The Wanganui Kyokushin Karate team will be missing two of its finest hopes at this weekend's 50th New Zealand Kyokushin Karate Championships in Hastings.
Club spokesman Richard Hood said current national middleweight champion Chris Sheahon will not be competing in the full contact division because he has his black belt grading in a few weeks and won't risk injury.
And Hood's partner Tracey Boswell, who he also coaches, has been ill this last week and just can't shake it off.
"I'm no will to risk Tracey is she's not fully recovered," Hood said.
"Being full contact it is not worth risking serious injury if mind and body are not 100 per cent."
For all the others in Wanganui team, apart from multiple time national champion Hood, it will be their first New Zealand nationals.
That includes Hood's son Jake who has competed in Australia this year. Hood took his 15-year-old son Jake and Boswell to compete in Sydney at the NSW Championships in June, in the Colts (Under 21) and Open Women's divisions respectively, after training them for six months for the event.
Boswell, 42, had three gruelling full contact fights in a larger division.
She won the decision in her first fight, then had to face an experienced Japanese competitor who was 20 years her junior, to whom she lost. Jake lost his fights, but received the tournament's Fighting Spirit award.
Hood, 52, had come out of semi-retirement to compete in Sydney and left his mark in the Open Men's competition. He will be attempting to win his 14th national title in Hastings this weekend on the way to chasing down his good mate and fellow Wanganui fighter Pete Parson's national record of 15 titles.
"Pete's retired now and I'm chomping right on his heels to surpass his record of 15 titles. He might have to come out of retirement too," Hood said.