Moranbah Shotokan Karate Club students Huey Head (16), Roger Head (15), Kya Mills (16), and Ethan Condon (15), who have been training for over six years and graded to Shodan (First Dan Blackbelt) last year.
Moranbah Shotokan Karate Club students Huey Head (16), Roger Head (15), Kya Mills (16), and Ethan Condon (15), who have been training for over six years and graded to Shodan (First Dan Blackbelt) last year. Contributed

Students taking on the world

THIS will be the first year in a while Moranbah Shotokan Karate Club sensei Craig Rafferty has not competed at the world titles for his sport.

Instead, four of his students have been selected to compete in next year's SKIF World Championships in the Czech Republic.

Rafferty, who has practised shotokan karate for 32 years and competed at world titles in Athens, Sydney and Jarkarta (where he placed third in kumite), said he was "very proud” of his pupils, who all attend Moranbah State High.

"I basically just love teaching. It's brilliant passing it on to the kids. It's the discipline and the respect they learn for themselves and everybody around them, and the self-defence is a pretty good bonus as well,” he said.

"They learn strength, speed, agility, movements and techniques.”

The students competing from July 15-21 are: Kya Mills in the 16-17 years kumite; Ethan Condon in 16-17 years kumite and kata; Roger Head in 14-15 years kata; and Hughie Head in 16-17 years Kumite.

With training now increased from four hours a week to nine hours a week, Rafferty said the team had a "few big months ahead of us”.

Karate students
Karate students Contributed

Kya, who has been training for seven years, said she loved shotokan karate and was looking forward to representing her region and her club at the world championships as part of the Australian team with about 50 other competitors.

She has previously competed at Central Queensland championships, state championships and at nationals.

"I've held a title for first in kumite. Kumite is between two people and it's controlled contact, so we punch and kick but it's controlled.

"This is the first year I've been chosen (for the world titles) - it's the first year for all of us. We just got our black belts last year and you have to be black belt to be on the team.

"We've just started doing squad training in the mornings to get our extra practice in.

"It is a growing sport and it's a sport that no one really does in Australia. I like it because you get to learn agility, strength and you learn about discipline, so it's good for parents who want to help their children.

"I hope to do it for a long time.”


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