By Ron Lane

For the team of fourteen who travelled from the Sunshine Coast Martial Arts Dojo in Noosaville (eleven students and three parents) to the Budokan in Tokyo for two weeks of intensive training and competition, it was indeed the trip of a lifetime.
Team manager and Chief Instructor of the team, Bryan Dukas, said, “We are very pleased and indeed very proud, with what our team achieved in what was really a short period of time. All ten members attended training sessions with Japanese Senseis and when the tournament started, five of the team took part. The tournament was the World Shotokan Karate Federation, World Championships for 2017 held every two years.
“Training under the Japanese,” Sensei Bryan said, “was indeed a very learning experience for our students as the discipline and code of ethics was indeed very strict. For example, the training sessions of which there were two a day, went for a two hour period, with a five minute break for water. Perhaps the biggest learning curve is the fact that the training is conducted in complete silence except for instruction and direction given by the Sensei.”
Some training was conducted at Yokohama and Kamuraka but the main sessions were in Tokyo at the Budokan.
“For the tournament there were some fifty countries represented and the Eastern Block was indeed very strong,” Bryan said.
“In this there were two divisions; the Kata, which is detailed pattern of movements, performed either solo or in threes, and Kumite, which is fighting.”
In both these categories the contestants start at 5-6 years old for both boys and girls and progress on to 55-years-old for men and veterans for women.
For the first time ever an Australian female, Caitlin Corbett won gold in both the Kata and the Kumite competing in the 8-10 year division.
Then in the boys, the Thornton brothers won gold with 14-year-old Ryan winning in the Kumite and 15-year-old Joshua winning in the Kata.
For the women’s team Kata, Noosaville’s Isla Corbett was chosen along with a two other girls (one from Venezuela, one from South Africa) for the International Team. Competing against all other countries they won the silver medal.
Competing in the Men’s and Veterans division of the Kata, Bryan Dukas won gold in both and backed up by winning a bronze in the 65-year Kumite; another gold when Australia won the Junior Mix Team Kata for 11-year-olds.
To know that these young Australians came from our local Noosaville S.C.M.A. Dojo is indeed very pleasing and is only right that their achievements on the international level should be noted.
For Bryan, apart from his medal tally, he had the distinction of being upgraded from Black Belt 5th Dan to Black Belt 6th Dan. Then to top off the momentous occasion, he had the pleasure of meeting up with his father Mike while in Tokyo; he being also upgraded to Black Belt 8th Dan.
In November/December he will also visit the Sunshine Coast where he will conduct technical seminars.
When we look at the overall results, it shows that the standard of coaching from all the staff must be of the highest order.
Good to know that our young and also our veterans are indeed in good hands.
Planning ahead; good to hear that on 28 October 2018, the Queensland Interschool Karate Championships will be held in Noosaville, at the Good Shepherd Lutheran School. We wish them every success.

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