Rd1 Victoria 31th March 2012

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As the 2011 National Titles drew to a close, the President's cup flew home to Victoria. Resting upon the stand in the centre of MSAC, it signified the determination and quality of the State's martial artists. There were many national champions bowing in for round one, 2012. With the intensity of competition seen on the day, it is apparent that Victorians have no intention of letting the cup go at this year's National Titles in December.

NAS Vice President Mr. James Casey welcomed the competitors to the arena. Having flown down from Queensland with Mrs. Casey for the event, the pair were intent on running a great tournament as always. After thanking sponsors ACSD and Tan's Martial Arts Supplies, the competition began with the black belt open.

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Forget your morning coffee - nothing will wake you up like the sight of some of the state's top martial artists going toe-to-toe on the red and blue mats. Male black belt forms was won with a convincing display from the young Ryan Abramcyzk of Go-Kan-Ryu Karate. Traditional kata was the flavour of the day, with Mark Farello, also of Go-Kan-Ryu hot on his heels. Kung Fu exponent Simon Pedelty came in third.

The women's forms division saw a contrast in styles take the podium. With an eclectic mix of forms that you could only see in an event like NAS being performed on the mat, it was tough for the judges to make a decision. With mere fractions of a point separating the top five, in the end the strength and power of Cynthia Weggalar of Shiryodo Karate, edged out freestyle superstar Melissa Urbano. Allanah Douglas claimed a solid third.

The point sparring brought in nearly 20 black belt competitors. Some of them were seasoned veterans of this event like Loong Fu Pai's Blake Campbell. The division however saw several debutantes, having worked their way up from the coloured belt brackets. In the end, the explosive reverse punches and dynamic movement of Ryan Abramcyzk got the better of Rowan Michael's contemplative style.

In the junior divisions, there was double trouble on ring two! Identical twins Max and Victor Phillips of Fusion Martial arts saw their way past the other fighters in 16-17 years 10th-6th Kyu point sparring to face off in the final. The judges rubbed their eyes as it looked like a mirror image battling on their ring. The two boys wielding the same belt and haircut were only distinguishable by different coloured mitts and a tag for red side. In the end Max took honours by, you guessed it, a single point.

Also in the 16-17 year olds, the girls showed the boys how it was done in the forms division. Grace, poise and precision won the judges over in both the 10th-6th Kyu, and the 5th-Black Belt Brackets. Valerie Chau of Unsu Kai Karate and Kendra Tsatsimas of Go Kan Ryu winning respectively. The guys didn't go home empty handed though, with internationally decorated competitor Pece Naumovski winning the 14-15 year old event.

In the point 16-17 years point sparring, the crowd was treated to a stunning display of "girl power". It's entirely possible that the 2013 or 2014 champion of champion's was paying her dues in this division today, with the six girls holding an impressive three national titles and five state titles between them. In the end surprise package Shabnam Safa, Unsu Kai Karate, squared off against Tamara Mottram, Zanshin Shotokan. The bout went to sudden death and Shabnam picked the moment to snatch away her victory. My-Linh Le, also of Unsu Kai Karate, placed third.

The 16-17 year old male 5th-Black belt saw Funakoshi Karate's Matthew Conroy secure a well-earned victory over Peter Mallia-Higgins Shito-Ryu International. The victory added to Matthew's list of recent achievements, having just earned his black belt.

No other event draws a crowd like the peewee divisions with this day being no different. Parents, grandparents and coaches all huddled around the ring to show support for their club mascots. The young martial artists put on a display that assured us the future of our sport is in safe hands. In the semi final, Jai Ciarma of Proactive Freestyle and Kassandra Galea from Goshin-Ryu karate exchanged point after point. The clock ran out and the competitors stood at 4-4. Jai secured his place in the final in overtime. But it didn't all go Jai's way. Frank De Cala of Proactive freestyle was waiting for him in the final. Frank took the lead early on, but Jai held close. It wasn't until Frank broke away on the scoreboard with a clean, well-controlled right leg roundhouse to Jai's jaw that his victory was certain. What a match!

The 7-9 years continuous was just as exciting. These young competitors were in it to win it and their drive and intensity showed. There were some dramatics, and tensions began to run high, however Fred Pace of Fusion Martial Arts soared into the top spot. Kimekai Karate's, Charlie White finishing in second, Nathan Panayi of Jee Shin Wing Chun third.

One unique aspect of continuous sparring is that it can pit the courage and enthusiasm of lower grade competitors against the experience and ability of black belts. This proved to be a killer combination in the 10-11 years female event. Daniela Hood of Shiryodo Karate took top honours from the less experienced, but incredibly tenacious Chelsea Hobday of Go Kan Ryu.

In the Men's advanced point sparring there were some impressive fighters on the day, none more so than Thu Pham. Fresh into the division after two national championships in the novice event in 2011, Thu let everyone know he intended to repeat his performance. The pocket sized powder keg exploded across the gap time and time again, proving too much for teammate Wiliam Le in the final.

With the event done and dusted, congratulations go out to all competitors, coaches and parents. Your dedication and sportsmanship is what makes the NAS circuit great. A big thank you is also extended to Mr. Darren Ball and his team of first aiders, whose expertise was seldom called upon during the day.

Round two will be held at MSAC on Saturday, June 2nd. Any coaches or competitors wishing to get involved in Australia's premier tournament circuit should call Mr. James Casey on 0402 695 717

1. Club Profile

Instructor Name: Aaron Vioakovic

How long have you trained: 16 Years

Location and Nights you Train: Laverton and Bentleigh

How did you find out about the NAS competition: Trough a fellow martial artist

Please tell us what you like about the NAS competition: The fun environment

Name some of your upcoming champions from your club and how they are placing in NS competition.
Caitlin Lemmon: 3rd in Women's Forms and Sparring at nationals last year. Jessie Chester: 3rd sparring. Ethan and Caitlin Mantas: 1st in forms. And a bunch of other talented, happy students!

What are your future goals for your organization?
8 of our students are grading for their black belt at our intense black belt camp in Blackheath, NSW this December. All of our students are involved in the training and they enjoy every second of it!

2. Competitor Profile

NAME: Melissa Jane Urbano

STYLE: Freestyle Karate

How long have you trained?
Going on seven years in October through Kobura-do Karate (Revolution Martial arts) three to four Years With My old school Shukokai Karate when I was six years old

Where do you train?
I do my Own Training at different dojo's and Gymnasiums. As well as train at my hombu Revolution Martial Arts Ferntree Gully

Can you tell us what you like about the NAS competition?
Broken Up events, Professionalism, Competing with people all over Australia

Best moment/memory in competition with the NAS?
Winning National Titles, Completing an ARB qualification,

Have you a favourite technique in competition?
I'm good with my legs, kicking quick and kicking high. I Love Tricking in creative forms, being able to combine Martial arts and acrobatics together (Extreme Martial Arts XMA). I love to put on a show for people and hearing crowd applause for me

Favourite martial artist...
Bruce Lee, Matt Emig. I also love my Kids/teens and adults that I teach, they inspire me to do my best

What are your future goals in the NAS?
I would love to win champion of champions, as well as being published in Blitz Magazine.

3. Official Profile

Name: Shane Wescott

Style: Shotokan Karate

How long have you trained?
4 years as a teenager in the early 70's, when Bruce Lee was God and Martial Arts was not for the faint hearted, and then since 1997 when my kids started training.

Where do you train?
I started martial arts back as a teenager in the early 70's when Bruce Lee was God, and training was not for the faint hearted.

My first real Sensei was Frank Palmieri, and expert in Kata Bunkai, and training with him gave me the opportunity to train with some international Martial Arts legends like Dan Inosanto, Wally Jay, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, and Erik Paulson. I've also been lucky enough to train with local Martial Arts experts like Bruce Hyland, Jim Casey, Graham Slater, Kevin Walsh, Edji Zenel and Joe Thambu .

While Shotokan Karate has been my main form of training, I've also trained in Jeet Kune Do, JuJitsu, and Aikido. I love learning new things, seeing how different Martial arts work, and passing that knowledge on.

How long have you been involved in NAS?
As a competitor, from 2002 - 2007, as an assistant coach from 2005 - 2008, and as an official from 2005. I enjoyed competing, but had enough trophies gathering dust and wanted to focus full time on being the best Official I could be. I enjoyed coaching and was involved with coaching 2 National Champions and a bunch of State Champions.

What made you become a NAS official?
I wanted to give back to Martial Arts because it has given so much to me over the years. I enjoyed the involvement with the young martial artists and had a laugh with the older competitors and wanted that to continue past my competition years. I would encourage all instructors to get involved, it's fun and you can always learn from others and learn more about yourself in different situations. Learning from the pressure of officiating has helped me deal with other situations in life and business - it's win - win for me.

What level are you with NAS?
I am at Level 4, and I am currently the State Technical Director for Victoria.

What are your future goals with NAS?
To be the best Official I can be, to see Victoria back as the Premier state for NAS Australia, and the see all the Victorian officials respected as the best in the country.

4. Download Tournament Results

Click here to download Tournament Results