Let me introduce you to Saleh Amine the current Kyokushin Karate Middleweight Full Contact Champion of Victoria in a multi organizational event.
Sal took the title recently winning the final against a Black belt with a Technical Knockout only a few seconds into the fight. Sal weighing a comfortable 75kgs in the Middleweight 70-80Kg division, a weight he has settled on through experience putting on weight and losing weight for tournaments and feeling the 75kg to be his best fighting weight where he feels strong but also agile and unrestricted.
Saleh is 20 years old and currently holds the rank of First Kyu which is a brown belt black stripe or one before black. He will be taking the huge Black belt grading in June this year after 8 years of training.
The Kyokushin Black Belt or Shodan grading when attempted at the Glenroy Dojo consist of around 5 hours of high intensity training with only a few short 2-minute breaks to drink or consume some carbohydrates to keep you going. After 5 hours of going through all the basic and advanced techniques you have learnt over the years in various forms from standing basics to Idegieko or moving basics testing various stances with combinations of punches strikes blocks and kicks, after displaying a strong knowledge of one step and three step combinations, after performing self defence strategies with a partner and also under pressure , after displaying high level Kata routines , after fitness and conditioning including a hundred pushups sit-ups and squats and after Breaking three pieces of 19mm pine stacked on top of each other with a punch, a knife hand , a heel and an elbow. After all that they begin 40 fights of hard sparring of 90 second rounds with next to no break. Of the 40 fights the first 20 are made up of those also grading on the day and maybe a few black belts thrown in the mix, the final 20 however are all black belts stretched warmed up and ready to fight. The Kyokushin Black belt is certainly well earnt, and Saleh is in just the right shape to take that test.
Saleh Started training in 2013 after trying Goju Karate for a couple of months but found it unrewarding.
His Dad himself a wrestling champ in Lebanon had the boys playing Basketball and drove past the Fighting Arts Fitness Centre and was keen to get the boys involved in Martial Arts. The Basketball continued alongside the Martial arts for 14 years
Sal joined FAFC along with his two older brothers Taha and Zac and they all trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kickboxing and MMA but unlike his brothers Sal was drawn to the Kyokushin.
Sal has competed in all sorts of competitions including non-contact point scoring, Continuous and Full Contact and has competed both interstate and Internationally. The biggest success being winning the Junior WKO All Japan in Osaka in 2017. Although he credits the Arnold Classic Australia Kyokushin as being the most memorable event along with his 2018 loss in Japan where he feels he learnt the most about competing and dealing with the nerves associated.
He says he trains now because he enjoys the hard work pre-fight, getting ready for the fight and how the training effects the outcome of
the fight. Although in his last fight previous work on timing his head kicks paid off, he didn’t get to
even throw one of the back kicks he has been working on recently. From all the pushing yourself to extremes he finds the training provides an outlet from all the normal stresses of life and a break from his study where he is working towards a Bachelor of Paramedicine. That study may evolve to further study while he works as a paramedic leading him somewhere else in the medical field. Sal continued to train right through his VCE year scoring top marks for his ATAR. The training in Kyokushin attributes him with not only physical strength but mental health providing a healthy balance between work and study along with controlling and resolving stressful situations.
One of Saleh’s most rewarding wins was the Student of the Year award when he was a 7th Kyu. Showing his dedication to Karate has been strong for quite some time.
As well as attending Kyokushin Classes the occasional Kickboxing or MMA session and teaching some classes Sal also regularly works out in the Gym or at home and runs 5-10kms three or four times per week. In fact the group Hill runs in Glenroy rate alongside the back to back traditional class followed by a hard fighters class as the most enjoyable classes.He aspires to continue to grade after his Shodan grading and to continue fighting at least for a while. He would like to win a National Full Contact Championship and get in another international tournament when the borders finally open. He wants his last tournament before stopping to be a big event win.
Saleh teaches the Juniors on Wednesday at the Glenroy Dojo and enjoys teaching along with the recognition the juniors give him around the club.
He lives with his Mum Dad and 3 brothers the youngest Noah who is only 6 years old.
He has found inspiration in both Shihan Maria Rich and Ronda Rousey.
Sal is a strong fighter with many techniques he has worked on and honed to make up a complete fighting style but lists as his favourites Jumping Back Kicks, Calf Kicks
and of course his Roundhouse head kick that has won him so many bouts.
Over the years Sal has spent time improving his diet and learning about nutrition and the effect food has on him and has now settled into the comfortable 75 Kg living and fighting weight and monitors his food intake but without following any strict diets or Plans.
We are proud to have Saleh Amine as part of our team. He is an integral part of the workings of the club and we wish him all the best in his Martial Arts training and in Life in general.