DAN BARNES Gazelle Staff Writer – September 5,1985
George Manoli’s third international karate tournament could well be his last.
It’s not that the black belt is getting too tight around his waist. But, “I’m getting older. It takes longer for things to heal and if I get badly injured my (teachingl job is affected,” said the 26 year-old 3rd-Dan black bell.
Manoli will captain Canada’s lO-member team for a one day hard-contact tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Sept. 28. The All-Australian Championships will feature competitors from japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Venezuela, Thailand. possibly the U.S.S.R., Canada and Australia.
“The Australians are just fantastic fighters. Canada will do well” but the Aussies will be on home turf and that may give them an edge, he said.
Manoli is the only team member from outside Quebec but he spent two months this summer in Montreal with coach Wayne Donivan and sparred with other team members. He was honored to take the captaincy.
“Being the most senior and the best fighter, it is a big honor. 1 hope 1 carry it well. Winning is fine but you Illust be a role model as well.”
He became a role model quickly in Montreal, winning the heavyweight division in both city tournaments he entered this summer.
“I peaked when I first arrived in Montreal. I was demolishing” other fighters and easily won his first tourney. “‘But the second was like pulling teeth;” long ane; painful.
Training hasn’t been easy either in Montreal, St.Albert or Virginia, where he sparred with Casey Bush, a seventh-ranked heavyweight in PKA Karate.
And Manoli is concerned that perhaps he won’t be able to peak again for Brisbane.
Peaks and valleys
“I’ve spent four months preparing. I’ve peaked and gone down, peaked and gone down. 1 should do well, 1 hope 1 do, but if I have an off day … ”
In 1983 Manoli captained Canada’s team in Venezuela and was ranked second in the heavyweight division. Canada won the team competition, however. And in 1980 Manoli finished second in the All-japan Championships open division.
He’s hoping for that kind of success. And he sees perhaps three other Canadians, among them one of two women on the squad, doing well in Brisbane.
Manoli may have ulterior motives for making the trip all well-intentioned. He’ll speak to Mr. M. Hisataka, president of the Koshiki Karate-Do Federation and an 8th-Dan black belt. about selling up an exchange program.
Manoli wants to send his Father jan karate students to japan and invite Japanese students here.
Hisataka is the inventor of the head and body gear fighters wear to protect• them from kicks and punches.