Iranian karate champ makes roots in Ballarat

IRANIAN karate champion Mohammed Rezaie has made Ballarat his home.

The 24-year-old, trained in Kyokushin Karate, claimed the Iranian Heavyweight Title in 2010, before beginning his journey to move to Australia. 

Rezaie came to Australia in 2010 as an asylum seeker, where he was detained in detention centres for about two years before he was granted permanent residency and settled in Adelaide.

He was later recommended to go to the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association’s Ballarat branch under the head of Sensei Steve Hardy, which became reality about one month ago. 

Hardy said he has started training with the Australian team based in Ballarat, with Shannyn Ward as his main training partner.

“Mohammed has been strengthening Shannyn’s technique, and the pair complement each other well,” Hardy said. 

“His aim is to carry Australian papers, learn better English, become an Australian citizen and eventually join the Australian navy.”

In the coming year, Rezaie plans to compete in the Victorian Full Contact Championships, the Australian Finals and before going to the world championships next year in South Africa. 

“He would like to continue Kyokushin, and go to the world championships to take a world title.”