SELF-DOUBT may have plagued Lisa Hodder, but the Griffith woman was able to overcome her inner demons to be crowned a national champion.
Hodder tore the ligaments in her shoulder during the semi-finals of the national championships in 2011 and it has taken almost two years to get her confidence back after being of the nation’s most promising fighters.
However, her results this season have been breathtaking, winning the Victorian and NSW state titles before becoming the Australian middleweight Kyokushin karate champion earlier this month.
The 25-year-old had to defeat former world champion Shannyn Ward to claim the title with the two partaking in an epic battle that needed to be extended before a winner was announced.
For Hodder the mental aspect of making a comeback was the biggest thing she had to overcome.
“It was a mental challenge more than anything,” she said.
“I got injured competing and then had to have surgery and go through rehab, but getting ready to get back on the mat and trust it again was hard.
“You have to trust that with all the training that it will be ok.”
Getting Hodder into the right mental state was something sensei Frank Cirrilo had to work harder on than her physical training.
“It has been a long process physically, but mentally too,.” he said. “When someone has something like that done to them, you always worry about being hit in that spot. It has plagued her mentally for a little while, so to get her to overcome that was actually harder than the physical side.”
Her win at nations has earnt Hodder a place on the Australian team to compete in China in September.
It is the first time Australia has sent a team to China to compete against international competitors in one of the bigger karate tournaments. It is also a warm up for the World Cup to he held in South Africa next year.
Hodder is looking forward to the opportunity to test herself against the world’s best in what will be the biggest event she has competed in.
“There is going to be some Russians there and they are usually pretty strong. It will be a good challenge,” she said.