Candelo karate kids kick on

KOKORO Kai Goju Karate Australia co-founder Robert Graham is a very happy man. 

Graham’s Candelo karate dojo has just finished the year with a presentation and exhibition day.  

“There were over 85 people there watching and participating,” Graham said. 

“It’s our last day for the year for the kids, so it’s like a presentation and we have some exhibitions as well.

“They all get a medal and the ones that have done exceptionally well get a trophy.”

Graham said the day was a great way to round out the year with awards and some fun activities for the students to enjoy incluing fighting two “sumo wrestlers”.

“Every couple of years we pull those out – and we give them names like Mr Sookie La La, they’re our special sumo friends they come out from Japan and the kids want to fight them,” he said.  

“It’s all about the kids having a bit of fun. 

“The little kids love it and the parents get a good kick out of it.”

Graham said he couldn’t be happier with the progress of all his students.

“They all make me pretty proud. 

“I’m proud of all my kids and the adults, from the oldest to the youngest I’m happy with them,

“It’s my pleasure to be their instructor.”

Graham said the club is looking forward to opening a new dojo in Bega next year. 

“All my Candelo members are looking forward to getting Bega going.

“You know once you’ve got a couple of schools running they can help each other out by competing together.”

Graham said he is still advancing his own skills and travelling with students to develop as a dojo. 

“I’m going for my fifth dan next year and I’m nearly finished level two coaching through the sports commission.

“We’ve got a trip around June next year to Okinawa and Japan.

“Some people from the club will be going to that for training which will be good and a nice bit of a holiday as well,” he said.  

Despite training champions around the world and travelling for training and competition, Graham said Candelo was still home to him and he was passionate about his dojo. 

“That’s where champions come from is home. 

“Champions are our own children.

“I’ve had two kids in the NSW state team, young Chris Alcock and Jacob Francis.

“I’ve had girls and boys train in the national all styles and actually become champions in that. 

“They’re all champions it really just depends how much time they’ve got and how much time they want to put in,” he said. 

Graham said his students showed a lot of dedication and he is delighted to continue training with them as the club expands. 

“We want to be a big part of Australian karate and we are,” he said. 

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