A 13-year-old Māori lad from Pawarenga and Pātea has reached his peak in one of the most rigorous martial art form Sir Gee Dorr Kung Fu; it's not about fighting but more to do with self-defence.
Meet Riaihe Rangihaeata, and his quick rise in the sport.
They say Sir Gee Dorr Kung Fu is one of the toughest martial arts, however it's simply the life of Riaihe.
After eight years of determination, Riaihe Te Ahiwai Rangihaeata has earned his black belt in Sir Gee Dorr Kung Fu.
Riaihe’s father, Tuteri Rangihaeata says, “The Chief instructor of the academy is Charlie Tamati from Ōpōtiki, he is the master in Auckland and New Zealand.”
Rangihaeata believes, the art form has a very similar style to Māori weaponry.
He says, “There are a lot of lessons to learn, but what's most important is for him to stand proud to represent Māoridom and the country.”
To achieve black belt status, fighters must complete a three-day grading session in Thailand, which Riaihe recently achieved.
Riaihe has reached the top of this sport in New Zealand, and due to limited students he has to seek competition internationally.