World Black Belt Blog
Fighting to Stay On Top
Submitted by: Harrison Luke
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It has been over a year now since female karate champion, Charl Pohnel, has relocated to California from Hawaii. Her ambition was to compete in more tournaments and to achieve national championship status. In 2007 CharlAnne’s first Tournament was the Compete Nationals.
She fought four times and came out on top as the first place winner. The following weekend she traveled to Utah to compete in the Salt City Internationals. She competed in two different divisions coming up with a first and a third place finish.
Disappointed with the third place finish, she was determined to step up her training. The increase in intensity and duration of training wasn’t enough to help her find success in the Golden Gate Nationals where she was only able to finish in third place.
After studying her matches she realized it was not so much her training as it was planning a strategy for her various opponents.
CharlAnne spent a lot of time logged on to martial arts websites to review a multitude of sparring matches. Much like NFL players studying film of their opponents CharlAnne was able to develop a game plan to prepare for the Long Beach Internationals. In 2006 she won first place in two divisions but was unable to compete for the Grand Championships due to a medical condition.
This year would be a different story. CharlAnne was mentally and physically prepared for the challenge. In her first match she launched an all out offensive assault by beating her opponent 10 to 0.
After winning her division she was qualified to compete for the Grand Championship. Before the big match she reflected on the events of the year, the disappointing finishes, numerous injuries and falling short of some of her goals. She knew that if she could win the Grand Championship it would be a defining moment in her martial arts career.
Her husband and coach, Ron, sought tips from his friend and fellow martial arts champion Drew Christian. Drew’s coaching tips and words of encouragement gave her the inspiration and confidence to step up her game and win the International Grand Championship.
In the video CharlAnne talks about her martial arts in Hawaii, her championship training program, and clips of her International Grand Championship victory.