Rd1 ACT 17th July 2011


The atmosphere before any NAS Tournament is always filled with excitement, anticipation and adrenalin, and the ACT NAS Round 1 Tournament at Daramalan College in Dickson on Sunday 17th July was no exception! Adding to the excitement was the presence of a number of first time competitors who were made very welcome by the camaraderie of our regulars. My opening address gave me the opportunity to welcome everyone, from Pee Wees to Veterans. Many had travelled long distances to be part of the action. It was great to see the eagerness in the competitors and judges alike, and all were keen to get the action underway!

It didn't take long, with lots of excitement and loud vocal support for the combatants in the 7-9 years Continuous Sparring. The final saw Gemma Blundell of Goshin Ryu Karate up against Steven Johnson of Go Kan Ryu Karate. The day went to Gemma this time in a close battle. I'm sure this division will provide lots of thrills again this year!

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The 10 – 11 years Continuous was played out at its usual fast and fiery pace. Breanna Gilroy of International Goju Karate showed some good ringcraft skills in a hard fought win over Thomas Francis of Kokora-Kai Karate. A valiant Mahalia Campbell-Smith from Shotokan Karate grabbed third in another close encounter.

Over on Ring 2 the 'big guys' weren't to be outdone, the Male Continuous Advanced provided some tenacious battles with no-one giving an inch. The final result being a Go Kan Ryu Karate trifecta! Good manoeuvring and quick hands saw Ben Sledge overcome the fast combinations of Ross Purdue, while David Mogford showed he has all the skills in taking third place. Again, this is shaping up to be one of the hallmark events this season!

Each year the focus and speed just seems to get faster and faster, keeping the judges on their toes in scoring the Point Sparring divisions. The Female 16 – 17 years 5th Kyu to Black Belt proved to be a close battle. Stephanie Gibbs of Kokora-Kai Karate winning on the bell over the speedy Tayla Matic of Go Kan Ryu Karate. Leaving no doubt they were just as quick, the young lads of the 12–13 years 5th Kyu to Black Belt division put on a great show for all the supporters and spectators. Hamish Campbell-Smith of Shotokan Karate scored the win over Tim Anderson representing Go Kan Ryu. Henry Skelly of Yut Hung Kung Fu Academy taking home third place, highlighting a true 'all styles' event. Whilst in the young 10-11yrs division, Breanna Gilroy of Int. Goju Karate and Nicholas Spain from Shindo Kai Karate, traded point by point, Breanna getting the nod in a close match. Strong little fighter, Maverick Perram from Goshin Ryu Karate made third place his own.

Again, the big guys and girls put on some thrilling encounters. In the Female Advanced division Haley Graham of Kokora-Kai Karate and rival Rosemary Cranney of Shotokan Karate used all the ring and all their skills in a power-packed final. With loud support from the crowd, it was one of the highlights of the day. Haley's quick combinations winning out on the day in a very close match. Both girls are talented martial artists and have big futures in competition ahead of them.

In another of the days highlights, the Mens Black Belt Open had the judges on their toes to keep up! In the final Ben Sledge of Go Kan Ryu faced off against Mark Porrreca of Shotokan Karate. Ben's quick, lunging punches claimed the win while the ever-strong Paul Baldwin of Goshin Ryu Karate took out third place.

The Forms events are an opportunity for all to witness the dedication and discipline that martial practitioners apply to their art. So high was the standard that the judges had their work cut out for them to decide the outcome. Some impressive displays from some extremely talented martial artists enthralled the spectators and impressed the judges. Standout performances came from Ryan Van Leent, David Rush and Hideo Sasaki. Turning in some great displays were Katrina Gleeson, David Mogford, Tayla Matic and young brothers Aaron and Isaac Quirque.

A power-packed day and a fitting start to an exciting season of competition for NAS ACT! A round of applause and a HUGE 'thank you' goes to our terrific team of Ring & Table Officials and helpers who make such a tremendous day possible.

In particular, my thanks to Keryn Valeri and Natasha Bryce for all their hard work behind the scenes.

I look forward to seeing you all for another tremendous day of martial arts thrills and action at the

ACT State Titles Open on Sunday September 11th.

1. Club Profile

act-rd1-11-pic5Shotokan Karate International Australia

Ryan van Leent with assistant instructors Mark Porreca and Wally Dankiw

Shotokan Karate International Australia (SKIA)

How long have you trained?
27 years, since the age of 6

Location of club & nights you train?
Belconnen Community Centre
Mondays and Wednesdays
6:30pm to 8:30pm

How did you find out about the NAS competition?
The martial arts community in Canberra is a tight-knit group, so everyone knows when events like NAS are on.

What do you like about the NAS competition?
There's always a fantastic sense of camaraderie at the NAS, and the kids love the trophies.

Name some of your up-coming champions from your club and how they are placing in the NAS competition.....
We have two students who are attempting their Black Belt gradings this year – Ryan Thomas and Hideo Sasaki. In the most recent NAS competition they came away with 4 first places and a second, so hopefully that bodes well for their gradings.

What are your future goals for your organisation?
In the most recent NAS competition we had 12 people from our Dojo enter, and we're keen for even more to participate. We're always encouraging our students to get involved in competitions and seminars, as experience beyond the Dojo is really important.

2. NAS ACT Competitor Profile

act-rd1-11-pic6NAME: Haley Graham

STYLE: Kokoro Kai Goju Australia

How long have you trained?
I started training during 1999 at Bega Dojo NSW as a Mighty Mite with WGKA. I resumed training in 2008 at Candelo Dojo under instructor Sensei Robert Graham as a 10th Kyu (white belt). In 2010 Candelo Dojo along with other Dojo's from Victoria branched off from WGKA and started their own style known today as Kokoro Kai Goju Aust.

Where do you train?
I train at the Candelo Dojo in southern NSW.

Can you tell us what you like about NAS competition?
I like the excitement and the high level of competition which encourages me to try my best to do well.

Best moment/memory in competition with the NAS?
After doing exceptionally well in the 2009 ACT State Championships I entered the NAS National Championships held in Victoria at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Albert Park Lake which was held over 2 days on the 28th-29th November 2009. There was great competition held at the Nationals and I was able to see some excellent skills from other competitors. I entered Point Sparring and Forms 16-17yrs 10th to 6th kyu placing 1st in both events, naming me a 2 time National Champion. I have never been so proud and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

Being named a 2 time National Champion was my most memorable moment with NAS.

Have you a favourite technique in competition?
Most competitors have their own favourite technique in sparring but I choose to use a technique which will help me and enable me to win, considering every fighter has their own style of fighting.

Favourite martial artist...
I don't have a favourite martial artist, but there is one person that has inspired, supported, encouraged and taught me the skills I have learnt throughout my years of training, he is my Dad, Sensei Robert Graham. He started training during 1983 and has been an instructor for many years; he now coaches in NAS and AKF tournaments and holds a Level 1 Coaches Accreditation blue card in child protection and Senior First Aid Certificate, amongst many other accreditations. Being an amputee he encourages me to be the best I can be.

What are your future goals in the NAS?
After competing in the 2010 NAS National Championships held in Sydney at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool and taking home a 3rd place for Point Sparring Female Intermediate and again proudly taking out 1st place in Forms Female Intermediate 7th-4th Kyu, naming me as a 3 time NAS National Champion, my future goals in NAS are to continue setting new goals and to hold my titles as a NAS National Champion. The knowledge I have gained from

NAS I take home with me and encourage other students to compete.

3. NAS A.C.T. Official Profile

act-rd1-11-pic7NAME: Ryan van Leent

STYLE: Shotokan Karate International Australia (SKIA)

How long have you trained?
27 years, since the age of 6

Where do you train?
Belconnen Community Centre
Mondays and Wednesdays
6:30pm to 8:30pm

How long have you been involved with the NAS?
Since 2006

What made you become an NAS Official?
SKIA is hosting the World Championships next year in Sydney, so it's important for me to get as much mat time as possible in the lead up to that major event.

What level are you with the NAS?
Currently level 1 (Judge), but I'm hoping to upgrade at the State Championships this year.

What are your future goals in the NAS?
Events like NAS rely on the support of officials, volunteers and parents, so my main goal is to make a meaningful contribution.

4. Download Tournament Results

Click here to download Tournament Results