Karate kid sets sights on glory
She’s only 8 years old but Charm McKinnon can already call herself a New Zealand champion.
After taking the top spot in the Waikato for her age, the Huntly West School student won the New Zealand Kyokushin Karate Full Contact championship in the girls 8 years and 9 years division.
She was part of the 11-member team in the nationals held late May, where seven came away with placings
Head student Lucas McKinnon retained his national heavy weight kumite, freestyle fighting, champion title for the fourth time in a row, and was overall champion.
Kyokushin karate is a traditional Japanese style martial art known as the ‘‘strongest karate’’ and focuses on the development of character with the physical aspects following.
With the financial help of her school and local organisations, the young yellow belt athlete is geared up to fight in Brisbane on August 28 at the Australian Championships.
The tournament will host fighters from as young as 5-years old to over 40-years old.
Her uncle Lucas and aunty Danielle Dixon, also from Huntly, will also compete.
In 2014, Lucas claimed the 2014 Australian Super Heavy title along with the Yokozuna Grand Champion prize.
‘‘It was hard when I first started but it's starting to get easy.’’
Now it seems Charm is following his footsteps.
A fierce competitor, Charm started the sport three years ago at the family-run Rahui Pokeka Kyokushin Karate Club.
‘‘It was hard when I first started but it’s starting to get easy,’’ Charm said.
At the Wellington event where she claimed the national title, she fought two competitors who were different heights.
It was a challenge but Charm said she found various techniques to win.
Charm’s grandparents Lorraine Silbery-McKinnon, Edwin McKinnon and her uncle Lucas are veterans in the sport and she trains alongside her cousins, uncles, aunties and brothers.
It’s hard work for this determined youngster - she trains up to six days a week at the dojo and a home gym at her grandparents’ house. But she still manages to squeeze in the time to play netball and dance.
It’s apparent there is no stopping Charm on her quest for a black belt - and she’s already half way there.
In just a three years, Charm McKinnond is making a name for herself in the sport kyokushin karate