After a disrupted – yet brutal – training regime, Carla Vonnida and John Rule are off to the Arnold Classic in Melbourne this weekend.
Rule – who is heading to the multi-sport festival to adjudicate kyokushin karate fights – has been putting 14-year-old Vonnida through her paces at their PCYC base in the lead-up.
However, a calf injury saw Vonnida miss two weeks of training and the pair have been doing their best to make up for the time lost.
“We didn't get a great deal [of training] in [due to the injury] but we’ve been training three times a week,” Rule said.
“It’s more getting to the fitness level we need to be at but she's had a lot of fights and that will help.”
Vonnida will compete in the under 16s at the classic where she won’t be wearing any stomach protection which she previously would have.
That meant that a lot of the training involved taking kicks and punches to the stomach to prepare herself.
“It’s about when to breathe and when not to,” Rule said.
“It’s a case of breathing at the right time so you can tense up.”
Vonnida was feeling the nerves but said all her training would help her at the tournament.
Rule said the focus was on the opening bout and then taking the rest as it came.
“We're hoping to get a win first up and everything from there will be a bonus,” he said.
“It's all about getting more experience and every fight's a learning curve.
“Every fighter has a different style and how you go depends on how you adapt to each fight.”
Rule himself wasn’t feeling the nerves but knew he had an important job to do as he adjudicates fights.
“You have to really concentrate on the fight,” he said.
“You have to be very, very aware.
“You don’t want to begrudge someone for missing something during the fight.”