Canning’s Karate Kids

Canning’s Karate Kids

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Hannah Sullivan continues to carry her family’s standout karate legacy at home. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Canning’s karate family are continuing to take big steps on the world stage.

West Coast Karate, based in Willetton, serves as the dojo for many martial artists throughout the area.

But it also serves as the original home base for the Sullivans, a clan that continues to go far in the sport on an international level.

With his eldest daughter Rebecca currently training at a top dojo in the Netherlands, second daughter Hannah recently participating in the Oceania Karate Championships and oldest son Michael teaching in the same dojo, father – and “head of Style” – Brian Sullivan couldn’t be more proud.

They’ve basically been doing it all their lives,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Rebecca started at age five and enjoyed it form the start.

“Michael started at age six and was an outstanding competitor in his own right.

“Hannah took up training formally at age five.”

Hannah started competing at age eight and since then has won multiple national championships, as well as representing in international championships.

Mr Sullivan said she has stayed dedicated to the competition side of the sport, much like her older sister, with the competitiveness and travel being key factors.

“Hannah was the standout performer of the Australian athletes at the World Championships winning her way through four rounds to get to the final eight but unfortunately missed out on fighting off for a medal,” he said.

“For Hannah the next goal is the Under 21, Junior and Cadet World Championships which will be held in Madrid, Spain in November 2019.”

Rebecca has stayed at the top of the international game in the meantime, currently training to compete in a raft of European competitions.

Her pedigree is already established – she was national Australian champion five years running, from 2005 to 2009.

Mr Sullivan said Rebecca’s dedication to karate has taken her to the top levels of the sport, including the potential for the Olympics in 2020.

“The next major tournament is the Berlin Karate 1 tournament that takes place on 14-16 September 2018,” he said.

“The Berlin K1 is one of the premier events on the World Karate Calendar and is the first of the qualification tournaments at which an athlete can gain important ranking points which count towards selection for the Olympic games.

“Rebecca is very excited about the introduction of Karate to the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 and is very much aiming at qualifying to compete at the Olympic games.”

For the Mr Sullivan, it’s clear karate is a family affair.

“My wife Shelley also trained for a period of time but now with other commitments concentrates on the admin and keeping us all in line,” he said.

It’s clear success has come from the family’s entire dedication to both the sport and their business, something which Mr Sullivan said ties in well with the philosophy of karate.

“Karate provides more than just a physical workout, it is a form of self-defence, teaches control, discipline and respect is great for building confidence,” he said.

“We more than anything now enjoy being able to pass on the benefits of what we have learnt along the way to others through our school which is very much a family business involving the whole family.”