2013 National All Styles Australian Championships

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14-15 December 2013 Sydney Olympic Park

A thrilling weekend of great martial arts action was on the cards for young and old as New South Wales proudly played host to the 2013 NAS National Championships at Sydney Olympic Park.

This prestigious event, played out over 14-15th December, is the finale of a hard-fought competition season around the country. Hundreds of pumped-up combatants converged on Sydney, eager to lay claim to the title of NAS National Champion!

This year we have witnessed a tremendous increase in the diversity of arts, styles and disciplines taking part, this event was set to showcase some of the finest martial arts talent in the land. Thanks and appreciation is extended to our event sponsor Sensei’s Martial Arts Store, and to corporate sponsors Juice Plus and A.F.M.A.E. for their encouragement and continuing support of martial arts clubs and practitioners of all ages.

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 Official Welcome, Bow-in

A buzz of excitement swept through the stadium, the Grand Parade bringing everyone to their feet. NAS President Mr James Casey and Host Director Mr Gary Palmer welcomed all as the teams stood proudly behind their state banners. Mr Casey called upon NSW competitors Alexsandra Nitis and Matt Bryce to take the oath that all would contend these Championships in fairness and in the true spirit of martial arts. Huge cheers rang out as the Bow-in ceremony concluded. With over 70 different divisions, ranging in age from six to sixty, it was time to place the nerves behind and put all the training and dedication to the test. Who would be the 2013 NAS National Champions?!!

 FORMS:

 

13 Saturday morning got underway with the Forms/Kata events across all rings. I am always in awe of the focus and dedication displayed in these divisions, no matter what the age or experience level, everyone gave of their best. The Judges have the challenging and unenviable task of trying to decide the winners, on a number of rings; ties were decided by competitors performing a second time to determine the place-getters. Young Jaicob Barrot from Loong Fu Pai (Vic) impressed the judges to claim victory in the Pee Wee division, with Hannah Scott of Lion Heart MMA (Vic) in second place with Paes Kemp from Kimi Kai took third for a Victorian trifecta from a large and talented field. The 10-11 Years 5th Kyu-Black Belt division was again, a large field, really putting pressure on the officials. Frankie Ferraro from Bubishi Martial Arts (Vic) took the day with a polished performance, Abbas Chaaban from Go Kan Ryu (NSW) coming in second in a narrow margin over Stephen Williams of Kenshinkan Karate (Qld).  

 Fine performances from some superb up-and-coming athletes in the 14-15 years 5thKyu-Black belt event made it difficult to separate the winners, Thomas Brown from One Martial Arts (NSW) won out,breaking the double tie from Brenden Williamson Go Kan Ryu (NSW) in second with third place going to Eric Xu of Chikara Kenpo Karate (NSW), certainly ones to watch in years to come.

35The audience were entertained everywhere they looked and competitors knew they had to be ‘on their game’ to make it through. In the Men’s Novice division, focused contestants put in their best efforts,

rewarded on the day was Scott Hampson of Seishin Ryu Karate do (Qld) in first place closely followed by Christian Lush of GLMA (NSW), second with Luke Davis of Uechi Ryu Karate (NSW) taking home the third place cup. Meanwhile, on another ring the Women’s Veterans contenders were in the final stages of a thrilling contest showcasing the skills that only come from decades of dedicated training. Jacqueline Spice of Mudgee Martial Arts (NSW) was the deserved victor, with Jillian Cole, Funakoshi Karate (Vic) runner-up and Yvonne Pearce of Kyneton Karate (Vic) close on their heels in third. 

The Championships were off to a fantastic start, dedicated, determined and focused artists were ‘doing their stuff’, the support of their team mates and families urging them on. Tension was high as the Men’s and Women’s Black Belts took to the mats, the best in the country lining up to display their skills. Only the top six would qualify for the final later in the day and as each competitor performed, the tension grew.

In the Women’s Forms we were treated to the skills of champions such as Sherry Bower, Cynthia Weggelaar, Karen Young, Denise Fung and Alexsandra Nitis to name but a few. Whilst the Men’s division boasted the talents of Dean Gould, Kevin Lerdwichagul, Khai Tran, Vincent Xu, Ben Cunningham and Matt Bryce. Needing to perform two different Forms, we knew we were for a great spectacle! After a nail-biting final, claiming the title for another year was Sherry Bower of JKA Shotokan (Vic) with runners-up Lihnida Veleski , Independent Shotokan, (NSW) and Cynthia Weggelaar, Shiryodo Karate (Vic). Whilst Dean Gould’s (GKR NSW) precision took out the Men’s title from Khai Tran, Seishin Ryu Karate (Qld) in a tight decision from Ben Cunningham, (GKR NSW).  A thrill to watch and a great bench-mark for all the younger ones coming through in the future.

 WEAPONS & DEMONSTRATIONS/CREATIVE:

 A definite feature this year has been the continued growth in numbers and popularity of the Weapons and Demonstration events. A crowd favourite, competitors got the chance to show just how entertaining their arts can be. Again, poise and precision plus co-ordinated teamwork in some impressive displays. Standout performances were turned in by Max Wilkinson of Redlands Karate (Qld), Blake Mullin from Murrays Martial Arts (NSW) & the always impressive Jared Abbott of Fighting Fit Martial Arts (NSW) in the under 13years Creative Forms, these talented youngsters showing versatility and skill. Whilst it was a clean sweep for the Bektasovski family from Xtreme B-Force Martial Arts (NSW) in the Junior Creative Weapons with Remzi, Adem & Esma claiming first , second and third places, drawing gasps and cheers for their performances. All eyes were on Stephen Murduch of Zenryoku Kick Boxing (NSW) as he took out the Senior division, his dazzling katana work impressing the judges and the crowd alike. Patricia Tan from Lismore Kyokushin (Qld) and Mohamed Desoky, HYIC Jeet Kune Do (Vic) took second and third with skilled displays and emphasised the wonderful diversity of arts being practised around the country.

CONTINUOUS SPARRING 52

Continuous Sparring has become one of the most popular and fiercely contested events in NAS competitions this year and always brings out the crowd to their feet. The fast-paced action began with the little guys in the 7–9 Years division, again, large numbers meant the thrills were non-stop and some close battles. Brandon Rankin of MACE Academy (Vic) faced off with Ann-Margaret Truasheim of Kenshinkan Karate (Qld) in the final. Ann-Margaret was quick but the elusive ringcraft skills of Brandon made him a difficult target, earning him the win by split decision in an entertaining battle. Great skills from Jackson Wiltshire from Redlands Martial Arts Academy (Qld) saw him take home third place.

The action kept coming in the 10-11yrs Male division. In the final, Stephen Williams of Kenshinkan Karate (Qld) and Jalil Sarji of Shotokan Karate (NSW) engaged in a seesawing battle. In the end, the high/low combinations from Stephen earned him a popular victory. Krste Boskovski from Double Dragon Shotokan (NSW) fought hard to claim third. In the girls' division, Tantis Martial Arts (Vic) team-mates Taylor Robinson and Tiara Schaelle went blow for blow familiar with each other’s style of fighting, very close to call, with Taylor winning out on the day. An impressive display of skill and determination ensured that third place went to Abbey Simshauser of United Taekwondo (NSW).

The Open Advanced Continuous events are full of adrenalin, power and speed with several fired-up fighters warned for excessive force and contact as the battle for supremacy unfolded. Reigning champ Nicki Kennedy of Kenshinkan (Qld) and past champ Karen Young fought for this year’s crown. Nicki's high, accurate kicks kept Karen at bay and sealed the win. Third place going to Cynthia Weggelaar of Shiryodo Karate (Vic). In the men's division final, it was flat out right from the start. The power and speed shown by Jeremy Tuano of GoKanRyu (NSW) and Vincent Xu of Chikara Kenpo Karate (NSW) was hard to contain and resulted in several stoppages for contact. Both fighters drew on all their skills neither giving an inch. A split decision going to Jeremy as on-lookers cheered their support. Ben Cunningham of GoKanRyu (NSW) decisive in third spot.

 THE STATE vs STATE CHALLENGE 86

A highlight of the NAS National Championships is the State of Origin Challenge, competitors bond under their state banners in teams to take on the other states for the Team State of Origin Shields.

 It is one of the weekend's most hotly contested and popular events. Each state must claim three wins to progress to the next round. The spectators get right behind it in support. NSW was absolutely determined to outscore Victoria in the Men's Advanced final which was proudly sponsored by Juice Plus. An emphatic 3-0 victory went to NSW to see them claim back the Shield. The Women's Advanced event, sponsored by AFMAE, saw the highly fancied Victorian team take on NSW in the final. After four bouts it was all tied up, with the fifth and final bout going to sudden-death point. The crowd erupted as Team NSW took the win. In the Junior teams events, NSW was again to strong for a pumped-up Queensland in the Female Final. The roles were reversed in the Junior Male Final with Queensland claiming a popular win.

 

FINALS DAY

After an incredible first day, Sunday morning saw the stadium filling up early, everyone keen and anxious to see who would be crowned national champions for each age group in the Point Sparring contests. The ultimate highlight of the day would be the crowning of the male and female lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight champions and then the fights for the coveted prizes: the 2013 Champion of Champions.

Fast paced action on every ring, it was hard to know where to look. Some bouts were decided quickly, while others went to a sudden-death point. If you looked away, you could miss some great points. Among the standouts was the Male 12–13 Years 10th Kyu–6th Kyu division, in which James Chamberlain of Mudgee Martial Arts (NSW) defeated Brandon Townshend of Loong Fu Pai (Vic), with Lucas Leung of Double Dragon Shotokan (NSW) fighting hard to claim third spot. In the 8–9 Years 5th Kyu–Black-belt event, young Daniel Russo of Unsui Karate (Vic) took the title in a close battle with Charlie Herdman of KuuShin Ryu (NSW) with third place going to Jae Ciarma, MACE Academy (Vic).

Another exciting event was the Female 14–15 Years 5thKyu-Black Belt division, in which Jennifer Wood of Double Dragon Shotokan (NSW) proved too strong for Emily Graydon of ATA Martial Arts (Qld) and Saschkia Baldacchino of Mudgee Martial Arts (NSW). In the Male 16–17 Years 5th Kyu–Black-Belt class, Andrew Dockney of Redlands Martial Arts Academy (Qld) showed impressive skills in a very close victory over Zach Boys of One Martial Arts (NSW) and a determined Adrian Huber of Double Dragon Shotokan (NSW). Meanwhile over on ring six, the Women's Intermediate competitors had the judges on their toes keeping up with the fast pace. Melissa Tebble of Seishin Ryu Karate Do (Qld) proved fastest, taking the title in a sudden death tussle with Nardia Smits of Victorian Goju Karate Academy (Vic), leaving Carla D’Artista from Power of Won (Vic) in third spot.

Then came the time NAS followers wait all year for: the Black Belt weight-divisions and the exciting elimination fights to decide who would be crowned 2013 Male & Female Champion of Champions.

In the Lightweight division, the very experienced Pania Williams of Kenshinkan (Qld) took on Denise Fung of Japanese Academy of Martial Arts (NSW). Both ladies meant business right from the start, but Pania's precise combinations saw her outscore Denise for the victory. Jillian Cole of Funakoshi (Vic) finished third. The Men's Lightweight title was taken out by Khai Tran of Seishin Ryu (Qld), needing all his skills to overcome the quick hands of Matt Bryce of Chikara Kenpo Karate (NSW). Richard Marlin of Success Martial Arts (Qld) who had earlier claimed the Veterans title took third spot.

The Women's Middleweight final saw Nicki Kennedy of Kenshinkan (Qld) defeat Syke Clements of Loong Fu Pai (Vic). in a tough match. In the men's division, Vincent Xu from Chikara Kenpo Karate (NSW) was too sharp for Simon Hu of Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu, winning by a clear margin.

The Welterweight divisions saw Sherry Bower of JKA Karate (Qld) outpointing a fast and determined Karen Young of Redlands Martial Arts Academy (Qld) to take the title, while in the men's division, Ben Cunningham of Go-Kan-Ryu (NSW) scored a comfortable win over Craig Knott of Redlands Martial Arts Academy (Qld). Past champ Luke Campbell of Loong Fu Pai (Vic) took third.

The Female Heavyweight division saw Alexsandra Nitis of Tora Martial Arts Centre (NSW) go toe-to-toe with Kelly Holmes of Loong Fu Pai (Vic), but Alexsandra was just too quick and used her fast hands to take the winning points. Loong Fu Pai team-mate Karen Whatarau claimed third. The Male Heavyweight final was a battle of the big boys, with past champion Dean Gould of Go-Kan-Ryu (NSW) exchanging in a thrilling battle with Jacob Lambert from Kinetic Martial Arts (NSW), with both fighters cautioned over contact. Dean’s combinations were too quick as he avoided Jacob’s long ranging kicks. Third place went to a determined Darryl Woodeson of United Taekwondo (NSW).

GRAND CHAMPIONS

The Champion of Champions elimination bouts were tough, hard-scoring affairs, with each fighter acutely aware of what lay on the line. After some of the closest match-ups all year, the final contenders were decided:

The Female Champion of Champion final, Pania Casey Williams and Nicki Kennedy both from KenshinKan International karate (QLD) produced an NAS battle of the ages. Both girls have been here many times before, Pania winning this title in 2005 & Nicki last year’s runner up, the tension prior to this match was intense and the nerves where obvious. Both going point-for-point with Pania scoring with lightning fast punches however Nicki used her reach to her advantage scoring with high round house kicks, the match was even however Pania was penalised for excessive contact giving Nicki a point with seconds to go, Nicki scoring again the bell went giving Nicki an emotional victory. Both girls embraced with love and emotions, Pania holding Nicki’s hand high in recognition of her win.

The Male Champion of Champions final saw Khai Tran of Seishin Ryu Karate (Qld) and Dean Gould of Go-Kan-Ryu (NSW) engaged in a tense, see-sawing battle. Neither fighter was able to gain a lead as both seemed to have the measure of the other. As soon as one scored, the other struck back! Dean tried every technique in his arsenal to upset his opponent but Khai retaliated with his fast hands and pulled away to a slim lead both fighters being cautioned by the referee to control their contact with seconds to go Khai lunged forward and scored with a reverse punch scoring once again which was enough to claim the day and the crown of 2013 Grand Champion to the applause of all attending.   

The President NAS, Mr James Casey; congratulated both competitors and invited the NAS Event sponsor, Mr Phil Chapman of Sensei's Martial Arts to placed the belts around their waists after which he presented the cups to both Nicki Kennedy and Khai Tran proclaiming them 2013 NAS Champion of Champions. It was an emotional moment as the crowd clapped and cheered, team mates rushing in to congratulate them. 124a111a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final task of the weekend was the announcement of the winner of the Presidents Cup, the Champion State of this year’s Nationals. Intense rivalry between the states makes this a much-prized trophy! Queensland once again claimed the honours, huge congratulations, but they will need to defend it strongly next year!

 

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 Go Queensland ... 3 years in a row ... Champion State!

Queensland coach Mr Shane Degney was handed the Presidents Cup to take back to the team attending the 2013 NAS Nationals

 

 

 

What a great weekend and an absolutely thrilling year of competition for National All Styles, full of high-spirited action, dedication, camaraderie and sportsmanship. It has been a privilege to be involved in such a wonderful event and to witness the support from parents and the dedication and commitment of all the coaches and competitors to their respective arts. A huge thank you to all the members of the Australian Referees Board and Table Officials for the truly professional job that you do and to all the helpers and volunteers who make it all possible. My thanks to Novotel Sydney Parramatta Hotel, to St John Ambulance and to Mr James Carrett, Ms Caroline Soner & Mr John Nitis for the great action photos.

Any club, instructor or competitor wishing to get involved in the exciting NAS tournaments in 2014, give your local State Director a call, see us in Blitz Magazine or visit www.nationalallstyles.com.au

 

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