WHEN the 13 karate masters first stepped into the arena, a year’s worth of dedication flowed through their veins.
Early starts at 6am through the dead of winter and late Friday night practices weren’t enough to keep Sunshine Coast Karate members from becoming world champions.
And the swag of medals that now hang from their necks are proof of it.
A year of preparation for the trip of a lifetime to participate in the International Soke Cup paid off for the chito-ryu stars.
Each of the 13 competitors have returned to Maroochydore from Canada with at least one medal.
Na’ila Khan, 9, was one of the many participants who scored gold at the competition.
She said she was “more excited than anything” to have been victorious.
“When I won gold, it was my favourite part,” she said. “I think I’ll keep doing karate forever.”
Na’ila’s mother Maureen Khan said the experience was “special” to see her children compete last month.
“It was pretty exciting to have all three there,” she said.
“We felt we were really lucky to have chosen this dojo … this opportunity wouldn’t have come up if we hadn’t,” she said.
An improvement in discipline and focus could be seen in Mrs Khan’s kids over the past year, thanks to karate.
“They worked really hard and it was really great to see how they were dedicated to the training,” Mrs Khan said.
“It was more of a lifelong journey than a set goal in a set timeline.”
Sunshine Coast Karate owner Martin Phillips said the multiple placements were a pleasant surprise.
“They were amazing results,” he said.
“For first time competitors, it was a bit of an overwhelming experience.
“To have those sort of results … it was definitely a proud moment.”
Although it’s time to bask in their accomplishments, Mr Phillips said the students were wasting no time to restablish their goals.
“Next step is to get our eyes set on the next target, which for many of them will be the Soke Cup in three years time,” he said.