It’s been a busy week for Craig Harmer and his students at the Goulburn Martial Arts Academy, as they have been away competing and claiming a number of medals in numerous disciplines.
The weekend before last, Harmer and a contingent of eight students traveled to the Victorian capital to take part in the All Australian International Taekwondo Federation Championships.
Harmer’s students won a number of medals for their sparring abilities, including several golds, but more importantly, the event served as a warm-up for the CHITF World Championships which are set to take place in Australia for the first time from March 9 to March 10.
“It was good,” Harmer said of his students’ success in Melbourne.
“It was a bit of a warm-up for some of the students. We’ve already got 14 registered to go to the World Championships.”
Although Harmer said that it would be “nice to medal”, he knows that the event will be the biggest challenge a number of his students have faced in their sparring careers.
That being said, he is confident that his club and its members will give themselves the best chance of success.
“I know the guys that medaled [in Melbourne], in particular the junior and the veterans, they’ll be very competitive at their level,” he said.
Harmer also made an exciting announcement about his own participation in the World Championships.
“I’m coming out of retirement to compete,” he said.
“I’m very confident that I’ll be very competitive. I’d be disappointed if I don’t [get] close to [a] medal. Gold is the [overall] goal, but definitely getting to the medal rounds is my first goal.”
The World Championships will also be held in Melbourne, and Harmer expects there to be a turnout of roughly 250-300 competitors from all over the globe.
“From us alone, we’re taking 13 and I’m hoping to get 20,” he said.
“I know Argentina is bringing a team of 160 people themselves, that’s including parents and family.
“Canada will have a very large team, that’s where our HQ is.”
Along with the club’s sparring success last weekend, Harmer’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) student, Liana Kaloumaira, competed in and won her division in the NSW BJJ Federation’s Summer Cup at the Sydney Uni Sports and Aquatic Centre last weekend.
The 17-year-old has been practicing BJJ for less than a year, but has already earned four competition medals in that time.
“She’s phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal,” Harmer said of Kaloumaira’s BJJ skill.
“She gives it to the boys, too. Before, she was a little bit timid, but now she’s into it.”