Karate kids fight on

FIGHTERS from Hawkesbury Martial Arts are taking on the world in two different tournaments in which they intend to bring home gold medals.

A strong team will head to Fiji for the Oceania Karate Championships on September 12 and 13, while Braden McMahon and Alexandra Gallo are taking on the world’s best in Japan at the K1 tournament.

Sensei Daniel Spice said he expected his group of 10 fighters to dominate in Fiji.

“Australia is very strong in Oceania and we will head the medal count with New Zealand,” Spice said.

“I think our 10 that are going should do well.

“If they fight to their ability they should medal because most of them are Australian national champions.”

But the K1 assignment for McMahon and Gallo in Karate’s spiritual home is a different story.

“Japan’s a much tougher assignment,” Spice said.

McMahon and Gallo are definitely up against it, in a tournament which only occurs once a month at different locations around the world.

But it’s not the Japanese and other Asian countries in the region that Spice expects his fighters to find toughest.

“They get much bigger incentives in the Arab countries,” he said.

“If a boy of Braden’s age wins the world title, he’ll get a new house for his family.”

Despite not only having to beat the fighters from the glamour nations, McMahon and Gallo will have to do more than most to win over the judges as little-known Australian fighters.

But McMahon said he’s not going to Japan for a silver medal.

“I’m going there to win it,” he said.

“It will be much harder because I’ve gone up into the senior division.

“The Arab and European countries will be the strongest.”

Spice said they’ve got the tools to shock the karate world and also come home with a swag of medals in Fiji. “My students have the ability, as long as they perform to their best,” he said.

“If they’re not worried about losing and not performing at their best then I think they should do well. “They can beat the best fighters and score points. It will just be about their headspace.”

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