Man­gapiko Kung Fu club a win­ner Plenty of awards for club mem­bers of all ages at na­tion­als

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - BY COLIN THORSEN

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.

Photo / Sup­plied

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.

Photo / Sup­plied

Guy Lyons com­pet­ing in the na­tional break­ing com­pe­ti­tion in which he placed third in Hamil­ton.

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