READY: (from left) Sensei Noel Turner, state referee Jacki Means, Kleo Isaac, Cyle Vollmar, Jayden Raucci, Emma Vollmar and state referee Shane Harelle.
READY: (from left) Sensei Noel Turner, state referee Jacki Means, Kleo Isaac, Cyle Vollmar, Jayden Raucci, Emma Vollmar and state referee Shane Harelle. Contributed

Gympie karate students bring home swag of medals

KARATE: The Japan Karate-do Ryobu-Kai Gympie Karate Academy returned home with 32 medallions after competing at Kingaroy on May 9.

Gympie Karate Academy sensei Noel Turner said it was a big achievement for the club.

It was the second round tournament in the region with the first in Pomona and the third tournament to be held in Gympie in a fortnight.

The tournaments are run to get people involved, before they compete at a state level.

One of Turner's most recent students Daniel Mcnultiy, 14, competed at Kingaroy for the first time, doing particularly well by coming first in his kata and kumite competitions.

Turner, a sensei (karate teacher) of 41 years, had 16 students whose abilities ranged from yellow to black belt at the tournament and there were more than 32 divisions for local clubs to show off their skills.

Out of the 45 members of the Gympie Academy, the split between male and female is pretty even, with ages ranging from just five years through to 69 years, Turner said.

Karate helps students learn self-defence while gaining fitness too.

Only about half the club competes in tournaments but members have to do a minimum amount of tournaments a year to take them out of their comfort zone.

Six members recently attend the 2015 Queensland Karate Association State Championship and all did well, gaining firsts, seconds or thirds.

Turner holds four training sessions a week. Seniors and juniors train on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday with Saturday used for those preparing for tournaments.

Turner teaches the basics in development of movement, sparing techniques and kata sessions.