Mangapiko Kung Fu club a winner Plenty of awards for club members of all ages at nationals
Nine members of the Mangapiko Club collectively came away with two titles, one runner-up and three third placings from the National Nam Wah Pai Kung Fu Tournament in Hamilton.
“I was so proud of all our team members,” said Mangapiko head instructor, Gavin Fuszard.
“They all put their best out there, some narrowly missing out on trophies, but always acting with great sportsmanship and camaraderie.”
One of the stand-out performers was 7-year-old Nixon Ward, winner of the Kata competition — a set of movements to demonstrate techniques. They are learned in sequence as students advance through the belt levels. The Kata competitions are judged at belt level and open to all ages within the belt range. Kids and adults are judged together.
So when young Ward took out the all-comers event to win the Kata 2, yellow to green belt class, a roof-lifting cheer exploded from the Mangapiko supporters.
Fuszard led by example, winning the men’s free-sparring 1st degree black belt and above class. He had his students and club supporters holding their breath as he stumbled in his second fight with a calf injury — but he worked through it to win that fight and his next fight to clinch the national title.
Gary Ward took third place in the men’s free-sparring blue to red belt class.
The 1st degree black belt and above competitions are always a crowd favourite.
Fuszard added to his win in free-sparring with third place in the Broadsword Kata.
The breaking competition again proved it was anyone’s game on the day. Although first place was quickly decided due to elimination, the next two placings required increasingly complicated kicks on different board configurations. It was a jumping spinning back kick on two boards that proved the undoing for Guy Lyons, relegating him to third place.
Guy Lyons and Nikita Lyons combined to participate in the set competition, a two-person, self-choreographed sequence demonstrating good Nam Wah Pai technique and application. An acceptable standard is also one of the requirements of the black belt grading that Nikita is working towards. It was a double victory when they achieved second place and a step closer for Nikita achieving her next belt level.
Rocco Ward, Nixon Ward, Charlie Gibson, and Jack Mauriohooho represented the club in the free-sparring peewees class.
“At this age, it is often hard for the kids just to get in the ring,” said head coach Fuszard. “I am really proud of how well each and every one of our peewees competed.”
In the juniors class Ethan Walters and Rocco Ward were up against older and higher graded competitors.
“Both performed really well and had some exceptional fights. They will be better for the experience,” said Fuszard. Nikita Lyons competed in the women’s brown to black belt class.
Mangapiko Nam Wah Pai trains at the Mangapiko Hall, Monday and Wednesday 6pm to 7.30pm. Contact club head instructor Gavin Fuszard on 027 27 88 777.
Mangapiko Nam Wah Pai members who did their club proud competing at the national Kung Fu tournament in Hamilton. From left, back row: Nikita Lyons, Guy Lyons, Gary Ward, Gavin Fuszard; front row: Rocco Ward, Nixon Ward, Ethan Walters, Jack Mauriohooho. Absent from photo: Charlie Gibson.
Guy Lyons competing in the national breaking competition in which he placed third in Hamilton.