Profiles

2014 Champion - Khai Tran

 

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It’s often the perception in life that bigger is better, but it’s not always the case that bigger creates better. While some martial artists want to train at the biggest gyms in the country, some of the best athletes around can be found training in some of the smallest schools. Sensei Ettore Senatore, his son Delio and close friend Khai Tran run Seishin-Ryu Karate-do Australia, a small school in Queensland that packs a big punch. Their dominance on the NAS tournament circuit over the past few years brings an old saying to mind — ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.’

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2014 Champion - Kahlia Smith

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It’s a story often told by retired athletes: the camaraderie of a team and the excitement of competing before a roaring crowd make the lure of competition hard to fight. As a result, we often see great athletes come out of retirement with varied levels of success but often as shadows of their former selves. Kahlia Smith is a rare exception, having returned to competition after a six-year hiatus to produce a series of stellar performances, culminating in her capture of the 2014 National All Styles Champion of Champions title. Blitz spoke to Kahlia about her return to competition and what’s next for the comeback queen.

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2013 Champion - Nicki Kennedy

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Throughout the history of competition, the bitter taste of defeat has proven too much for many an athlete to swallow. After three consecutive runners-up finishes in the annual National All Styles Champion of Champions finals, you could forgive Queensland’s Nicki Kennedy for thinking it perhaps wasn’t meant to be. Unperturbed, Kennedy decided to once again test her skills against Australia’s top martial artists at NAS in 2013 and finally broke through to claim the open-weight title she had long pursued — not to say that she wasn’t already a winner, having already bagged a whopping six consecutive NAS Black-belt middleweight titles.

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2013 Champion - Khai Tran

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At the end of every year, Black-belt martial artists from across the country duke it out on the battleground known as the National All Styles Australian Championships, vying for the coveted title of NAS Champion of Champions — aka the best open-weight point-fighter Down Under. The men’s contest had been dominated by talented Queenslander Delio Senatore for the previous two years, but in 2013 the reigning champ was outdone by training partner Khai Tran, who made it a hat trick for their club, Seishin Ryu Karate. Now looking to make it four in a row in 2014, Tran recently chatted to Blitz about his inspirations, his training methods and the secret behind Sensei Ettore Senatore’s knack for producing top sport-karate fighters.

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2012 Champion - Natasha Gaspersz

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Year in, year out, the National All Styles Championship manages to attract the country's top martial artists and unites them through exhilarating competition with participants gunning for the prestigious title of Champion of Champions. The 2012 championship served up a slew of electrifying contests featuring some fresh, up-and-coming talent as well as some familiar faces. At the end of the weekend, Delio Senatore of Seishin-Ryu Karate-Do solidified his billing as one of NAS' all-time greatest fighters, lifting the Champion of Champion's trophy for the second year running. Fighting just as hard as her male counterparts, NAS rookie Natasha Gaspersz of Go-Kan-Ryu karate emphatically announced herself to the competition by taking the female title. Blitz caught up with the two champions to talk about their wins, training and what it takes to be the best of the best.

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2012 Champion - Delio Senatore

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Year in, year out, the National All Styles Championship manages to attract the country's top martial artists and unites them through exhilarating competition with participants gunning for the prestigious title of Champion of Champions. The 2012 championship served up a slew of electrifying contests featuring some fresh, up-and-coming talent as well as some familiar faces. At the end of the weekend, Delio Senatore of Seishin-Ryu Karate-Do solidified his billing as one of NAS' all-time greatest fighters, lifting the Champion of Champion's trophy for the second year running. Fighting just as hard as her male counterparts, NAS rookie Natasha Gaspersz of Go-Kan-Ryu karate emphatically announced herself to the competition by taking the female title. Blitz caught up with the two champions to talk about their wins, training and what it takes to be the best of the best.

Read more: 2012 Champion - Delio Senatore

 
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