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Open Message from AKF president to members in Victoria

Infinite Potential for Perth Teen Hannah Sullivan

Perth based athlete Hannah Sullivan emerged as one of Australia’s shining lights at October’s World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile.

The recently turned 17-year-old spoke to AKF Media about her experiences in Chile, which were filled with challengers both inside and outside of the mat.

“The experience was so amazing. Competing for my country and being in the moment against the best girls from around the world was such a different experience, and was also extremely hard.” She said.

“When we got there riots started happening in the country.”

These unexpected hurdles affected the Australian karate team causing distraction to their preparation for the event.

However Sullivan remained focused, with the situation having no negative effect on her quest for World Championship glory.

“Not on my mindset personally, I felt like on competition day I was focused,” She said.

“It impacted us (the team) in a way that we weren’t allowed to go to the venue to support our team. It was an experience where you had to go to your event alone on the day you were competing.”

Access to the venue was limited to athletes competing on the day, together with their families and supporters, coaches and team management.

The year 11 high school student finished in seventh place in the Junior Kumite Female 59+ kg event.

While Sullivan is now proud of her efforts, coming so close to a podium finish at the time – left her wanting more.

“I’m not going to lie, at the time it was a bit devastating because I was so close to coming third. But it (the result) gave me more to work on.”

“I’m really proud with how I placed and that I did better then the World Junior Cadet Championships two years ago.”

Her sister Rebecca is also a regular competitor on the world stage. The sisters’ train together at the family dojo which is owned by Brian Sullivan their proud Father.

Hannah often looks to her older sibling for inspiration at training and in competition.

“I look up to my sister so much, she gives me the most advice out of everyone.” She said

“She’s my training partner, I also look at how she competes and I learn from that. She’s probably the biggest inspiration that I have in karate.”

Sullivan realises the importance of building her knowledge and experience to take the next step of medalling at a World Championship.

“I would love to go around with some of the Australian coaches internationally to get some more experience.”

“I think I can do better at the next junior world’s and even the senior world’s, so I can have a higher chance of medalling.”

Q&A with Ben De Bortoli

The 2019 WKF XI Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships are taking place from October 23-27 in Santiago De Chile.

In the lead up to the event, AKF Media caught up with one of Australia’s junior team captains – Ben De Bortoli – for a Q&A profile interview.


Ben De Bortoli



Karate Discipline:



Bacchus Marsh

Current Training Venue:

Shindo Karate Bacchus Marsh

How many times have you competed at a World Junior Championship?


What obstacles have you had to face leading up to the World Junior Championships?

“I tore my hip flexor about 9 weeks out from Junior Worlds. I was pretty dejected about the situation. However, after having a chat with my strength and conditioning coach Trent Saunders, we developed a plan that would complement my karate program and get me back to my best. I’m now in the form of my life and ready to have a red hot crack in Chile!”

What are you most looking forward to at the World Junior Championships?

“Being able to show the world that Australians are amongst the best fighters on the planet. It’s an honour to wear the Coat of Arms and hopefully I can do it proud.”

What is your karate highlight to date?

“In 2019 winning the Under 21 -75kg and the Senior Male -75kg at both the Australian Open and the National Championships. As well as becoming one of the joint youngest fighters to ever represent Australia at a Senior Oceania championships at 18 years old.”

Who is your sporting inspiration?

“As I’m a Geelong Cats diehard, my sporting inspiration is Joel Selwood. I pride myself on being able to lead by example and never give up, something that Selwood does every single game.”

Stay tuned to Australia Karate Federation’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for more Q&A’s profiles with our Australian athletes in the coming days.


Q&A with Olivia Clifford

The 2019 WKF XI Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships are taking place from October 23-27 in Santiago De Chile.

In the lead up to the event, AKF Media caught up with one of Australia’s junior team captains Olivia Clifford for a Q&A profile interview.


Olivia Clifford



Karate Discipline:



Port Denison, Dongara

Current Training Venue:

Shobukan Martial Arts

How many times have you competed at a World Junior Championship?


What obstacles have you had to face leading up to the World Junior Championships?

“Mental preparation was the biggest challenge, your mind is the only opponent you have on the day of competition. If you can master your mind your body can do anything. Leading up to the world championships I broke my hand. Meaning my mental preparation needed to be higher than usual. I am also a full time university student so my training schedule was at all times of the day and night.”

What are you most looking forward to at the World Junior Championships?

“Being able to be on the world stage competing against the best athletes from other nations, and hopefully doing my country proud. I’ve worked hard the last two-years so that my idols could become my rivals.”

What is your karate highlight to date?

“Finishing in 7th place at the Karate 1 Premier league Series A – held in Istanbul Turkey. And becoming the 2019 Under 21 and Senior National Champion.”

Who is your sporting inspiration?

“Douglas Brose. He is inspiration on and off the tatami his is the ultimate sportsman.”

Stay tuned to Australia Karate Federation’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for more Q&A’s profiles with our Australian athletes in the coming days.

Marianna Sampanis: The Teenage Karate Sensation

Victorian teenager Marianna Sampanis is in the midst of an astonishing year of achievement.

Her passion and dedication to karate has shone through with some incredible results in both senior and junior competitions in 2019.

Representing Australia all over the world is an honour for the 18-year-old, in what she describes as “an amazing experience.”

AKF Media caught up with the Australian sensation, to delve into how she balances year 12 studies with her training, meeting and competing against her karate idols and her goals for the up-coming World Beach Games in Qatar.

Asked about her journey in recent months, Samapanis’s schedule has seen her compete at several National and International events.

“Earlier this year I represented Australia at the Senior Oceania Championships and came away with the Silver. I then won Bronze at the Australian Open in the senior category, and Silver in the U21 category.”

“Then I was off to Canada in the Series A, and that was an amazing experience. I got to meet so many big names and I had the opportunity to even chat with my idols.”

“I was off to the Nationals in Tasmania three weeks ago, and managed to get two Bronze medals (Seniors & U21s).”

“My journey has been great so far and I’m just looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Juggling the busy workload between school and training is something Sampanis is very used to.

The 18-year-old said she has faced it all her life, and this year has taken on less subjects at school in order to commit to both her studies and karate training.

“I’m year 12 this year, instead of sitting four subjects, I’ll only sit two subjects.” She said.

“Just so I’ll be able to study, and train at the same time for all of these big competitions coming up.”

“I have grown up like that, (training and studying) I go to school for one-to-two hours and then come home and study for five-to-six hours, then head off to training until late at night.”

“The process is all fine with me because I love school and love karate and I do both of them because I want to do them and be good at them.”

“So balancing them is being able to balance them in your mind and not a problem with time.”

Coming up in October, Sampanis has her sights set on the World Beach Games in Qatar. She’ll be competing in the Female Kata individual event. She’s been training vigorously in the lead up and said she’s committed to doing Australia proud.

“I’m currently training seven days a week, and doing my Katas and strength and conditioning work.”

“My goal is to perform at the best of my abilities and I know that hard work is required to compete at this once in a lifetime competition.”

“I’m just challenging myself everyday so I can test my limits, get ready for the World Beach Games and make my country proud.”

Up against high profile athletes such as Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu and Spain’s Sandra Sanchez, Samapanis said she’s honoured to compete against her idols. These two athletes in particular have inspired the teenager for many years.

“I’ll be along some of the biggest names in the female category. I love, Kiyou Shimizu, who I’ve trained with in Japan, she’s amazing.

“Also Sandra Sanchez, I’ve met her once and can’t wait to compete against her and challenge myself.”

“I’ve grown up watching them (Shimizu and Sanchez) on Youtube, it was always my dream to even be able to talk to them and now to compete against them is amazing.”

“I’ll be at the World Beach Games until October 14th, and I’m off to the World Karate Championships on the 16th. It will be a long three weeks but it’s worth it.” She said.

Asked whether she has aspirations to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, Sampanis admitted it’s a big dream of hers. She realises the importance of the hard work involved, but maintains the belief that anything is possible.

“Being apart of the Olympics is every athletes dream, it requires a lot of time, hard work and dedication.”

“We have athletes like Sandra and Kiyou who have been trying to get a spot for years. But I’m going to train as hard as I can, because everything is achievable if you believe in yourself.”

“It is my honour to represent Australia at the massive events this year. I hope I can make everyone here at home proud.”

Keep up to date with all the latest AKF news on the AKF Facebook, Twitter & Instagram channels.

Aussie Talent Shine at AKF Nationals

The 2019 Australian Karate Federation National Championships came to a close on Sunday afternoon.

Over 500 competitors converged at the Silverdome, Tasmania, across three days of action.

A plethora of Australia’s best junior and senior talent competed, in a bid to achieve National championship glory. The event highlighted the abundance of high quality karate talent in Australia.

Almost 100 gold medals were awarded across the competition, with each of the member states putting forward some very competitive teams in the Kata, Kumite and Team competitions.

Victoria once again topped the medal tally, accumulating a total of 164 medals, including 45 Gold.

In second place was NSW Karate Federation Inc on 20 Gold medals, with WA Karate coming in third on 14 Gold medals.

You can view the full medal statistics here.

You can check out the full results from the weekend here be sure to head over to the AKF Instagram for photos from the Championships.

Daniel Tielen Kicking Goals On The World Stage

Victorian Daniel Tielen has already had an incredible start to 2019.

The hard working 21-year-old has spent the majority of the year overseas, training and competing against the world’s best karate athletes.

Tielen spoke to AKF Media about his journey over the past six months, how he’s learned to increase his training intensity, the significance of the up-coming Australian National Championships, and his karate goals going forward.

“This year I’ve travelled heaps overseas, I’ve been away for three-to-four months around Europe competing, training and working towards pushing my ranking up,” he said.

“It’s been my biggest year in terms of travel, I’ve travelled for long periods and it’s been a really good year.”

“I’ve competed in Karate 1 and Premier League events and have had some good results.”

“I haven’t medalled yet, but I’ve improved since the first competition. While I’m happy with the improvement, I’m not yet satisfied and I know there’s a bit to still work on.

The Male Kumite 84+ KG category competitor took the year off from his teaching studies to focus on karate. Highlighting his commitment and dedication to the sport and his goals.

“I have taken this year off university to focus on karate, having done three years of teaching so far,” he said.

“I made the decision because I have been away overseas so much.”

“My aim this year is to focus solely on karate, without having to worry about squeezing in training around my studies, which has worked really well so far.”

While Tielen is a regular competitor on the world stage, he still respects the significance of competing at next the month’s Australian National Championships. It’s an event he’s had plenty of past success at – being a 5-time National Champion.

“It’s always exciting to compete at your home National Championships,” he said.

“For me it’s never just another event, there are plenty of good fighters in Australia to compete against, so it’s always exciting to get that experience against fellow Australian athletes.”

Following next month’s Nationals in Tasmania, Tielen will build towards getting some strong results at the remaining international events this year. With the 2020 Olympics and 2020 Senior World Championship events on the horizon, there’s plenty to aim for over the next 12-18 months.

“There’s the Senior World Championships at the end of next year, which I’m building towards.”

“With karate being in the 2020 Olympics, everybody’s goal is try and a have a go at making the Olympic team. So the key is to compete well in these international competitions and put myself in a good position, but the World Championships is the realistic event I’m building towards.”

Being away travelling and competing on the world stage, Tielen has had to lift his training intensity this year, to ensure he’s in peak condition when up against world-class competition.

“I’ve had my Club training with Sensei Ennio who has been so supportive. I’ve also been training hard overseas, and when I’m home, I’ve been working with national coaches from around Victoria.”

“I do a lot of my own work as well, I have spent more time in the gym this year because I’ve gone up to the heavyweights.”

“I think training at a high intensity is what I’ve been doing more of this year. You can train and just chill out and relax, but if you want to make it harder, you can.

“It’s up to the athlete and how much you want to push yourself to be the best you can be.”

The Australian Karate Federation National Karate Championship are being held in Launceston for the first time from 2 to 4 August at the Silverdome.

Keep up to date with all the latest results and information from the event via the AKF Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages.


Australia puts on a show at the Oceania Championships

Australia has taken top honours at the Senior Oceania Championships over the weekend, taking home a whopping 23 medals, including eight gold, in a dominant display.

With nearly 50 athletes from five different nations converging at the Whitlam Leisure Centre, in Liverpool, NSW over the weekend, competition was always going to be intense.

Maria Alexiadis secured Australia’s first gold in the Female Kumite -50kg, defeating fellow Australian Jamie Kelly-Hoare to take the Oceania title. While Amy Bongetti and Kristina Mah produced gold medal winning performances and secured Oceania titles in their respective Kumite divisions, before going on to back them up to take gold again only days later at the Australian Open.

On her gold medal winning performance, Bongetti said she was thrilled to get the win and to do so while finding the enjoyment in a high-pressure environment.

“I was just absolutely ecstatic,” Bongetti said.

“I just have so much passion for the sport and for all of my hard work to finally come to fruition; it was a pretty incredible feeling.”

“I just really learnt [over the past year] to just enjoy myself more. I have always enjoyed my karate, but…I really, really, really enjoyed myself this weekend and I think that definitely contributed to my performance.”

Michelle Wilson, Tsuneari Yahiro and Daniel Tielen all proved why they are some of Australia’s top karate-ka’s as they defended their 2018 Oceania Championship titles in the Female Kumite +68kg, Male Kumite -75kg, and the Male Kumite +84kg, respectively.

With the competition also providing an opportunity to grab Olympic selection points, Tsuneari Yahiro said that he was pleased with the way he performed under the added pressure.

“Normally for the Oceania Championships there isn’t too much build-up,” Yahiro said.

“But there was a lot of weight on the competition [this year], and I put a bit of pressure on myself to perform well…so I was quite happy with my performance.”

Yehia Hasanen returned to the Oceania Championships with a vengeance, showing growth and determination as he traded in his 2018 bronze medal for a gold medal in the Male Kumite -60kg.

Max Noble also impressed in his Oceania Championships debut, claiming gold in the Male Kumite 84+kg, in his first time in the green and gold on Australian soil.

Amongst all of the golden celebrations, the Australian contingent also secured 10 silver medals and five bronze, to clear trans-Tasman rivals, New Zealand, by 10 medals on the ladder and take home top spot overall.

You can view the full results from the Oceania Championships here. Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook page to check out the full photo gallery from the weekend’s events.

Photo: Karate Victoria (Instagram)

20th Senior Oceania Championships Team

27 March 2019 Official Australian Team Announcement The Athlete Selection Committee of the Australian Karate Federation proudly announce and would like to congratulate the following athletes who have been selected to represent Australia at the following international event: Event: 20th Senior Oceania Championships Event Date: 12 April 2019 Place: Liverpool, NSW
Female Kata Kelly Hoinville Ioanna Maria Sampani
Female -50kg Jamie Kelly-Hoare Maria Alexiadis
Female -55kg Amy Bongetti
Female -61kg Kristina Mah Kristina Perrin
Female -68kg Rebecca Sullivan Mandy Yap
Female +68kg Michelle Wilson Olivia Clifford
Male Kata Shaun Yuen Mayson Nobetsu
Male -60kg Richard Basckin Yehia Hasanen
Male -67kg Athan Dritsas Caleb Dooley
Male -75kg Tsuneari Yahiro Ben De Bortoli
Male -84kg Mitchell Durham Max Noble
Male +84kg Angel Georgieff Daniel Tielen
Certified as a true and accurate record on behalf of AKF Athlete Selection Committee Yours sincerely Donald James Vice President Marco Mazzanti Chair National Sports Committee

New look Australian team set for World Championships

A new look Australian Karate Team has descended on Madrid, Spain ahead of the World Karate Federation (WKF) Senior World Championships which begin tomorrow.

Following months of long preparation including a number of training camps, qualifying tournaments and hard training, the Australian team will finally have the chance to measure themselves up against some of the world’s best as they take to the floor from Tuesday through to Sunday.

Among the 17-strong team are nine reigning National Champions, as well as 12 athletes making their Senior World Championships debut.

Australian team Coach Mark Golding said that it’ll be a new look Australian team debuting at the Championships, with a shift in thinking towards the future, and in particular, towards Karate’s debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

 “What we’re seeing for the first time in a long time is a new look Australian team,” Golding said.

“Whilst we still have very experienced competitors in the team, there’s definitely a significant influence of a much younger athlete and the experience that comes with that.”

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity that presents at the World Championships, and beyond that, to building these younger, less experienced athletes into really competitive athletes on the international stage.”

Among the more experienced athletes are two para-athletes, London 2012 Shotput Paralympian, James Devenny, and 2014 Kata World Champion, Raymond Morcomb, who will no doubt be ones to watch over the course of the week.

Golding also says fans can expect to see big things from experienced World Championship competitor, Tsuneari Yahiro, as well as debutant Dean Hollowood and promising young talent, Mitchell Durham.

“I think there’s a real level of excitement [amongst the team],” Golding said.

“There’s a real look towards the future, and I think the older athletes see that with the influx of younger athletes in the team. I think the young ones are really excited and will take comfort being in and around the more experienced members.”

The World Karate Federation Senior World Championships get underway tomorrow, Tuesday November 6 and will run through to Sunday November 11 in Madrid, Spain. Keep an eye on the Australian Karate Federation Facebook and Instagram pages for updates and results as they happen over the week.

Image: Jane de Wild

Final preparations underway ahead of Pacific Cup

33 Australian athletes are finishing off their training preparations before heading off to the third annual Pacific Cup and training camp from 2-6 October.

The Pacific Cup and training camp will be held in Dumbea in New Caledonia and will see the Australian contingent train alongside athletes from New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. The ultimate aim of the training camp is to provide an opportunity for participants to share knowledge and develop as athletes.

Over three days, they will be trained by six world-class coaches from around the globe, including six-time world champion and French National Team Coach, Alexandre Biamonti, 2010 Kumite World  champion Kristina Mah, and 2012 Team Kumite world champion and current Australian National Team Coach, Azedin Rghioui.

The Pacific Cup will cap off the training camp, with athletes from all four countries coming together on the Friday and Saturday to test their skills against their South Pacific neighbours in a formal competition setting.

Following the Pacific Cup, a handful of senior Australian athletes will turn their focus to the Karate 1 Premier League held in Tokyo the following week.

The Australian Karate Federation would like to wish all athletes participating in the training camp and Pacific Cup the best of luck.

For more information on the Pacific Cup and training camp, click here. Remember to keep an eye on the Australian Karate Federation Facebook page for all the results and photos following the tour.

24th WKF World Senior Championships Team

20 August 2018 
Official Australian Team Announcement

The Athlete Selection Committee of the Australian Karate Federation proudly announce and would like to congratulate the following athletes who have been selected to represent Australia at the following international event:

Event: 24th WKF World Senior Championships
Event Date: 6-11 November 2018
Place: Madrid, Spain

Olivia Clifford

Female Team

James Devenny

Para Karate

Meezaan Dickinson

Female Kata

Dean Dritsas

Male Team

Mitchell Durham

Male -84kg

Angel Georgieff

Male +84kg

Yehia Hasanen

Male -60kg

Dean Hollowood

Male -67kg

Jordan Maher

Male Team

Raymond Morcomb

Para Karate

Max Noble

Male Team

Kristina Perrin

Female -61kg

Rebecca Sullivan

Female -68kg

Daniel Tielen

Male Team

Michelle Wilson

Female +68

Tsuneari Yahiro

Male -75kg

Shaun Yuen

Male Kata

Certified as a true and accurate record on behalf of AKF Athlete Selection Committee
Yours sincerely

Donald James
Vice President

Marco Mazzanti
Chair National Sports Committee

Karate talent shines at National Championships

The 2018 Australian Karate Federation National Championships have wrapped up for another year, with over 600 competitors converging on Caloundra, Queensland over the weekend.

The National Championships once again demonstrated the abundance of karate talent in Australia, with established international representatives and Australian team members competing alongside developing junior and senior athletes from around the country.

Nearly 100 gold medals were awarded across the weekend, with each of the member states putting forward some very competitive teams in the Kata, Kumite and Team competitions.

Victoria topped the medal leaderboard at the close of the competition, with a whopping 142 medals, including 37 gold. Queensland and New South Wales weren’t too far behind, bringing home 93 and 72 medals respectively.

You can check out the full results from the weekend here, and head over to the Australian Karate Federation Facebook page for all the photos from the Championships.

Photo: Rowdy Partner Photography

Hard-working Rossiter-Hill ready to give Nationals his best

Tasmania’s Finlay Rossiter-Hill is not that different from most other 16-year-olds.

He likes to hang out with his dogs, go camping, fishing; the usual stuff. But at just 16-years-old, Rossiter-Hill has done something most others his age would struggle to believe to be in the realm of possibility.

Earlier this year, Rossiter-Hill was given the call-up to represent his country at the Oceania Karate Championships in the Junior Kumite 76+kg category, showing not just athletic talent, but a dedication and commitment to his sport few possess after just four years of competition.

Although the Tasmanian has already had plenty of success in 2018 with his first selection into the Australian team for the Oceania Championships, Rossiter-Hill won’t be heading into the National Championships with any complacency about his competition.

“[At the Oceania Championships], I learnt that anyone can be beaten on any given day,” Rossiter-Hill said.

“No one is invincible. All it takes is just one punch, kick or foul to end your chance of a podium finish.”

After only getting into competitive karate four years ago, Rossiter-Hill quickly became dedicated to the cause and working his way through local, state and eventually national & international competitions.

Now heading into his third National Championships, it is this development and growth as an athlete and competitor that Rossiter-Hill hopes will keep him on an upward trajectory and get him the results he is after.

“I believe that evolving is part of Karate; if you do not evolve you become predictable,” he said.

“I have become more confident and have worked hard on developing new skills.”

Off the back of his debut in the green and gold at the 2018 Oceania Championships and a well-deserved bronze medal result, Rossiter-Hill says won’t be leaving anything to chance at the upcoming national competition.

Navigating school, part-time work and family commitments, Rossiter-Hill has still managed to train multiple times a week (including state team training sessions) all with the goal of producing his best performance possible and going one better than his 2017 National Championship bronze.

“I have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that I give myself the best chance I possibly can every time I step onto the tatami,” he said.

“Of course you always hope to improve from your previous performances and another medal at national level would be amazing, but I don’t place any pressure or expectations on myself. I know if I perform to my best on the day anything is

The Australian Karate Federation National Championships will run from August 3-5. Keep up to date with all the latest results and information from the event via the AKF Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages.

Perrin sets eyes on fourth straight National title

In the small town of Goomalling in Western Australia, Kristina Perrin is making preparations for her 11th National Championships competition.

Spending the equivalent of a return trip Melbourne to Sydney in transit to and from training most weeks and being located some hours away from many of her training partners, being a top performing karate athlete hasn’t come easily for Perrin.

In the face of all the additional hours spent on the road, Perrin’s dedication to not just the sport but the small community that supports her is glaringly obvious.

“I travel two hours to Perth to train several times a week and one hour to the nearest big town the other days,” Perrin said.

“This means a lot of expenses in fuel cost and travel plus getting home at midnight from training whilst working full time. I do get a lot of support from the community though which makes it worthwhile living regionally.”

Just last weekend, the Goomalling community got behind their rising star and raised nearly $2000 to help get Perrin to Chile for a key international competition in her season.

It has already been a whirlwind year for the 22-year old, which has seen her compete in the K1 Premier League, take part in national training camps and be selected for the Australian team ahead of the World Karate Championships later this year.

But before she pulls on the green and gold, there’s still the National Championships to come, and the three-time Under 21 national champion and defending Women’s national title holder is feeling ready.

Competing in the -61kgs kumite and Open Women’s competition, Perrin says she won’t be paying any attention to the pressure that comes with her recent successes on competition day.

“I do feel a lot of pressure heading up to my 11th National Championships,” Perrin said.

“However, to perform my best on the day, I take all expectations and pressure off myself and just try to enjoy the experience and that seems to help me perform to my best ability.”

In comparison to all of her international competition over recent months, Perrin says the National Championships is something entirely different for her.

“My preparation for the National Championships is always easier with state training on every Saturday I have definite training partners,” Perrin said.

“Competing at the National Championships is different from competing internationally because in the team environment you have your whole state supporting you.”

The Australian Karate Federation National Championships will take place on August 3-5. You can keep up to date with all the latest information on the AKF Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.