Kids get their kicks from karate
Manawatu’s bravest were kicking their way to victory at the region’s annual karate championships.
About 150 competitors punched, blocked and kicked their way through the championships, held at St Peter’s College on Sunday.
Palmerston North School of Karate instructor Greg McLachlan said children from the age of 5 to adults 55-plus competed in the event.
Karate kids and adults competed in both kata, a form of self defence, and kumite – free fighting.
Eight clubs from Manawatu, Wellington, Horowhenua and Wairarapa were at the event.
The national karate championships were being held in about two weeks, so many of the participants used the Manawatu event to practise competing.
McLachlan believed karate was among the top eight sports on the world stage.
A former fighter, he had been involved in the sport for the past 36 years.
One of the most rewarding things about being an instructor was seeing the confidence and discipline of children grow as they honed their skills.
‘‘I see all these kids come through and see them all grow up as really good adults. That’s the best thing to see.
‘‘The biggest thing in karate is self disciple and respect,’’ he said.
McLachlan said karate was a lot of fun for all ages and encouraged people to give it a go.
Palmerston North Boys’ High School pupil Waldo Dreyer, 16, had been practising karate for about nine years.
‘‘It’s a way to express yourself in a way that you can’t usually do in front of other people.’’
His confidence in competing and discipline in the sport had grown over the years, he said.
Karate had also taught him patience, learning that you did not always win straight off the bat.
Dreyer was watching on Sunday, unable to compete due to dislocating his shoulder two days beforehand at rugby, but hoped to be able to compete in the upcoming national competition.
Alex Cole competes in the 11 to 13-yearold division of the karate championship.