Students of the prolific Port Stephens martial arts exponent and 8th Dan Grandmaster Robert Frost continue to enjoy success at representative levels.
Frost, who runs a number of Toogee Martial Arts Centers across the harbor and is based in Raymond Terrace, has been training boys and girls of all ages and skill levels for over 40 years.
Two of his most recent successes are Port Stephens teens Zarleigh Went and Jayme Zikman at the Australian Mixed Martial Arts Titles held in Sydney earlier this month.
Jayme, of Lemon Tree Passage, is a 15-year-old student at Hunter River High and team captain. She returned home with her third medal at the national championships – this time in the extreme demonstration category.
Jayme is coached by her father Tim Zikman at the Mallabula club. “Jayme has been training since the age of nine and aims to compete in more competitions in 2022,” he said.
Zarleigh, 14, a ninth grade student at Irrawang High School, won two titles: the Australian Continuous Sparring Champion and the Australian Points Sparring Champion titles in the 13-15 age group.
Zarleigh, who trains at club Raymond Terrace, also placed third in the full contact sparring event, which was open to all skill levels, including black belts.
She is late in the sport, having only started kickboxing training around 18 months ago and taekwondo since the start of this year.
“Just two weeks ago, she competed in state titles and earned the state champion title in full contact sparring, where she competed at four levels – full contact, point contact, sparring with points and free sparring. It’s an incredible achievement as this time last year, she hadn’t even thought about competing, “said Lue Fagan, community liaison officer at Irrawang High.
“What else can we say besides congratulations from the whole community at Irrawang High School.”
Zarleigh is now eligible to compete with the Australian squad, with a number of overseas competitions on the horizon.
Toogee had four other participants – Fred (who finished second), Naiya, Zanda and Bella – who all excelled at their events. “The sportsmanship that everyone showed was incredible and they made the club proud,” said Robert.
Frost started the Toogee Taekwondo Club in the 1990s and has opened centers throughout the region. At its peak, the club held classes for up to 500 students. Today, Toogee runs around 25 classes with hundreds of students ranging in age from three to 83.
In addition to taekwondo, several of its centers offer classes in other styles of gymnastics, cardio, and strength training with certified instructors.