To get wins in Karate is already challenging enough as it is, but to get all the way to the National Titles is something.
William Drakeford, 15, Alan Drakeford, 12, and Jack Newman, 16, competed in the NSW State Titles last weekend at Homebush in the National All Styles Tournament, and after success, they are starting to plan for nationals.
Instructor at Mudgee Martial Arts Geoff Spice, says Mudgee has had a history of success at state and national comps.
“We’ve had a history of always having a good stint at delivery at state and national competitors.”
“It’s good for these kids to take what they learn from their training and put it into practice when they go down to Sydney and try their techniques out against other schools and organisations.”
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The boys have been competing in tournaments also known as selection events throughout the year to qualify for the state titles.
All three boys won preliminary rounds with young Alan finally getting a medal after a long slog of hard work.
“Alan’s height factor led him to never place in a tournament but after three years of competing, he’s been able to win.”
“The buttons switched on and things went his way.”
Up against over 200 competitors, the boys had four events they could compete in at state - point sparring, continuous sparring, Kata/forms, and weaponry.
Alan placed third in Kata and first in point sparring, Will placed second in point sparring and continuous sparring, and Jack placed second in point sparring.
“These boys put the effort in and thank god there’s a reward for it.”
16-year-old Jack Newman who has been training with Spice for six years, says it’s unbelievable he’s got to nationals.
“It just feels unreal.”
Although competing against people with different styles is a challenge, Jack says it’s all about focusing on the opponent.
“When you’re in the fight, it’s basically just you and him,” he guided.
“I mean you do have the coach screaming in the background of course but it’s just eyes on him most of the time.”
“If he takes a step forward I take a step back, if he takes a step back I take a step forward, just got to wait for the opening.”
While state was difficult, Spice says the competition is only going to be more fierce as they progress.
“The further they go, the level of competition gets higher, and more pressure.”
“They will do their best whether it’s enough on the day, it comes down to the referees and opposition.”
“We might have to do some fundraising or something to get them there.”
Nationals are on December 1 and 2 at the Gold Coast.
“It will be exciting,” Jack said.
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