WSKF-SA Black Belt Awards Ceremony and Formal Dinner – 2024

17 Jun

Photo credits: Karate in Focus

Close on the heels of the intensive and gruelling annual WSKF Instructors Seminar, Black Belt karateka came together at the Black Belt Awards Ceremony and Formal Dinner. This year marked the 50th anniversary of this tradition and what a memorable evening it proved to be…

 

The beautiful décor, delicious food and heart-warming company provided the backdrop for a stellar Awards Ceremony.

There was much to celebrate about 2023… The National Team that represented WSKF-SA in Japan returned with suitcases full of well-deserved medals. Affiliation of new dojos and existing dojos from across the country was honoured and celebrated. Individual and team achievements on regional, national, and continental level received recognition. To top it all off, National Dan Grading results were celebrated with pristine, hand-crafted certificates, fresh out of Japan.

 

Gentleman, in their formal WSKF attire, and ladies, donned in their evening finery, took their places as the festivities began.

 

 

First on the programme, recognition was given to the members of the National Team who participated and won Gold- (6), Silver- (7) and Bronze medals (11) at the recent WSKF 16th World Championship event in Japan (November 2023).  (Photo credit: Charlene Biggs

Next, the dojo’s who are affiliated with WSKF-SA received their official Affiliation Certificates. The prestigious “Best Dojo” trophy was awarded to Karate Vaal Dojo, under the leadership of Martin Pretorius Sensei. This award recognises excellence in all matters related to karate and participation in WSKF-SA, both on and off the tatami.

 

Throughout the year, various karateka competed in regional tournaments, on provincial level, on national level and in international tournaments. A number of these students were awarded Protea Colours for Karate, and their superb achievements were celebrated, as they joined the ranks of those who have gone before them.

Topping off the celebrations, karateka who passed their Dan Gradings, were awarded their official Japanese certificates. Most notably amongst these karateka were the awards for senior students (5th Dan and higher) who are obliged to grade under the scrutiny of the WSKF World Chief Instructor, Hitoshi Kasuya Sensei.

Promoted to Nanadan (7th Dan), Quentin Rourke Sensei was commended for his excellent grading performance.

Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski Sensei was promoted to Godan (5th Dan) and received commendation for her exceptional grading.

For his notably outstanding grading performance, Sandile Makwali Sensei was promoted to the rank of Godan (5th Dan).

Instructors who have recently joined WSKF-SA also received their re-registration acknowledgement.

 

Louis Ramakulukusha Sensei was recognised for his rank of Rokudan (6th Dan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dojo Kun

04 Dec

1. Hitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomeru koto.
Seek perfection of character.

2. Hitotsu! Makoto no michi o mamoru koto.
Be faithful.

3. Hitotsu! Do ryoku no seishin o yashinau koto.
Endeavor to excel.

4.Hitotsu! Rei gi o omonzuru koto.
Respect others.

5Hitotsu! Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto.
Refrain from violent behaviour.

20 Lessons of Master Funakoshi

04 Dec

1. Karate begins and ends with courtesy.
2. There is no first attack in karate.
3. Karate must only be used for justice.
4. Know yourself first, and then know others.
5. The mind comes before the body.

6. Set the mind free.
7. Carelessness comes before accidents.
8. Karate is not only for the dojo.
9. Karate training is for a lifetime.
10. Put karate in everything you do.

11. Karate is like hot water turning cold.
12. Do not think that you have to win, but think that you do not have to lose.
13. Understand the difference between vulnerable and invulnerable points.
14. Move according to your opponent.
15. Think of your opponent’s hands and feet as swords.

16. Once you leave home you have 1,000,000 enemies.
17. Kamae is for the beginner, Shizentai is for the advanced.
18. Kata done correctly will be different than combat.
19. Remember the light and heavy elements of kata.
20. Always think creatively.

Essentials of Budo

04 Dec

YAIKI

There is a word “YAIKI” in Japanese Archery. It mean the moment of arrows.
Even an arrow hits the target,we can see the way of hitting is bad or not.
You might think that if the arrow hits the target, the way of hitting is not so important.
However, if the arrow has bad “YAIKI”,the arrow can hit the target, but cannot go through an armour or board.
This can be applied to the techniques of KARATE. First class Karate Player’s techniques make people shudder by their speed, power, and control. Immature players can play with speed, but lack something.
Though they might get points, not to improve their techniques with thorough going practices. This is same as bad YAIKI, which lacks something essential in martial arts.
In sports, getting points tends to be considered important. Actually, many Karate instructors teach players how to “win” the match. However, although Karate has an aspect of Sports, It is yet based on the concept of BUDO, martial arts.
Karate is not about winning, the way of winning and the process of challenging a match is most important. In this process, players learn many things, not only technique but also mental toughness.
Doping issues and illegal acts by judges and players in Olympic games are a warped aspect of the doctrine of winning.

MENTALITY

Now, let me talk about mentality. What makes YAIKI bad or good is the people’s minds.
if the person is in the state of spiritual darkness, YAIKI will be bad. In Karate, there is “test
splitting,” which is splitting a plank or stone in two by a hand. If you have anxiety or hesitation in your mind, you cannot split it because it acts brake on splitting a plank.
This is also same in KUMITE and KATA. Hesitation changes dynamics of WAZA (techniques). I myself, when I was young,
I always had to fight with the anxiety and hesitation my mind. As the strong desire to win makes my body inflexible, I could not display its ability and lost a lot. Even when I won a match, I could not win in an ideal way.
I played until the age of 40.I was released from the spiritual darkness at the age of 33.
Before the final match of World Championships, when I was planning strategies, suddenly I felt that I would leave the rest to providence as I did my best until today (actually I practiced about 10 hour/day for 2 month before the match).
Then I felt relived, and won in an ideal way in which my body worked involuntarily with disinterest in winning.
After that I continue to play until the age of 40 because I pursued this ideal spiritual moment. My main interest to play Karate is to play in this ideal way, not to win games.

KATA

in Karate, there are Kata (forms). Most of them are established in China, then introduced to Okinawa (Southern islands in Japan).
From old time, Karate players improved their techniques by practising these forms. Technique of Karate can be acquired by practising KATA. Recently, people tend to practice by KUMITE (fighting) to win game, and not to practice KATA. KATA is essence of Karate. In KUMITE, you can play only with combative instinct and quick relaxes without learning the forms and techniques. If someone practices only by KUMITE, he/she will not be able to play Karate over the age of 40.
By KATA, you can learn ideal balance, speed and breathing. Today, the era of games, Karate players tend to care how to show their playing style and forms beautifully using KATA,
in which real powerful punch and kick cannot be seen. On the other hand, it does not mean that can get beautiful KATA by getting only speed and power.
My purpose of practising KATA places great importance on the mental aspect. I can calm down myself before starting KATA, I try not to strain and relax myself (Zenshin) when I do forwarding KATA, maintaining dynamic status while performing static movement, and maintaining static status while conducting violent attack, to play KATA with senses of fulfilment and fight (Tsuushin) and to end with no idle thoughts, which is very difficult to achieve. (Zanshin)
I experienced this feeling only twice when I was competitor in games in the past.
I did not notice anyone even audience and judges, and my breathing was perfect in spite of the hard movements. I attained a spiritual state of perfect selflessness and it was great feeling. I practice Karate over 40 years almost every day and every time to achieve this feeling.
From my experience, I found that controlling myself is much more difficult that controlling opponents in the fight.
What I want to say is your mind moves and controls your body.

REI

Finally, I would like to talk about REI (respect).
In martial arts, REI is considered very important. REI means respecting people. The significance of leaning Karate is this, especially for youth and children.
Off course, Karate is ideal sport which works to make youth and children’s body gain well-balance physique. However the most
important thing is that Karate gives children a sense of respect and confidence by possessing techniques.

MODESTY

Another important point is modesty. For Japanese, this modesty is very important.
Although this point might be difficult to understand for others in different cultures, this is the most important point in learning martial arts.
If you are too confident, you cannot see important things. If you consider you are immature, you can ask others for advice.
This is because Karate players bow before entering DOJO (training hall). In other word, they have to leave their pride and career outside of DOJO to learn everything modestly.
In Japan person who shows off his ability is regarded as uneducated and uncultured person. However, in some countries, displaying one’s ability is considered important.
This is a matter of cultural difference. I don’t know which is better.

BEAUTY

Finally, the quintessence of sport combative is that when you face an opponent, you bow properly with respect, show combative instinct like animals with the voice of the judge HAJIME, fight with omniscience and omnipotence, come back to human being with the voice of judge announcing the end YAME, and then bow with modesty and respect regardless of defeat or victory.
This action is beauty of a martial arts.

From http://www.world-shotokan.com/shotokan_e/essential.html

World Shotokan Karate Federation

Benefits of Karate

04 Dec

Karate is one of the most balanced and complete ways of keeping in good physical condition. Karate incorporates the use of the entire body in which legs, hips, spine, shoulders and arms are co-ordinated to develop balance, flexibility, poise, speed, strength and stamina. No other form of training uses as many parts of the body to such an extent. Karate is not seasonal and so one’s condition can be maintained throughout the year. Other forms of training, where exercise for the sake of exercise is done, become a chore after the first enthusiasm passes and are invariably dropped. However, Karate becomes more interesting and rewarding as you progress, without any limit. Even after decades of training, students will still be learning and improving their techniques – this is very rare in any sport.

Karate training has many benefits for children, especially the development of three important areas of their personality, namely self-confidence, etiquette and discipline.

Self-Confidence

Karate helps prepare a child for life. The children in our Karate classes know more is expected of them and with a little encouragement and support from their instructor and parents, they rise to the occasion.

Etiquette

Children are taught from the outset that Karate is primarily a defensive and not an offensive martial art. They learn to be polite and respect their fellow students, instructor and parents. Soon, they become aware that good manners consist of having consideration for other people.

Discipline

Children react to discipline very well and after a short period they develop self-discipline. Their concentration is enhanced as they focus their mind on the job in hand. Many parents notice a marked improvement in their child’s powers of concentration.