WSKF National Dan Grading – 2023

18 Oct

The annual WSKF National Dan Grading took place on 14 October 2023. Grading attempters and examiners from across the country converged on Vanderbijlpark at Kuro-Obi Shotokan Karate-Do dojo. This event testified to the substantial growth the organisation experienced in the past year, with one of the largest gradings, to date.

The notion that “karate is for everyone" was seen at this occasion, where karate-ka aged 16 to 70 presented themselves to showcase the progress they've made in the study of higher levels of understanding and ability. This proved to be a formidable undertaking, considering the seniority and collective experience of the grading panel.

In the spirit of organisational continuity and continued education, WSKF appoints an Observation Panel, comprised of Senior karate-ka who are new to the organisation, as well as existing WSKF-SA Seniors who have less experience with regards to grading. These members sit on the observation panel as observers. This year the panel was led by Zilla Steyn Sensei (4th Dan). The Observation Panel has a collective vote of one (1) point.

The auspicious Main Grading Panel consists of experienced WSKF-SA karate-ka, normally referred to as the Saiko Shihan Panel. Each of these members has completed and passed the qualifying examinations for Instructors and Examiners, as presented by WSKF-SA. These two panels represent decades of karate knowledge and experience.
The 2023 Saiko Shihan Panel consisted of the following members: Michael Dukas (8th Dan),
Phillip Venter (6th Dan), John Rust (6th Dan), Quentin Rourke (6th Dan), Andrio Lombaard (5th Dan), Stephan Steyn (4th Dan), Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski (4th Dan). Each of these members has 1 vote.

Front Row (left to right): John Peach (5th Dan), Louis Ramakulukusha (6th Dan), Martin Pretorius (4th Dan), Mike Dukas (8th Dan), Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski (4th Dan), Goran Stankovic (6th Dan), Wesley Dyssel (4th Dan), Zilla Steyn (4th Dan), Cobus Nienaber (4th Dan). Back Row (left to right): Philip Venter (6th Dan), John Rust (6th Dan), Stephan Steyn (4th Dan), Quentin Rourke (6th Dan). Not in the photo: Andrio Lombaard (5th Dan), Gary van Jaarsveldt (4th Dan).

Results of the Grading
Promoted to SHODAN (1st Dan)
• Rosemary Kloppers
• Willem Jonk
• Barries Conradie
• Johan Saunders
• Michael van Rooyen
• Daniel Coetzer
• Salma Kadwa
• Johanco Greyvenstein
• Juano van Tonder
• Kaylee van der Sandt
• Megan Weideman
• Katlego Nhlapo
• Fareed Marshall
• Hilmi Alam
• Sara Potterton
• Yolanda van Rooyen

Promoted to NIDAN (2nd Dan)
• Marius van Niekerk
• Elke Human
• Boitumelo Makhanya
• Annchen Weihmann
• Sasha Rogowski has to repeat her Kumite in January 2024

Promoted to SANDAN (3rd Dan)
• John van der Sandt
• Duncan Rogowski
• Damon Jardim

Promoted to YONDAN (4th Dan)
• Andrew Els
• Lindie Jenkins
• Jaco Visagie

The following students were commended with “Best Grading on the Day" in their categories: Ms Katlego Nhlapo (Shodan); Ms Elke Human (Nidan); Mr Jaco Visagie (Yondan; Overall Best Grading of the Day).

Left to right: Quentin Rourke Sensei (6th Dan), Katlego Nhlapo (1st Dan).

Left to right: Jaco Visagie (4th Dan), Stephan Steyn Sensei (4th Dan) Mike Dukas Shihan (8th Dan), Elke Human (2nd Dan), Zilla Steyn Sensei (4th Dan).

Following the formal grading procedures, a Pre-dan Grading was conducted in which the following karate-ka presented their grading syllabi, in preparation for their upcoming Dan Grading in Japan, during the 16th WSKF World Championships and Training Seminar:
• Quentin Rourke will be attempting his 7th Dan;
• Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski will be attempting her 5th Dan;
• Sandile Makwali will be attempting his 5th Dan;
• Reagan Forbes will be attempting his 4th Dan (Pre-Dan Grading was done in Cape Town earlier in the year).
We wish them luck and hope they do well!

At the end of a gruelling day, after bruises were nursed, injuries tended and frazzled nerves put to rest, karate-ka proved again that karate unites us as family and family sticks together.



As 2023 draws to a rapid close, there remains 3 major events on the WSKF-SA calendar:
1. The November Black Belt Training (4 November 2023, hosted by Kuro-Obi Shotokan Karate-Do dojo)
2. The WSKF-SA Team tour (9-24 November 2023) to Tokyo, Japan for the 16th WSKF World Championship and Training Seminar.
3. The December Black Belt Training (2 December 2023, hosted by Karate Vaal dojo).
We look forward to what 2024 holds for WSKF-SA. The first major event of 2024 will be the National Instructors Seminar (to be held in Vanderbijlpark on 19 and 20 January 2024). All karateka who contemplate Dan grading in 2024, are required to attend this seminar.
Until we meet again, continue training and Ganbatte Kudasai (JP) – Please, in everything, do your best (ENG).

Photo credits:
Karate in Focus (
Shotokan Karate Academy (
Steyn Dojo (

WSKF Black Belt Training – 2nd Quarter 2023

01 Aug

April, May, and June of this year saw the gathering of substantial numbers of senior karatekas from across Gauteng (and even as far as Bloemfontein and Reitz) to participate in the longstanding monthly Black Belt Training sessions. Karate Vaal Dojo (Vereeniging) and Kime Karate Dojo (Centurion) played hosts to the events.

On all three occasions, black- and brown-belt students were privileged to receive masterful instruction from Mike Dukas Shihan. In his trademark attentiveness to all aspects of – and interrelatedness between kihon, kata and kumite, Mike Dukas Shihan highlighted selected elements of techniques which students practised, then applied in kata and finally incorporated in kumite bouts. These elements included: weight transfer during stance transitioning; the timing and biomechanics of hip activation and -application within techniques; synchronization of body parts during effective use of karate blocks and attacks; and utilization of these elements in WSKF’s unique spinning combinations.

WSKF South Africa has seen healthy growth in numbers, with several new dojos affiliating with the organization. Consequently, the Black Belt Training sessions provide an opportunity for continued standardisation with respect to techniques and organisational nuances. To this end, Jiyu Ippon Kumite combinations received intense focus and karateka had the opportunity to re-familiarise, or in some instances be introduced for the first time, to the vast collection of defence combinations.


Similarly, the senior katas Jion, Chinte and Gojushiho Dai received focused attention as Mike Dukas Shihan expounded on the unique aspects of these katas and the ways in which the kihon elements find expression in the execution of the katas.


With the annual Dan Grading opportunity in October fast approaching, Mike Dukas Shihan highlighted technical elements from the WSKF Shodan, Nidan and Sandan syllabi for the benefit of those students whose grading preparations are well underway.

In addition to the superior technical training karatekas receive at these gatherings, the monthly black belt trainings also provide a point of contact for the larger WSKF karate family. Here individuals reconnect with one another, train together, receive encouragement and strive toward continued improvement in our pursuit of the principles of perfection of character; faithfulness in all we do; cultivation of a spirit of commitment; behaviour reflecting respect for others; and cultivation of self-control in all aspects of life.

All WSKF black and brown belt karatekas are encouraged and reminded to participate in these important monthly training sessions. TRAIN together – STAY together!


WSKF Black Belt Training – July 2023

22 Jul

The morning of 1 July 2023 dawned clear and crisp… It was time for Black Belt Training and karateka from across Gauteng converged on Kuro-Obi Shotokan Karate-do Institute in Vanderbijlpark. Anyone who has trained in the Vaal area during the winter months will attest to the fact that it is not for the faint of heart. Outside we were greeted by a frosty 0° Celsius wind. Inside, though, we received the warm, whole-hearted welcome from our Vaal karate family that we have come to cherish.

Dojos from Potchefstroom, Germiston, Centurion, Vereeniging, Sasolburg and Vanderbijlpark were well represented. Under the watchful eye of Andrio Lombaard Sensei (Godan), students practised various kihon combinations that specifically aid the execution of techniques to follow in the Kumite section of the class.

In previous months’ training, the dominant theme was centred around Jiyu Ippon kumite defence combinations. This theme was extended into the July session with a particular focus on defence combinations for gyaku-zuki -, kizami-zuki -, mawashi-geri -, yoko-geri kekomi -,   and ushiro-geri attacks.

The kata section of the class offered students the opportunity to refresh, practice and study Tekki Shodan, Tekki Nidan and Tekki Sandan. Students had various questions about the different techniques and nuances in these katas and Andrio Lombaard Sensei clearly distinguished between the technical elements within movements and transition from one movement to the next.

After the class concluded, students were treated to cupcakes in celebration of the birthday of Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski Sensei, a member of the Saiko Shihankai of WSKF-SA. So, with a cupcake in hand and laughs all around, friends and fellow karateka said goodbye with the prospect of training together again in the very near future.

The next training opportunity promises to be a truly memorable event as it forms part of the Vanderbijlpark Dojo 50-Year 

Anniversary Celebrations. WSKF members, both young and old, will gather in Vanderbijlpark on 29 July 2023 to train together and celebrate this momentous occasion.


WSKF Team Event – 2023 – Bloemfontein

16 May

The Tempe Indoor Sports Centre in Bloemfontein recently played host to the highly anticipated WSKF Team Event on May 13th, 2023. The event brought together talented karateka from various regions, spanning different skill levels and age groups. With intense competitions in Team Kumite and Team Kata, the event was a thrilling display of martial arts prowess and sportsmanship. 53 Kata Teams, 30 Kumite Teams! Excellent student conduct, great camaraderie all around, and professional judging made it a smooth tournament. Let’s look at the impressive results achieved by the participating teams.


Kiddies Category:

In the Kiddies category, the team consisting of Paul, Ulrich, and Jonathan from Potchefstroom showcased their dedication and skill, securing the top spot. Their remarkable performance demonstrated their potential for future success in the world of karate.


Female Beginners:

The Bloemfontein contingent was dominant in the Female Beginners category, with two teams demonstrating their talent. Team 1, comprising Amy, Emma, and Lene, emerged as the winners, displaying precision and technique. In second place was Team 2, consisting of Chrisne, Chane, and Chene, who showcased their determination and spirit.

Female Intermediate:

The Female Intermediate category witnessed fierce competition, and the Crystal Park team emerged victorious. With their synchronized movements and focused execution, Refiloe, Raemohetse, and Bokang claimed the top position. The Kestell team, comprised of Marinell, Banele, and Lambert, showcased their skills and determination, earning them a well-deserved second place.

Female Advanced:

In the highly competitive Female Advanced category, the Bloemfontein team once again asserted their dominance. Cherilee, Mariana, and Vyada delivered a breathtaking performance that secured them the first-place position. The Vaal team, consisting of Adi, Boitumelo, and Mari, demonstrated their expertise and dedication, earning them a commendable second place. The Els team, comprising Andrew, Penyao, and Penny, showcased their skills, securing the third-place position.

Female Kumite:

The Female Kumite category was a thrilling spectacle, featuring intense sparring matches. The team from Potchefstroom and Pretoria, consisting of Leonard, Berdine, Erika, Boipelo, and Natalia, emerged as the champions, displaying their exceptional fighting skills. The Bloemfontein team, comprising Cherilee, Mariana, Bridget, Lindsay, and Mile, showcased their strength and technique, securing a commendable second place. The Crystal Park team, consisting of Zondi, Bokang, Njabulo, Refiloe, and Raemohetse, demonstrated their determination and skill, securing the third-place position.

Male Beginners:

The Male Beginners category saw impressive performances from multiple teams. Plettenberg Bay’s team, comprising Kayden, Finn, and Zac, secured the first-place position with their excellent execution. The Kestell team, consisting of Neo, Teboho, and Thloni, exhibited their potential and determination, earning them the second-place position. Once again, the Plettenberg Bay team, with Kayden, Finn, and Zac, showcased their skills and secured the third-place position.


Male Intermediate:

Potchefstroom’s team, composed of Donovan, Janco, and Murray, emerged victorious in the Male Intermediate category, displaying their exceptional skills and technique. The Bloemfontein team, consisting of Mikos, Jante, and Handre, showcased their determination and secured the second-place position. The Knysna team, comprising Kyan, Zac, and Kayden, impressed the audience with their talent, earning them the third-place position.

Male Advanced:

The Male Advanced category witnessed an exceptional display of skill and determination. The Potchefstroom team, composed of Stephan, Jaco, and Elke, delivered a remarkable performance, earning them the first-place position. The team from Kuro-Obi, consisting of Duncan, Sasha, and Declan, showcased their expertise, securing the second-place. The Bloemfontein team, comprised of Ethan, Ehart, and Bridget, demonstrated their proficiency and secured the third-place.

Male Kumite:

The Male Kumite category featured intense bouts of combat, and the Bloemfontein team, consisting of Damon, Ehart, Ethan, Robert, and Handre, emerged as the champions. Their display of skill and determination was truly remarkable. The Bloemfontein team, comprised of Sandile, Fareed, Johanco, Gerrit, and Mikos, showcased their fighting spirit, earning them a well-deserved second place. The Els Karate team, consisting of Andrew, Buchi, John-Daniel, Khwezi, and Alexander, demonstrated their proficiency, securing the third-place position.


The WSKF Team Event held at the Tempe Indoor Sports Centre in Bloemfontein was a resounding success, showcasing the talent and dedication of karatekas from various regions and skill levels. The event highlighted the spirit of competition, sportsmanship, and camaraderie within the karate community. Congratulations to all the participants and winners for their outstanding performances. Their dedication and passion for karate continue to inspire and promote the growth of this ancient martial art.


WSKF SA National Development Championships – 2018

03 Oct

The WSKF South African National Development Championships was held this past weekend in Vanderbijlpark. This biennial event is a highlight on our calendar and has, once again, proven to be a huge success!

The development championships caters for members of all belt levels under the age of 21. This year’s event had WSKF members entered from all over South Africa, and even as far as Namibia!

The principles and standards of WSKF karate was clearly present as competitors competed in kata, basic kumite and free fighting. We are proud of each of our members and are happy to see that the medals were evenly presented across all dojos – highlighting the high level of standardization across all dojos.

A special congratulations to the following trophy winners:

– WSKF Best Tournament Spirit : Team Namibia lead by Leandro Sitler Sensei
– WSKF Best Female Competitor : Ulani Erasmus
– WSKF Best Male Competitor : Duncan Rogowski

The tournament ran smoothly and on time. It’s success was a result of so many members working together, including the table officials, judges, referees, instructors, first aid staff, kitchen staff, organizers, parents, and, most importantly, the children!

Thank you to all involved!

WSKF Development Championships – 2016

25 Sep

On Saturday, 17th September 2016, WSKF South Africa once again hosted a very successful Development Tournament in Vanderbijlpark.

More than 240 karateka between the ages of 5 and 21 took part in this event and presented a high level of competition in front of a full stadium of spectators. Teams from the various WSKF dojos in Gauteng and North West Province competed.

The tournament included kata, kumite and team kata divisions as well as a nunchaku demonstration and a kumite demonstration.


Sensei Mike Dukas expressed his thanks to the various instructors for the many hours they put in to train the karateka for this event. He also stated that he is very proud of every member who participated. He felt proud of the good manners, discipline and great spirit displayed by competitors and officials alike. “This is what karate is about”


This championship is held every two years to encourage young karateka to enter their first tournament and to give the more experienced karateka a chance to compete against other dojos.  It also gives referees and judges an opportunity to improve their judging skills.  It is also the start of the preparations for the more experienced WSKF members who will be representing WSKF South Africa at the World WSKF Karate Championships in Tokyo, Japan in August next year.

We look forward to more interaction between karateka of the various WSKF dojos in the future.

WSKF South Africa Development Karate Championship – 2014

07 Oct

WSKF South Africa hosted a very successful Development Karate Championship in Vanderbijlpark on Saturday 20th September 2014.

Sensei Mike Dukas (Chief Instructor WSKF South Africa) explained that the main purpose of this tournament is to develop young karate students to compete in Shotokan Tournament, and at the same time to strive to learn the etiquette for tournaments. The tournament also gives young judges and referees the opportunity of judging and in this way to upgrade their skills.


Spectators were entertained by demonstrations of Team Kata, Kumite and use of Nunchaku.

Brandon Shepherd won the trophy for the “best male competitor of the day”.

Caitlin Pillay won the trophy for the “best female competitor of the day”.

Congratulations to these two exceptional karateka, as well as congratulations to all medal winners.

Best spirit awards were won by Kaylee van der Sandt (under 10) and Lebohang Motshweneng (under 14)

Judges and Referees were also acknowledged with Gary Van Jaarsveld awarded “Best judge of the day” and Andrio Lombaard “Best referee of the day)