Female Champions

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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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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2011 Champion - Sherry Bower

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As Australians, we've always had great admiration for the 'battler', the competitor who doesn't have it easy right from the start, the one who has the biggest hurdle to clear. We celebrate courage, persistence, and a never-say-die attitude above all else. It's no wonder that a lot of spectators left the recent National All Styles Australian Championships feeling inspired, for this time around the Champion of Champions titles were taken, in both the male and female divisions, by competitors who narrowly missed out on victory the year before. Blitz spoke to karate aces Sherry Bower and Delio Senatore to get an insight into their winning ways.

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2010 Champion - Amber Wilson

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Pride swelled in the heart of 20-year-old Amber Wilson as she emerged victorious after her eighth and final bout at the recent National All Styles Championships held late last year. Climbing onto the winner's podium she felt a mixture of exhaustion and elation, and was reminded once again why she loves competitive karate so much. Blitz caught up with her to find out how she became a champion.

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2009 Champion - Samantha Palmer

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The 2009 National All-Styles Australian Championships came to a thrilling conclusion in Melbourne on 28–29 November, with Luke Croxford walking away with the men’s Champion of Champions belt, and Samantha Palmer amazingly picking up a record-breaking third straight Champion of Champions win. We talked to these karate champions to find out more about their winning ways.

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