Karate kids pack a real punch

Local karate kid Luke Fawcett was one of many dozens of Northern Rivers martial arts students to gain a huge boost to their confidence last weekend when parents, family and friends cheered them on at an in-house karate tournament in Lismore.

Eleven-year-old Luke joined around 100 other karate students to compete in Success Martial Arts (SMA) Black Belt Academy’s first in-house tournament for 2010 last Saturday, where he won first-place in sparring.

Luke wasn’t the only one who came out of the half-day event smiling; his father, Steve Fawcett, couldn’t wipe the grin off his face.

“I think Luke has gained a lot of self-belief since he started with Success Martial Arts,” Steve said. “He was extremely happy with himself and gained a lot of confidence thanks to Saturday’s tournament.”

Fellow first place winner in weapons and kata divisions, Ken Sharp, also remarked on the increases in both confidence and composure he’s gained from being an SMA competitor, describing the sport as “challenging and improving the way I think about things,” Ken said.

Organiser and chief instructor Richard Marlin said the tournaments, held four times a year, provide a special opportunity for martial artists of all ages and levels to showcase their abilities to their loved ones.

“We take a community-friendly approach to these tournaments and we find them very effective in bringing our dojo and their families together to socialise, enjoy a free vego/non-vego sausage sizzle and generally have a great time,” Richard said.

Richard said the tournaments are about celebrating and rewarding all students’ achievements – nspiring those students who do take part to ‘keep it up’ and those who haven’t yet competed to have a go.

“Families and friends come along and they see how excited and driven students like Luke and Ken are to achieve their goals,” Marlin said. “I think seeing our students so happy and confident inspires other adults, kids and their peers to improve their own strength, fitness and confidence levels through martial arts too.”

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