Whanganui's multiple time national karate champion Richard Hood will be more nervous standing beside the mats than when he is competing in Sydney on Saturday.
Hood, who in a 30-plus year career won over a dozen New Zealand titles, had begun winding down his competing days a few years ago, until both his current partner Tracey Boswell and his 15-year-old son Jake Hood became interested in the sport.
Hood senior therefore became their coach while remaining active himself, and all three of them will now fly out on Friday to fight at the New South Wales state championships the following day.
"[As coach], it was a natural progression to stick with it, probably a little silly at my age," Hood said.
"It's the first time a father and son have fought on the same card."
The trio have been training for the past six months for the NSW event, with Jake doing his sessions with his father when he comes back to town on weekends.
Jake will make his fighting debut in the Colts (Under 21) division, while Hood enters the Open Men's and Boswell competes in the Open Women's.
The three of them will not know until they arrive how many Australians have registered for each grade.
"You could have one fight in a day, or you could have three," said Hood.
Watching them both will be the hardest part, although Hood told his partner and son they should just enjoy the moment, and not feel any pressure to perform well for him as their coach.
"I've told them in no uncertain terms....it's all about them, they're the ones out there."