26 June Jun 2019 1739 26 June 2019

WAKO Oceania Report

WAKO Oceania Continental Championships April 13-14 2019

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The 3rd WAKO Oceania Continental Championships were held over the weekend of 13-14 April 2019. For the first time in its three year history the event was held in New Zealand at the New Zealand Combat Sports Expo held at the Northshore Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.

This year the WAKO event attracted Approximately 1000 Spectators, 203 Competitors from 15 clubs.

This was a tremendous opportunity to display WAKO to the wider martial arts community and public; this is particularly significant from improving WAKO brand recognition given the relative obscurity of WAKO in this part of the world.

WAKO was represented by disciplines in the Ring and on Tatami;

  • Point Fighting
  • Light Contact
  • Kick Light
  • K1

There was a terrific amount of excitement around both the two tatami areas and one ring area with fights consecutively fought continuously over the 2 days. New Zealand WAKO purchased SportData technology for the first time for use in the Tatami divisions and this was used successfully with android devices for judge scoring, a number of observers commented on the increased level of professionalism in the WAKO events as opposed to that which is normally seen in NZ / Australian events.

The level of competition this year showed a marked increase over previous years; the evolution of WAKO in Oceania is now showing the early signs of maturity with several clubs showing strongly in results.

K-1 Rules results:

Weight

1st

2nd

3rd

3rd

-52kg Female

Mia Perotia

Emma Nesbit

-60kg Female

Tahlia O’Connel

Stella Lellis

Leonie Rosin

-65kg Female

Katie Mitchell

Capri Lonie

Gabby Kane

Tegan Taylor

-75 Female

Kelsey Schroder

Tia Stowers

-85 Female

Roezala Su’e

Rene Roberts

-60kg Male

Yousef Chidiac

Mutjaba Nazara

Levi Beattie

Shaneel Mani

-63.5 kg Male

Nader Salah

Ali Murtaza

Jason Mischewski

-67kg Male

Brad Ramsey

Michael King

-75kg Male

Zeph Bell

Jorge Cordente

Isaac Thompson

Lewis Merchant

-81 Male

Andro Augustides

Willaim Reid

-91 Male

Jesse Harrison

Duncan Roberts

Con La’ulu

91+ Male

Vili Taukiuvea

Eli Taufuiaevalu

Joe Flynn

Hamid Alkhafaji

For the first time this year an extraordinary performance in the K1 ring by two twin brothers; Mutjaba and Ali Murtaza. The brothers are Afghani refugees who have been training in kickboxing for several years since moving to New Zealand and both were exceptional athletes demonstrating power, speed, aggression and also exceptional sportsmanship – both brothers placed 2nd in their respective -60kg and -63.5kg K1 divisions.

Referee’s worked particularly hard this year given a lack of qualified persons to undertake these roles. Ring and Tatami was covered by WAKO Referee’s Normie Daghel (Australia), Saniya Thompson (New Zealand) and a very special addition of Diana Latorre.

It should be noted that there were a number of issues encountered with the provision of WAKO requirements for the Championships., expecially one regarding licenced equipment which limited the ability of National Federations and WAKO Oceania Continental to implement the WAKO rules and standards.

Nevertheless, the 2019 WAKO Oceania Championships were a huge success despite challenges faced. A view of Continuous Improvement suggests for future events the following:

  1. Equipment support from WAKO IF – specifically the supply of 20-30 sets of RING and TATAMI equipment for use in OCEANIA for NF and Continental tournaments.
  2. Support for the development of RING and TATAMI Referee seminars in New Zealand and Australia – a development strategy of Oceania Referee’s as a part of the strategy for WAKO IF.
  3. A review of the inclusion of smaller Oceania countries in WAKO and the cost to do so; this is the prime reason that regions of the Pacific do not have representation in WAKO – the cost is simply too high for membership and equipment on top of the already high costs for travel to get to competitions.

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