Kingaroy karate competition kicks butt
CASSIE Riley was one of hundreds to compete at the Kingaroy karate tournament but what sets her apart from the rest is she has set her sights on Hollywood.
The Caboolture martial artist last year competed in America to come away with seven US opens titles in extreme martial arts and caught the attention of American stuntwoman Caitlin Dechelle.
Riley received mentorship from Dechelle and soon hopes to follow her onto the silver screen.
"Just like me, she started in martial arts," Riley said.
With a spot on the big screen in sight, Riley started her life in martial arts from a more humble position.
"I was dragged to a taekwondo class by my next door neighbour," she said.
"You start martial arts to protect yourself and ended up competing overseas.
"It's amazing, you would never expect that."
With one international competition under her belt, Riley has another in her sights.
"I've done America now I want to do Europe," she said.
Riley will aim to compete in Germany next year, but in the meantime she has to qualify by earning places in state International Sports Karate Association (ISKA) competitions.
After she was introduced to the sport more than nine yeas ago Riley switched from the more traditional form of taekwondo to kung fu.
"It's just different, it gives you a chance to express yourself a lot more," she said.
This transition has allowed Riley to pursue a more acrobatic form of martial arts - twisting and flipping through the air in the form and weapon events.
All this acrobatic work required plenty of time training.
"I train six days a week currently and I also coach," Riley said.
Locals deliver on home turf
KATHRYN Stockwin focused on gold and succeeded with a first place finish in the traditional form.
But the Ko Tora Kai Karate Do instructor was a little surprised by her result.
"I haven't got a gold in traditional form before," she said.
Stockwin said every movement needed a purpose in this event and her focus needed to be 100% on task.
"While you are doing a kata (choreographed form) it's like a synchronised form of shadow boxing," she said.
Stockwin said each movement, its purpose and the competitors' focus were marked on.
Japanese Shotokan Karate-do's Tyronne Early also made a strong return to competition after he picked up gold in traditional form.
Early said ISKA tournament was a challenge, competing against more modern martial arts.
"Coming from a traditional background, it's very different," he said.
"It was a little bit of a challenge."
Early's instructor and father Robert Early said the mixed martial art format was beneficial as it exposed his fighters to other forms.
"You don't see these people outside this circle," he said.
"But the traditional stuff still has its place."