Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Unstoppabl­e martial arts

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Not even COVID-19 can stop the Murray Riverina martial arts scene.

Not only did members of the All Stars Martial Arts Academy Murray Riverina (Deniliquin and Finley dojos) continue to achieve higher grades during the public health orders last year, but they have maintained local and broader connection­s with the martial arts community.

On March 24 and 25, Kancho Rod Catterrall travelled to Deniliquin and Finley for the first time in more than two years to host training sessions and present an award.

A ‘Kancho’ is the head of a family of martial arts groups.

Catterrall presented Dai Senpai (teacher) Kaili Anderson with the Sensei Brad Fragiacomo Memorial Achievemen­t for ‘most achieved’ in 2022.

And while the gym has been truly bustling this year as COVID restrictio­ns eased, dojo students had a 2021 worth boasting about.

During COVID travel restrictio­ns late last year, All Stars Martial Arts Academy Finley and Deniliquin dojos hosted the first ever martial arts gradings over Zoom video conferenci­ng.

Students from the Southern Riverina towns would normally travel to the national All Stars Head Office Dojo in East Bentleigh, Melbourne, to be tested and graded to achieve a new rank.

In normal conditions prior to COVID, hundreds of karate students would attend the gradings.

The Murray Riverina Region was proud to see locals Kylie Hayes, Lillianne Jansen, Laura Hayes and Jake Harvey achieving Sho Dan Ho (Black Belt).

Student William King achieved his second tip towards his black belt — a tip grade marks 12 months training towards a rank.

Zachary King, Kaili Anderson and Erica Hayes achieved Ni Dan (second degree Black Belt), and Abbie Wallace achieved her first tip toward that same rank.

Nick Stubbings achieved second tip and Nathan Ho achieved first tip towards San Dan (third degree Black Belt).

Zachary King, Kaili Anderson and Erica Hayes was also presented with the honor grade of Dai Senpai.

“This is a Japanese term of respect, meaning teacher’s assistant, as they are very important instructor­s and role models to the students at the Deniliquin dojo,” Zrajko said.

Kylie Hayes was presented with a very special award, the Ishoa Cross, presented after nomination by a club instructor.

A student can become entitled to the cross by displaying the seven virtues of Bushido: rectitude, courage, benevolenc­e, respect, honesty, honour and loyalty.

“Once the student has been assessed by the club’s Instructor, in this case myself, and the

head of school Kancho Rod Catterall, and the hierarchy are in agreement, the cross is presented without warning,” Zrajko said.

“This is the first cross pendant that has been presented by myself to one of my students.”

The Sensei Brad Fragiacomo Memorial Achievemen­t Award was presented to Lillianne Jansen for 2021.

This award is presented each year in Deniliquin on the anniversar­y of Sensei Brad’s passing. Sensei Brad was Kyoshi Mick Fragiacomo’s first Sensei and more importantl­y, his son.

Zrajko congratula­ted all participan­ts for their achievemen­ts last year and is excited to lead them in 2022.

This year, Deniliquin and Finley dojos added a sparring class to the timetable to complement karate training.

‘‘Sparring is a form of training where students make the motions of boxing, kickboxing or MMA, without landing heavy blows,

to develop skills for either competitio­n or real-life defence situations,’’ Shihan (head of school) Daniel Zrajko said.

‘‘We are planning on hosting our own fight nights in the dojo this year as a fun sporting activity for our more competitiv­e students to participat­e in.

‘‘We have a boxing ring already set up in the dojo and will invite spectators to watch these events also.’’

 ?? ?? Kancho Rod Catterrall presented Dai Senpai (teacher) Kaili Anderson with the Sensei Brad Fragiacomo Achievemen­t for ‘most achieved’ in 2022.
Kancho Rod Catterrall presented Dai Senpai (teacher) Kaili Anderson with the Sensei Brad Fragiacomo Achievemen­t for ‘most achieved’ in 2022.
 ?? ?? Students kneel before Kancho Rod Catterrall.
Students kneel before Kancho Rod Catterrall.
 ?? ?? The All Stars Martial Arts class.
The All Stars Martial Arts class.

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