HEAD of the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association Hanshi John Taylor has praised the latest Riverina titles, saying the quality was as high as ever as dozens of the best fighters in the country locked horns.
Again the Yoogali Club was rocked to its core as full-contact and non-contact bouts saw the cream rise to the top.
“The quality has been really good, and there have been some top fights here today,” Taylor said.
“The pleasing part of today is that colts, which is our young up-and-coming kids, have been really good.
“We have had a very big year so the numbers are not as high as they normally are here, but the quality has not dropped.
“The Riverina area has some good strong fighters, especially in the lower ranks.
“Which is good because it allows us to bring our own lowerrank fighters here to get valuable experience.
“It’s just a good combination.”
The Riverina titles are one of the few Kyokushin tournaments in regional areas, and Taylor said the weekend is a good chance for the sport to promote itself to interested people.
“It’s a double positive for us, this is our showcase to show people what we do,” he said.
“And we like to show that we have a non-contact section as well.
“If you’re too young or too old or have health problems it shows there are other avenues for competition - not just full-contact where a lot of the healthier, younger kids with a lot of go compete.”
Taylor also had the honour of being the last fighter to face Frank Cirillo in his 50-man kumite, something he said he treasured.
“It was a really good effort, it was very tough and especially because we had a huge amount of black belt fighters,” Taylor said.
“That’s not always the way it happens, but because this (Riverina titles) is central and Frank is a popular personality, people wanted to be here.
“So it was a privilege for me to be there and to be the last to fight him.”