Stereo training focused champion
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.
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.
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.