World title in Bec’s hands

KARATE QUEEN: Bec Washington, of Ballina, is No.1 in Australia for martial arts, and is heading to Sydney in October to compete in the Karate World Cup.
KARATE QUEEN: Bec Washington, of Ballina, is No.1 in Australia for martial arts, and is heading to Sydney in October to compete in the Karate World Cup. MIREILLE MERLET-SHAW

BEC WASHINGTON is certainly making a name for herself on the world martial arts stage.

The Ballina resident has qualified for the Karate World Cup to be held at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in outer Sydney suburb Liverpool in October.

Washington, ranked No.1 karate champion in Queensland, spoke confidently of her chances.

"I'm definitely going there and hoping to win," she said.

"I'm really excited to compete in this tournament, being my first year in karate."

Impressively, Washington is undefeated in the sport this year, highlighted by her impressive fourth-round win at the International Sports Karate Association tournament in Caboolture recently.

Washington attributes much of her success to her coach, Master Shane McKeahnie, a sixth dan black belt master.

Washington has a rigorous training regime.

"I train every day from five in the morning for two hours, and then in the afternoon for another hour," she said.

"I also teach classes, ranging from four-year-olds right up to adults."

Washington is just as adept at taekwondo, where she is Australia's No.1 black belt, holding the national championship title for open heavyweight black belt division.

After successfully mastering both martial arts disciplines, Washington says she has no favourite.

"Although I consider taekwondo my main discipline. I've loved learning from both.

"Taekwondo is predominantly about kicking and using your feet, whilst karate is more your hands."

Washington speaks glowingly of the Ballina Strike Martial Arts Centre, praising its "family environment, and its welcoming and encouraging atmosphere".

She has competed internationally before, in New Zealand last year, successfully picking up two bronze medals, the perfect preparation for the upcoming World Cup.

Strike's taekwondo for beginners adult course begins September 1, and runs for four weeks. Cost: $100.

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