5 Times World Karate Champion Lourene Bevaart

Lourene is, and always has been a highly competitive athlete.  She has trained and competed for many years on the International Circuit with some of the best and most experienced coaches and athletes in the world.

Lourene started her training at the age of 22. After being followed home from college a couple of times she decided she needed some training in self defence. She looked around at a few karate schools and finally settled at Samarai karate in Croydon, Melbourne, under Chief Instructor Paul Mitchell.

With her background as a Physical education teacher the physical training was challenging but the mental discipline required was a lot more challenging as she discovered but enjoyed.

Within a year of commencing training Lourene found herself in her first tournament, competing in kumite, where she came second. And even after this reasonably successful, yet meagre introduction to competition, she knew then she would one day compete at an international event. Always competitive, even as a child, Lourene dreamed of representing Victoria, and eventually Australia, in a sport of some kind. As it turned out to be, that sport became Karate.

Lourene’s first international event was the Shukokai World Championships in Finland in 1989 where she finished in 3rd place.  The final ranking came as a surprise, considering her experience at this level; but it proved to be the impetus to set her sights on winning a WKF World Championship.

Today Lourene has competed at over 10 WKF world events, 2 APUKO (Asian Pacific) events and 5 Shukokai World Karate Championships.  She has also managed to return home with an international medal, from each of these events. Lourene has also competed at the Australian National Championships representing her home state, Victoria, from 1989 to 1998 and she has also captained Australia on three occasions.

Lourene attributes her success as a competitor to her self motivation and background within a strong club. Her involvement in the, Victorian Team training with Australian representatives such as Christine Ferguson, Marco Mazanti and Sonia Leonardi, to name only a few, she feels has also been a tremendous advantage. Lourene has also trained under Antonio Olivia (the ex- Spanish National Coach), Richard Bradford (a past AKF National Coach) and Alan Murdoch who she still speaks of highly; and he also had a tremendous admiration her.

Lourene believes that her instructor, Paul Mitchell, was able to bring out the best in his fighters and has a wonderful teaching method.  He achieves this by combining a strong background in basics, with innovative fighting techniques and strategies. She also pays a tribute to the late Sensei Alan Murdoch who had a major impact offer to her early training.

Lourene’s training regime for an event such as a WKF event is certainly intensive, and includes a large element of weight training to build her strength and power base. During this period she trains twice daily, 6 days a week, working on technique, general and specific fitness, speed work, tactics, plyometrics, movement and basics such as blocking and punching drills.

Aside from the physical aspects of training, mental preparation through visualisation and general motivation are essential part of Lourene’s daily routine. She finds this to be an essential element for her to reach her optimal performance level.

Ensuring enough rest is also important well as a sensible diet. Rather than eating three set meals each day. Lourene snacks on such things as fruit, vegetables, salads and pasta….all the regular healthy stuff…..and the occasional chocolate!

Being a VIS scholarship holder, Lourene had access tom some of the best in the state when it came time for preparation for a major championship.; whether that be a strength and conditioning coach, a sport psychologists, dietician or a masseuse. They all contributed to her knowledge of the sport and her success.

Lourene was one of an estimated 2.4 million people who tuned into the first episode of Gladiators in April 1995. She fell in love with the show instantly.

While attended the Gladiator tryouts at Melbourne’s Festival Hall, she was but one of many wannabes vying for a place on television’s most extravagant game show.

No sooner had Lourene completed the tryouts than was she approached by producer, Pat Condon who asked her if she wanted to be a Gladiator, Lourene nodded feverishly, but Pat decided to first to test her out and put her in the series as a challenger.

Knowing that her chances becoming a Gladiator depended on her performances, Lourene powered through the second series and won it outright.  However, Pat Condon had one more test for her to complete…the International Challenge series….piece of cake! Lourene churned through the world’s best challengers and Gladiators and finished runner-up in the series. Is that enough to become a Gladiator?

Lourene was in the middle of teaching a sports class at Lilydale High School when the call came through.

“How would you like to be a Gladiator”….and before Pat Condon could finish the question, Lourene  had already answered yes!

After winning the second Gladiator Series, Lourene resigned from her position as Head of a Physical Education Department to join the Gladiator Series as “Glacier”.  During this period she also won the title of “World Karate Champion” for a 5th time and established her own Personal Training Business.

As a sought after Personal Trainer, Fitness Consultant and Public Speaker, Lourene has worked extensively throughout Australia and around the WorldHer client list includes such people as Academy Award Winner, Russell Crowe, as his Personal Trainer for 5 years and Australian Test Cricketer, Shane Warne who sought her help, advice and direction in preparation for his comeback following his 12 month suspension, in order to regain his legendary form.

While still being a Gladiator at heart; Lourene is also the mother of 2 young children, juggling the competitive demands of family, business and community responsibilities – so working with businesses to help bring some work:life balance into Corporate

Australia is something she fully understands, and feels very passionately about.

Lourene’s philosophy on life, success & being a champion is simple.  Set a goal, learn how to achieve it, understand what it takes – and just do it.  To be the best. You must do your best – and surround yourself with the best.

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