ally ner­vous. But I tried to just look straight ahead [in the kata] and con­cen­trate on my op­po­nent [in the ku­mite], block­ing it all out.’’

In kata, fight­ers are ex­pected to show off their tech­ni­cal abil­i­ties with a pre-ar­ranged se­quence of of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive move­ments. It is con­sid­ered the true essence of the art. Ev­ery­thing from where the fists and knees are placed, pos­ture and even the uni­form are as­sessed.

With ku­mite, com­peti­tors face off and, with no con­tact al­lowed, try to strike their op­po­nent in the body or head with a punch, back-fist or kick.

In Birm­ing­ham, with both kata and ku­mite on the same day (July 9) for Daylin, he won six con­sec­u­tive bouts to col­lect the ku­mite gold medal.

‘‘ There were some close fights,’’ John said.

‘‘But the hard train­ing he put in and staying fo­cused, get­ting sup­port from other peo­ple – it all came to­gether.

‘‘This was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for Daylin and I’m re­ally proud.’’

John signed his son up in 2007 af­ter get­ting a knock on the door from a sen­sei try­ing to drum up busi­ness.

‘‘Daylin’s quite small and he was get­ting picked on at school, so I thought some sort of self-de­fence would be good, in case he gets into any strife. Karate could help him get out of a sit­u­a­tion with­out get­ting hurt.’’

Daylin said he thought karate was ‘‘just about fight­ing’’, but en­joys the ca­ma­raderie and dis­ci­pline he has learnt. He hopes to achieve his brown belt in the com­ing weeks.

Na­tion­als take place in Auck­land in Novem­ber, be­fore the Aus­tralasian cham­pi­onships later that month.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Fight­ing fit: Ti­tahi Bay’s Daylin Isaac might only be nine years old, but he al­ready has plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt in Go-Kan-Ryu Karate.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Game face: Daylin Isaac found him­self up against the best the world had to of­fer in GKR’s world champs in Eng­land, but won through to the fi­nal on July 9, where he came out on top.

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