Just for kicks

Vincent D'Amaso is kicking on to new heights. 64397 Picture: Stewart ChambersVincent D’Amaso is kicking on to new heights. 64397 Picture: Stewart Chambers

By Gavin Staindl
HE has just returned from being crowned national karate champion at the Australian Open, but Cranbourne’s Vincent D’Amaso is not done yet.
D’Amaso, 13, says he is ready to take on the world at the Kobe Osakae International in three months, after beating the world champion to claim gold in the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The Cranbourne High School student took out the world champion in the sparring semi-final, before going on to win gold in the 50-55 kg weight category for 12-13 year-olds. He also returned with gold in the 12-13 year-old kata category – a form of Tai Chi.
Not content with beating boys of his own age, D’Amaso fought in the under-15 category, where he finished with a bronze in both the sparring and kata divisions.
Apart from his maiden gold, D’Amaso said the gold medal for sparring in the Open was his biggest achievement out of the 19 trophies and 34 medals he has won.
“I was confident I would win it,” he said.
“When we were fighting, I could hear everyone cheering … and I felt I deserved it (the win).”
D’Amaso began karate as a three-year-old, following in the steps of his father, before reaching the state and national squads.
Now, D’Amaso believes practising in martial arts has given him skills outside of fighting.
“It is fun and challenging and boosted my self-confidence,” he said.
“It has also boosted my discipline and patience, which helps me to be more focussed and confident at school.”