Some of the country’s best karate exponents took to the mats at Tamworth’s Chaffey’s Black Belt Academy on the weekend.
Shian Scott Chaffey and his Australian Koshiki Goodwill Tour team-mates met up in Tamworth for a training camp as they prepare to compete in the Open Asia Cup in Barnaul, Siberia in May.
Chaffey will captain the team, which will be managed by Nigel McReaddie and includes sister Kristie, on what will be an historic trip.
“The exciting thing about this trip is that no Australian team has gone over and competed in that part of the world,” he said.
The Chaffey’s instructor is no stranger to competing overseas but rates the upcoming trip as right up there with what he’s achieved.
“I’ve competed a fair bit overseas.
“But it’s a milestone to not only be part of the team but be named captain,” Chaffey said.
“I was blown out of the water when I was named captain.
“Everyone’s that competing could have been.
“There’s a lot of experience and depth.”
Having Kristie there will make it even more special.
“It’ll be great to be part of it with my sister,” Chaffey said.
The rest of the squad hail from Dubbo, Newcastle and Queensland.
“We’ve got six male competitors - a male fighter in each of the different weight classes,” he said.
“On top of that we’ll have two female competitors.”
Saturday was one of a few training sessions they’ll have before they head away.
“It was a really nice opportunity to get together and train as a team,” Chaffey said.
Most of the team have their own schools or teach at schools so get plenty of training running classes.
“I’m pretty fortunate that I get to do a lot of training while teaching,” Chaffey said.
The tournament will be held on May 12 and 13 and Chaffey is expecting some “crazy competition”.
Especially from the hosts.
“The Russians in the sport of karate are very tough,” he said.
It is shaping up as a potentially big year for Chaffey.
He’s also tossing up at the moment whether he’ll compete at the World Titles in Canada in July.