Kicking Ass: Letitia Carr Interview


Letitia Carr of Wellington, competing for New Zealand at the 2009 Karate World Games on the back of her wins at the 2008 Oceania Karate Championships becomes New Zealand’s most successful Karate Athlete narrowly losing to Slovakia 6-4 in a thrilling final that until the last 25 seconds she was leading 4-1. Silver in the open kumite event is New Zealand’s first medal at a senior WKF tournament in more than 35 years of trying and we are sure it is just the beginning, at 19 years of age she will be a force to reckon with on the world stage.

PA: Thank you for the opportunity to interview you Letitia. What got you interested in the martial arts and how old were you when you started training?

Letitia Carr: I wanted to learn self-defence, I started when I was 11 years old.

PA: Which style do you study?

Letitia Carr: I started off doing Shotokan karate, but now train Goju-Ryu karate.

PA: How long have you been training?

Letitia Carr: 8 Years (had 1 year off)

PA: How often do you train and what does your training consist of?

Letitia Carr: Average training a week consists of about 7 sessions per week. During the lead up period to major competition there can be up to 9-10 training sessions per week. Training sessions consist of karate, plyometrics, power/strength, agility and fitness training.

PA: Do you supplement your training at the gym or other exercise such as yoga or pilates etc?

Letitia Carr: Yes, plyometrics, power/strength, agility and fitness are all trained in the gym.

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A New Zealand First: Chris Rahardja Interview


Chris Rahardja (pictured left with famous rugby All Black Jonah Lomu) is a young karate-ka with a big future. As well as competing and succeeding in many national and international tournaments, he is the first martial artist ever to be nominated at the prestigious Halberg Awards - New Zealand's 'Oscars' for sports people - all at the ripe old age of 17!

PA: Thank you for the opportunity to interview you Chris. How old were you when you started training and what got you interested in the martial arts and specifically karate?

Chris Rahardja: I started when I was five as my parents wanted me to do something and they thought karate would be good because it would teach me some good values and how to defend myself. Sport was not the first thing that came to mind really, I started competing when I was eleven so a good 6 years of traditional karate training before I entered tournaments. I started karate because Dad did kung fu back in Indonesia and he thought karate was a good solid, powerful style [PA: I think that is probably the same for most kids - they end up in something their parents choose for them. CR: Yeah, pretty much].  I am pretty grateful ending up doing karate as when I watch Taekwon-do I am glad I didn't do TKD cause watching it at the Olympics I was just not very impressed with it, although I have trained with the likes of Logan Campbell who went to the Olympics and his legs are super fast but when you are fighting someone it [TKD] just doesn't quite click for me.

Chris with coach Shihan Duane MonkPA: Which style do you study?

Chris Rahardja: Fushin Ryu Karate New Zealand, a Ryobu kai / Wado-ryu based style.

PA: How often do you train and what does your training consist of?

Chris Rahardja: Training changes depending on what I am doing, for instance last year leading up to the World's I was pretty-much training everyday, consisting of short intervals, short bursts but now at the moment it averages maybe 1.5 to 2 hours [per session] and can consist of kata - doing all my kata to try to get my fitness back up. I try to do weights 3 times a week maybe, focusing on upper body and legs to build strength and stamina, and then I have specialised kumite training on a Thursday night as well which is when the whole Auckland squad comes together which is quite good. I do three or four basic classes a week focusing on kihon, which is important for both kata and kumite and to get my core strength working.

PA: So you train everyday?

Chris Rahardja: Pretty much, I have a day off every second Sunday.

PA: That's a lot of training!

Chris Rahardja: Yeah, fitting it in with school is quite hard (laughs).


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An interview with Gerda Geddes

Interview by Ronnie Robinson

Gerda Geddes was the first person who ever studied and taught Tai Chi in the UK, she began training in Shanghai at a time when very few women of any nationality were able to study the art. For nearly 60 years Tai Chi played an integral part in her life and she remained actively interested and open in her heart and mind right to the end. She passed away on Saturday 4th March 2006 at age 89.

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An Interview with Grandmaster William C.C. Chen

Interviewed by Ronnie Robinson

Earlier this year, at Tai Chi Caledonia we were fortunate to have Master William C.C. Chen teaching. Grandmaster Chen has studied Tai Chi Chuan for over 50 years was a close student of Professor Cheng Man-ching and is world-renowned for his achievements in applying Tai Chi Chuan as an effective martial art.

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