Australian Friendship Tournament

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On July 28th, 2013 IOGKF/AOGKF Australia held its first ever annual friendship tournament in Goulburn, NSW. The event was inspired by the annual occurrence of the same name in Canada and was a chance to reinvent the tournament scene in Australia under a more traditional and family friendly approach.

Event organiser, Sensei Lambert spent months carefully planning and organising the rules of the new tournament system, resulting in the creation of the official AOGKF tournament rule book, an impressive manual that was put to the test in Goulburn.

The Tournament was held at the Goulburn Soldiers Club in the main auditorium and a large number of competitors came from all over the country to participate in competitions under the spirit of friendship and respect.

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There were plenty of medals and prizes up for grabs, but the club championship trophy was the goal for all Dojo as it had never been won before.

Australian head instructor, Sensei Joe Roses and chairman, Sensei Kevin Nash welcomed everyone to the event and competition began with the black belt Kata and Kumite Competitions. The AOGKF Dan grades put on an impressive performance, showcasing their Kata and Kumite skills for all spectators.

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Following this, it was the Kyu grades turn to try their hand and competition. For many, it was their first tournament and the nerves were definitely present. However by the end of the day the moral was higher than ever!

Kata and Kumite competitions were held first and Sensei Roses was impressed by the high level and respect demonstrated by all competitors. Competition was fierce but friendly.

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The Tournament then moved onto a kids basics and Sumo wrestling competition. Both items were new to the tournament scene, but both were very successful and the sumo wrestling in particular had the competitors and the audience in fits of laughter!

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We finished with another first for our tournaments with the Dojo Tug-O-War competition, inspired by Okinawa’s Ozuna Hike competition. This was hilarious and popular and it was great to see the seniors jumping in to help the kids out!

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A big congratulations goes to Sensei Lambert’s Goulburn Dojo who took out the club championship trophy in first place, closely followed by Sensei Geoff Tait’s Orange Dojo. Sensei Kevin Nash’s Macarthur Dojo also won the highest amount of Gold Medals on the day.

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All of our goals and hopes for this event were achieved and surpassed. All competitors showed great humility and there was plenty of friendship demonstrated afterwards with lots of chatting, photographs, handshakes and hugs.

We look forward to the same event next year, which is to be held in Canberra by Sensei Kevin Nash’s Weston Dojo.

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