Preparations are already underway for the 2018 Kyokushin Karate Nationals.

Edwin McKinnon his wife Lorraine Silbery-McKinnon and their son Lucas McKinnon are stoked to be bringing the nationals to Huntly.


This year Huntly has been selected to host the tournament, which will see more than 300 competitors flock to the town.


Usually nationals is held in either Auckland or Wellington, so this is a huge deal, Lorraine Silbery-McKinnon said.


Huntly Kyokushin Karate Club had 15 students place first and second at the Waikato Full Contact Kyokushin ...

Huntly Kyokushin Karate Club had 15 students place first and second at the Waikato Full Contact Kyokushin Karate Tournament held in March.


Silbery-McKinnon owns three karate clubs in the North Waikato, with her husband Edwin McKinnon.


The couple, along with their son Lucas McKinnon, are the head instructors and operators of Kyokushin Karate McKinnon Dojo, with premises located in Huntly, Te Kauwhata and Ngāruawāhia.


The McKinnon's run three karate clubs in the north Waikato.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/STUFF

The McKinnon's run three karate clubs in the north Waikato.


"We've been in Huntly for 30 plus years," Silbery-McKinnon said.


"My husband has been waiting to host a nationals here and this will be the first time ever we've had the option to do a nationals.


"We feel very privileged to be allowed to do it."


Nationals take place in June at Te Wharekura O Rakaumangamanga.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/STUFF

Nationals take place in June at Te Wharekura O Rakaumangamanga.


The nationals will see a much bigger class of competitors, Silbery-McKinnon said.


Elite fighters from across the country and overseas come to compete, she said.


"The feeling for the club at the moment is excitement and anticipation in preparing to compete once again.


"Entry forms have gone out around New Zealand, Australia and beyond – anyone in the South Pacific is eligible."


Nationals will take place on June 16, at Te Wharekura O Rakaumangamanga.


One of the biggest concerns will be making sure the venue is big enough to accommodate all of the fighters, Silbery-McKinnon said.


It's not far away now and there's lots to be done beforehand, she said.


"My son has started designing posters to put out and about and hang where we need to."


The national team will largely be made up of students who competed at the Waikato Full Contact Kyokushin Karate Tournament held in March.


"We had 24 student train for a solid three months, as well as attend their traditional classes, in preparation to compete in this tournament.


"We had 15 students place first and second, with one student taking out the most spirited award and another taking home Shihan's Trophy Choice."


The sport is always growing, Silbery-McKinnon said.


"Tournaments are a place for people to come, watch and learn.


"The physical capability, the focus and how people prepare to fight interests a lot of people – it's exciting and I love it."


The national tournament is also used to choose an international and world tournament team, Silbery-McKinnon said.


"Those selected will represent New Zealand in Australia and Japan.


"That's where we are aiming our goals to."


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