Funakoshi Karate instructor Peter Conroy describes being back at the National All Styles Martials Arts Championships on the weekend after three years as a "triumphant" experience.
The Terang-based sensei, alongside a team of four including Terang mother and son Jill and Tobi Cole, produced strong results at the Gold Coast-based championships on Saturday and Sunday.
Conroy said after restrictions from the pandemic across the past three years it was a wonderful feeling being back.
"We were thrilled on a number of levels - it was the first competition we've been allowed to have because of coronavirus restrictions in three years," he said.
"That's been hurtful for all of us because we haven't been involved at the sport at the level we'd like.
"But the four that went, two got some great results - it's a triumphant feeling to be back, maybe not at full-strength but we're back.
"It was just good to see people again - you befriend these people over decades and you watch them and their kids as well as the community develop over time and to see them was fantastic."
Tobi finished in second place in the under 72kg male black belt points sparring and third in the state versus state points sparring events.
Karate champion Jill was at her usual consistent best across the weekend, finishing third in the veterans women's black belt points sparring, second in the veterans women's black belt continuous sparring, second in the women's black belt under 60kg point sparring and third in the state versus state point sparring events.
"They did really well - Jill has been consistent for a decade but Tobi is a young man who keeps getting stronger and better at his competition karate. It's something we hope for all of them," Conroy said of the mother-son pair.
"He's really taken it all on board."
While Conroy didn't compete, he enjoyed the experience of judging both kata and points sparring and judged all of the women's Champion of Championship events.
"Even though I wasn't competing I had a serious step up in that regard and it was a great experience," he said.
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