The 2020 Summer Course boasted itself as being 'an exceptional experience' and six Mudgee Martial Arts students can vouch for that.
On March 6, the squad ventured to Wollongong to both learn and compete in what the three day event had to offer, getting a taste of the high end of the international karate standard.
The majority of those who went made high mentions of the star attraction, the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Oceania Champion Barney Gill who will represent the Oceania region at the 2020Olympics, some even getting the chance to compete alongside him.
"Point sparring was my favourite because Barney Gill was in our team, you could see where the standard is in the sport, it was really eye opening," William Drakeford said.
"He [Gill] was our coach for sparring for the whole three days, he taught us loads of new techniques, it was really good," Allen Drakeford, who was awarded with the 2020 Junior Student of the Course award, said.
In addition to the star factor element, it was a chance to learn alongside other elite athletes from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji that made the trip worthwhile.
"The people that were there were really top level and they wanted to teach us which was awesome," Hayden Lowe said.
"Even though there were a few competitions, it was really focused on learning, I found it really gave me some more skills," Jessica Newman said.
"I learnt a lot of things like new sparring moves and weapons," Arnab Ghosh.
One of the Fiji athletes was really nice but I wouldn't want to get in a fight with him because he's very impressive on the mat.Jack Newman
"It was also really entertaining seeing some of the senseis going up against other people," Jack Newman said.
"It was insane to see the people who would be teaching us practice what they preach."