High Velocity achievers
‘It's a neat feeling to be a part of a team like ours'
Velocity Kickboxing members went in boots and all as they fought their way through the recent World Karate Organisation Shinkyokushinkai NZ 2022 Kokoro Cup tournament in Napier.
The event was organised and run by the Napier based New Zealand representative for the World Karate organisation Shinkyokushinkai.
Velocity Kickboxing trainer David Jackson says Shinkyokushinkai is the largest Kyokushin organisation around the world with the most difficult level of open full contact karate competition. “Our Velocity fighters were going up against some of the best in the South Pacific region.”
Velocity was the only kickboxing club to attend the karate rules competition, with seven competitors participating and achieving a first and third place in respective divisions.
“Seventeen-year-old Mark Zyskowski and 15-year-old Saraid Murphy did exceptionally well as Saraid had never previously had a fight and was against girls with years of fighting experience. Mark has had three previous kickboxing bouts and narrowly lost each of them so this was a huge step up in performance from him.”
David says his Velocity Kickboxing team was invited to the event, held at the Meeanee Indoor Sports Centre, and included David Rogan, Brayden O'Sullivan, Jayden Jackson, Saraid Murphy and Mark Zyskowski.
“We also had coaching staff Nicole Kavanagh, Lee Perry and myself, plus supporters from the club to cheer everyone on,” David says.
He says Shinkyokushin fighting tournaments are based on bare knuckle, full contact knock down rules.
“You win by causing damage to the other fighter resulting in their being unable to continue.”
Around 150 participants took part in the competition, with Velocity members increasing their training leading up to the event.
“We train Muay Thai striking twice a week for usually an hour each time. Most competing upped this to two hours, with strength and conditioning becoming compulsory for an hour each week as well.
“Mark is also doing cardio conditioning training at least once a week.”
Mark entered Division 2 Colts and Saraid entered Girls Division 2, with Mark fighting and winning against a Shinkyokushin fighter from Napier and a Kyokushin fighter fromWIKKA Kyokushin Karate in Hastings.
Saraid fought and won her first round against a Kyokushin fighter from WIKKA Kyokushin Karate in Hastings and fought and lost to the division winner from Shinkyokushin in Hastings.
These results won Mark a gold and Saraid a bronze in their divisions.
David describes the competition as very tough.
“Many of the fighters are New Zealand and/or Australian champions, South Pacific representatives and many with world tournament experience. Across the tournament it was mostly bumps and bruises, but in our team David got a slight crack in his patella and Brayden broke his thumb. ”
He says full contact fighting is exciting but scary.
“We grow a lot from conquering our fears. All our participants pushed past any fear and competed to a very high standard.
‘‘Everyone was full of smiles and we were all very proud of each other after the event.”
David believes anyone who fights deserves respect for doing so. “It's a neat feeling to be a part of a team like ours at a big event like this, everyone really gets behind each other. We step onto the mats to compete alone, but you know there's a whole massive team behind you. We all work closely together in preparation for competition and its a bit like a big family.”
Velocity Kickboxing has been invited to more karate competitions as a result of their team's performance and conduct throughout this competition, David says. “That is super exciting for us. All who took part from our club are very keen to be involved in more competitions like this.” He says their success in this competition is inspirational.
“It inspires me. I think it lights a fire in all the coaches and potential fighters. Success breeds more success. We would love to see more Hawke's Bay youth active and creating success in their lives and working hard towards a goal.
“If you have kids or teens you're looking to get into kickboxing, feel free to reach out to us on our Facebook page or by text. Velocity Kickboxing is fantastic for fitness, strength, confidence, discipline and making a great group of friends.”