A Hutt Valley Karate club struck some big blows at the recent Manawatu championships.
The Ishinryu Karate Club won 10 gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the championships.
Club trainer Phil Laing was delighted with the efforts of his young charge. “For 90% of the 14 entries it was their first big completion. We won gold medals in every class from seven years to 14. For such a small number of people, it was a great effort. Parents were coming to me to say how pleased they were the children’s efforts.”
Mr Laing, who has been training karate for 36 years, says his club has more than 60 members aged from five to 50 who train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at its Pretoria St, Lower Hutt, clubrooms.
“The largest age group is eight to 12 years. But we’ve also got good female and teenage groups.”
He says karate is good for overall fitness, while teach co-ordination, respect and control. Its key moves are kicks, strikes, punches and locks. Defence is important. “The most important thing in a fight is to not get hit. We pride ourselves on technique. We have a high quality of technique.”
He says training is strictly controlled. “We’ve never had any serious injuries.”
Despite perceptions that karate fighters use their skills to chop pieces of wood with their bare hands, Mr Laing says the reality is far different. “If I want to chop wood I get an axe.”
Ishinryu’s fighters are poised for a busy 2012. They will take part in three local competitions early in the year, while the club is also set to be heavily represented at the national championships which are set to be held in July at Porirua’s Te Rauparaha Arena.
In March a group is off to Sydney for a three-day training course in Sydney at which Mr Laing will be a guest instructor.
For more information about Ishinryu Karate e-mail Mr Laing at firstname.lastname@example.org