Montanna White a finalist in Kyoshi Awards as Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts boosts confidence

KICKING CONFIDENCE: Sensai Melissa Mullholland with Montanna White at Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts in Narromine. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

KICKING CONFIDENCE: Sensai Melissa Mullholland with Montanna White at Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts in Narromine. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

At only age 14  Montanna White was selected as one of three finalists to attend the Annual Kyoshi Awards in the category of Exceptional Club Member in the Colt division held in Port Macquarie late last month. 

The excellence awards cover the entire Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts Systems in NSW, ACT and Queensland, which has over 2000 members. 

Mentor and coach Sensai Melissa Mullholland said she is “stoked” with Montanna’s achievement, and said she has come a long way since starting at the centre only 15 months ago. 

“We’re just very, very proud of Montanna and how far she’s come in such a short time,” Mullholland said.

“Unfortunately she didn’t win it, but to just to make the finals and to be nominated is huge for a little place like Narromine.”

Sensai Melissa Mullholland with Montanna White at the award ceremony.

Sensai Melissa Mullholland with Montanna White at the award ceremony.

The Narromine Kumiai-Ryu Martial Arts System has been open for almost two years, and boasts 40 students, which Mullholland said is “incredible”.

“We had our first birthday on January 20 this year, and have close to 40 students, which is a huge amount of numbers for a little community.” 

Kumiai Ryu teaches a variety of skills including, suitable for anyone between ages 5 and 70.

“We teach self defence, fitness, coordination, anti-bullying strategies, especially for school aged people it’s really important these days,” Mullholland said.

“It depends on what line you want to go to, some people choose fitness and self confidence.”

“That’s what Montanna’s picked up a lot, she was a shy little thing, who hardly spoke … but now she’s pushing [confidence] onto her friends at school as well, which is good.”

Mulholland is encouraging anyone to come along for an introductory trial.

“It’s open to anyone from the age of five right up to the age of 70, it doesn’t matter how old you are,” she said.

“It’s a great sport.”

The Narromine dojo is open on Monday and Wednesday from 4pm at St Augustine’s Parish Hall.