Participants as young as four-year-olds competed at the South Burnett Martial Arts Tournament in Kingaroy on Sunday August 12.
Participants as young as four-year-olds competed at the South Burnett Martial Arts Tournament in Kingaroy on Sunday August 12. South Burnett Karate Association

GALLERY: Hosting a new style of martial arts

MARTIAL ARTS: Learning to light kick, sparr and self defend, martial art enthusiasts gathered in Kingaroy to learn from the best.

The South Burnett Martial Arts Tournament saw 100 competitors travel to the event held in Kingaroy State High School on Sunday August 12.

Promoter and South Burnett Karate Association president Geoff French said the main draw card was special guest Brian Ebersole.

The former American UFC fighter oversaw the wrestling rings and ground wrestling competitions over the weekend, and even joined in and competed against some people.

The competitors came from Bundaberg to Bathurst for the martial arts tournament.

"It was absolutely awesome, they are only gaining experience and everyone had a ball,” he said.

With more than 60-years in age difference, the competitors had a go at the 18 different events and more than five different fighting styles and forms, at the tournament.

"With the way we ran it, we're just getting more experience and some people said it's the best tournament they've been to,” French said.

With about one in ten competitors brand new to martial arts, the event was a learning curve for all forms of fighting styles such as team sparring, point sparring, sword combat and traditional form.

For the first time, the South Burnett tournament had a No Gi grappling event, or no uniform grappling, where competitors wear tight skinned shirts during the ground wrestling fight.

Ebersole is currently based in Sydney but will be regularly travelling up to Queensland over the next three years to help establish the grappling ground fighting style of competition.

"To set up the grass roots where people can go and see if they like it, ultimately it could lead to professional contracts for people,”r French said.

Ebersole is looking at assisting about six Queensland competitions to promote the wrestling event each year.

"We're just going to start competitions on ground fighting, and some new people jumping in and absolutely loved it,” French said.

More than 30 people came along for Ebersole's training session last Saturday ahead of the competition.

Three new schools also travelled to Kingaroy for the competition.

The event was sponsored by the South Burnett Regional Council, however the South Burnett would have received a big boost from the tourists staying on for the tournament, he said.

"It was a really great day, I'm looking forward to next year when we will have even more numbers,” French said.