Bernie Luka has become the first woman in Australia to reach level first Kyu in traditional Okinawan karate at the Ballarat Karate Club’s latest grading.
Luka, 41, along with Rod McClean completed two hours of testing to progress from third to first Kyu.
They presented multiple empty-hand and weapon kata before being put through a gruelling line up of several full contact kumite (sparring) bouts.
In the process Luka created history for the 47-year-old club and the Okinawan Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate style in Australia.
She is now the highest ranking female ever within this style in the southern hemisphere.
Okinawan Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito Karate has it’s origin from the Okinawan islands and is a traditional Karate system dating back some 400 years.
It differs with other forms of karate that focus on competition.