They’re Karate Krazy

Bronze and Silver medals for Virginia Karate apprentices

The Virginia Karate Club is only a relatively young club in the scheme of things, but it’s already proving its philosophy and training are giving members the chance to improve confidence, patience, strength, and fitness as well as potentially represent the state at competition level.

Established 11 years ago, by Virginia Karate Club (VKC) sensei Matt Johnson, the club trains at the Virginia Community Recreation Centre Mondays and Fridays.

Students from the club competed at the Australian Karate Federation National Championships held in Perth from August 1-3 in the disciplines of kata or kumite and had a strong representation, with nine members selected for the state team.

Matt, who was the South Australian Karate Team head coach, said a third of the 32-member state team came from the Virginia-based club, with students as young as 11 right up to 33 years of age competing.

And the South Australia team did well, bringing home eight medals.

Of these, the Virginia Karate Club representatives claimed two bronze medals and three silver.

“Not bad for a bunch of locals,” Matt chuckled. 

Matt has been doing karate for 27 years and this was the 25th national event he has attended.

“We’ve had national and international champions out of here on a yearly basis,” he said.

“Most people come along for the discipline of it (karate) and the self-defense aspect of it.

“These sorts of competitions just jump out at them later on, it’s another pathway for them.”

VKC members to win medals at the championships included Francesca Covino, (bronze medal in the 13 years Kumite event), Michelle Wilson (silver in the senior 68+kg Kumite event), Daniel Robinson (silver in the senior U84kg Kumite event) and Florina Gules (silver in the U21 U60kg & bronze in the senior U60kg Kumite events).

Teaching students from as young as five, Matt says the club is very family friendly, teaching traditional karate through hour-long classes that cater for people of all ages, abilities and skill levels.

“We have a diverse group here, we don’t specialize in one area,” Matt explained.

“We just teach karate to whoever wants to learn (and) they take out of it what they can

“It teaches them how to work hard, to have structure.

“They learn to push themselves and realise, with structure, they can achieve something.

“It’s huge for self-confidence but it also makes them humble at the same time.”

Every few months members are given the opportunity to be assessed and potentially earn their next karate belt.

Starting at white, then yellow, green, brown, and the ultimate black belt, participants need to display what they’ve learnt over a certain period of time, with many hours, and in some cases, years, of practice behind them.

At just $10 per lesson, with discounts for families, learning karate could be a great new adventure. Training is held every Monday from 5.30-8.30pm and Fridays from 4.30-8.30pm.

Contact Matt Johnson on 0404 125 845 for more information.

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