A pair of young Oamaru martial artists tasted success at the New Zealand karate championships in Wellington recently.
The Burge brothers, Quinn (9) and Camden (11), Fenwick School pupils who are members of both the Oamaru Karate Club and the Dunedin Karate Club, each claimed medals, following their success at the New Zealand open in April.
In Wellington, Quinn won gold in the 8-9 years, under-32kg kumite, while Camden won two bronze medals, in the 10-11 years, under-35kg kumite and kata.
At the New Zealand open, both won in their respective classes in the kumite.
Translated, kumite means “grappling hands”. It is one of the three main sections of karate training, along with kata and kihon. Kumite is the part of karate in which a person trains against an adversary, using the techniques learned from the kihon and kata.
Kata is a sequence of blocks, kicks, or punches employed from one or more stances involving movement forward, backward and to the sides.
Quinn, who has been practising karate for about fours years, said the fact he was a national champion was hard to believe.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m quite happy.”
Camden, a karate exponent for about five years, was equally as thrilled with his two-medal haul.
“It was pretty exciting”.
Both loved taking part in the sport, but for different reasons.
Quinn enjoyed the social aspect and competing against his peers, while Camden got a thrill out of competing and “getting medals”.
While the two always practise together, they are in different age and weight classes so have not had the opportunity to test each other in competition.
The busy brothers also play football, tennis and basketball, as well as taking part in athletics.
Their father, Steve Burge, said sport was a “six-day-a-week” affair, and was proud of what his sons achieved at the national karate championships.
“I’m extremely proud. Mum and Dad are both really proud.
“They put the time and effort in. They train every day and are really dedicated – they just love the sport.”
The pair will next be in action at the Otago-Southland championships in Queenstown at Labour Weekend.
Both have set themselves the goal of competing for New Zealand at the Oceania championships in the future.