Australian karate champion for the U/21 over 78kg division, Matt Tickle.
Australian karate champion for the U/21 over 78kg division, Matt Tickle.

Gold for the karate kid

He might look like your average SCU Business student by day, but you wouldn’t want to mess with him in a dark alley. Lismore’s Matt Tickle recently took out the Australian Karate Championship for the U21, over 78kg category in Melbourne.

A few weeks earlier he won the same division at the state titles in Sydney, as well as the senior heavyweight division and was runner up in the men’s open competition.

Karate is not an Olympic Sport so Matt said his goal now is to make the Australian team for the World Championships in Serbia later this year, describing himself as “an outside chance”, but having a better shot for France in 2012.

“I’d be 22 then, which would be a good age to be there,” he said casually.

Matt has been doing karate since he was about 13 and trains up to 10 hours a week in between his university commitments.

Matt’s story is all the more remarkable because he broke his neck in three places while playing rugby two years ago. He was in a brace for six weeks and made a full recovery in just six months.

“I gave away the rugby and took up soccer and pretty much got straight back into the karate,” he said. “I’m a pretty competitive person. I’ve always enjoyed contact sport and the competition of it... when you find something you’re good at you just want to stick at it.”

Matt also praised his training companions Shawn Sivewright, who came fourth in the 14/15 boys open, Dean Morgan, who came second in the 12/13 boys heavyweight, and Ben Morgan, who was second in the 14/15 light heavyweight division.


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