Small club gets results
The Japanese Karate Association (JKA) of Matamata came away from the National JKA Championships with 11 trophies.
The club had 11 members compete at the nationals held in Auckland in December, many for the first time.
‘‘ I’m really happy with the results,’’ instructor Danie van der Linde said.
‘‘It’s a small club in a small town but we do make a bit of an impact.’’
Chris and Oscar Falconer won both the kata (form) and kumite (sparring) competitions in their classes, and Rika van der Linde earned a first and a second.
Mr van der Linde said they were now preparing for the next nationals on March 16 and the Hamilton Open on March 30.
JKA Matamata is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month and has about 35 members, ranging in age from 5 to 57.
The club always welcomes new members and can cater for anyone from the age of 5 to the age of 80, Mr van der Linde said.
‘‘We are trying to get more kids involved and to just grow karate as a sport in Matamata,’’ he said.
There is a Grasshopper Group for the 5- to 7-year-olds.
Mr van der Linde’s son Hubert, 7, said it’s ‘‘actually quite a cool sport to be doing’’. ‘‘I just like doing it for fun,’’ he said. Mr van der Linde is an internationally qualified Japanese Karate Association instructor, as well as a ni dan black belt.
In October, he will represent New Zealand at the Japanese Nationals in Tokyo.
For more information on learning JKA in Matamata contact Mr van der Linde on 021 131 0604 or visit jkamatamata.com.