WHILE she was thrilled to represent NSW at last month's AKF National Karate Championships, 10-year-old Sabaa Shaikh (pictured) admits she was disappointed in her final result after being disqualified for "hitting too hard".
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However she doesn't plan on letting it discourage her from the sport she loves.
"I am definitely going to try again," she said.
Sabaa said the first time she competed in a big tournament, she was nervous but is used to it now, adding that winning "definitely helps".
A Year 4 student at Granville Public School, she made the NSW team after winning gold in the sparring (Kumite) competition at the NSW State Championships, the NSW Open and the Sydney All Style competitions. She also won bronze in the pattern (Kata) category at each of the three tournaments.
"I like doing both," she said.
"Kumite is my favourite. It's more jumping and moving around, that's why I like it.
"Kata is a little bit harder because you have to memorise all the steps."
A brown belt, she took up the sport four years ago, encouraged by her parents at Granville's Unique Budokan Karate Academy and she also now teaches some of the under six students.
"Karate is a fun and healthy activity to do," she said. "It teaches you how to defend yourself."