WSKF South Africa: Our Successful Japan Tour 2023

31 Jan

A delegation of 38 WSKF SA members returned on Saturday, 25 November 2023 from a Karate excursion to Japan (Tokyo).

The WSKF SA team consisted of 24 contestants who participated in the 16th WSKF World Championships hosted at the Tokyo Budokan in Ayase on 17 – 18 November 2023.

Tatjana grading cert
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The delegation was led under the experienced and watchful stewardship of Sensei Mike Dukas, Chief Instructor for WSKF SA. This was his 32nd trip to Japan, and as past International Vice President, his presence and experience went with deserving respect. He was the only foreign instructor invited by the Chief Instructor Worldwide, Sensei Hitoshi Kasuya, to present and teach the Kata (Bassai Sho) during the 3-Day International Seminar in Yokohama before the commencement of the World Championships in Tokyo.

Tournament RESULTS – WSKF World Championships (2023 – Tokyo)
Bridget Otto: Gold, Youth Girls Kumite; and Silver, Youth Girls Kata
Ethan Rourke, Juan Breedt, Johanco Greyvenstein: Gold, Cadet/Youth Team Kumite
Quentin Rourke: Gold, under 49 years Veteran Kumite
Robert Rijkheer: Gold, Boys 11 years Kumite

Sandile Makwali: Silver, under 39 years Veteran Kumite; and Bronze, +75kg Men Kumite
Robert Biggs, Sam Loftus, Robert Rijkheer: Silver for Junior Team Kumite
Robert Biggs: Silver, Boys 11 years Kata

Sandile Makwali, Damon Jardim, Ehart Conradie: Bronze, Men Team Kumite
Bridget Otto, Yolanda van Rooyen, Katlego Nhlapo: Bronze, Woman Team Kumite
John Peach: Bronze, over 60 years Master Kumite
Ehart Conradie: Bronze, Cadet Men Kumite
Katlego Nhlapo: Bronze, Girls 14/15 years Kumite
Sam Loftus: Bronze, Boys 12 years Kumite
Aiden Whitehead: Bronze, Boys 11 years Kumite

International Dan GRADING Results
Reagan Forbes – Yondan
Sandile Makwali – Godan
Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski – Godan
Quentin Rourke – Nanadan

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 National Dan Grading – 2021

28 Mar

WSKF South Africa is proud to announce the following Dan Grading Results achieved on the 2nd October 2021.


The Grading Panel agreed that the standard of the participants was good.


We take this opportunity of wishing each and every one of the Karateka a long and successful and happy karate career.


  •      Andrew Steenberg
  •      Sasha Rogowski
  •      Bukile Mabaso
  •      Gustav Jenkins


  •     Judene Coleman
  •     Catharina Swanepoel


WSKF National Dan Grading – 2019

13 Oct

The annual WSKF National Dan Grading was held on Saturday, 5'th October, at Vanderbijlpark Dojo. Candidates were represented from multiple dojos and attempted grades ranged from Shodan (1 st dan) to Yondan (4'th dan). This year’s grading panel consisted of the most senior WSKF members, ranging from Godan (5'th dan) to Nanadan (8'th dan). As such, the panel was extremely strict in evaluating all students. The large group executed their prescribed Kihon and kata, as well as partaking in multiple rounds of strenuous Kumite. Students attempting higher grades also presented their research articles to the panel.

Congratulations to the following students who successfully passed the examination:

A) Promoted to Shodan:

  • Ruan Enslin
  • Sibusisiwe Mnguni
  • Julian Botterill
  • Larissa Beukes
  • Stephanus Van Niekerk
  • Vic Du Preez
  • Christopher Jenkins

B) Promoted To Nidan:

  • Jaco De Wet
  • John van der Sandt
  • Duncan Rogowski
  • Morrie Swart
  • Christiaan Van Wyk
  • Renier Basson
  • Jacques Matthee
  • Inge Titus
  • Carien Hartzenberg

C) Promoted To Sandan:

  • Lindie Jenkins
  • Banie Niehaus
  • Deon van der Berg
  • Zone Knoetze
  • Les Liebenberg

D) Promoted To Yondan:

  • Elize Zywotkiewicz
  • Gary Van Jaarsveld

Langebaan Karate Centre Dan Grading & Training

30 Sep

On abovementioned date three karateka from the Langebaan Karate Centre were  evaluated for Dan gradings by Shihan Mike Dukas and Sensei Jan Marx. After the grading the Langebaan Karateka had a very informative training session with Shihan Mike.

Sensei Les Liebenberg attained his Third Dan and Inge Titus her Second Dan. Sensei Lieb is 70 years old and is a noble example to the karateka of the Langebaan Dojo as he trains every evening from Monday to Thursday as well as on Saturday mornings.

Sensei Jan requested Shihan Mike to present training on the applicability of basics during the initial phases of development in kumite techniques. Shihan Mike gave an excellent overview of how basic techniques make up the foundation for kata and kumite. One aspect he emphasised was the importance of coordinating hip and limb movement during attacking and defending movements. These basic techniques were then applied practising gohon kumite.

It is always a great privilege to train under Shihan Mike.  His willingness to travel to Langebaan and his involvement with our Dojo is highly appreciated.

One thing that was once again clear after this training session is:  PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

Arigatõ, Shihan Mike!

WSKF South Africa Japan Tour – 2019

11 Aug

The WSKF South African team of 15 members departed from Johannesburg on Sunday, 11th August, to Tokyo via Dubai. At Haneda airport, Tokyo, the team was picked up by bus and travelled to the Sakura Hotel in Ikebukuro.


South African Team in South Africa and at Tokyo Haneda Airport


The first day in Japan was used to recover from jetlag and to do some exploring. The team travelled to the famous Takeshita Street in Harajuku by train where they walked around and started to feel part of the Japanese community.

Harajuko and team at Yoyogi Park


A special training session with Isaka Sensei was held on Thursday. A three hour stretching session was conducted by Isaka Sensei where he taught exercises to stress the importance of muscle and bone movement. His famous quote, “Move like animal”, was heard repeatedly during the great training.

Training with Isaka Sensei


Friday was a day off from training and the team visited Shibya, where some took photographs at the famous Hachico sculpture and some took pictures of the night-lights at the busiest street crossing in the world.

Shibuya Night Lights and Hachico Sculpture


The team travelled to the beautiful seaside town of Kamakura on Saturday, where they visited Gichin Funakoshi’s shrine and trained with Kawasaki Sensei. This training session was full of energy and students were able to do test one on one fighting techniques, as well as some kata training (Hangetsu).

Training With Kawasaki Sensei in Kamakura


The official WSKF Technical Seminar was held from the 19th to 21st August 2019 at the Tokyo Budokan in Ayase. The seminar was conducted by WSKF World Chief Instructor, Hitoshi Kasuya Sensei (9th Dan). Days were hot and humidity was high. The sweat poured to the ground from time to time due to the heat and the intensive training combination. Each class started with warm up exercises and the importance of which exercises should be done before training was discussed. After warm up, class would commence with the three elements that make up Karate, namely: Kihon, Kumite and Kata. Special spin techniques, combination kumite techniques and the four sentei Kata’s (Bassai-Dai, Jion, Enpi and Kanku-Dai) were worked on and discussed.

Technical seminar at the Tokyo Budokan in Ayase


All country referees and judges would remain after training each day to practice and discuss the rules of the upcoming competition. On Wednesday, 21st August 2019, Kasua Sensei conducted the Dan examinations. It was a pleasure to see Mike Dukas Sensei (8th Dan) be invited to sit on the Dan grading panel. The following members successfully passed their gradings:

  • John Rust : Rokudan (6th Dan)
  • Phillip Venter : Rokudan (6th Dan)
  • Simone Roig y Collado : Godan (5th Dan)
  • Andrio Lombaard : Godan (5th Dan)
  • Cobus Nienaber : Yondan (4th Dan)
  • Lebo Motswaneng : Shodan (1st Dan)


WSKF SA National Dan Grading – 2018

08 Oct

The annual WSKF National Dan Grading was held on Saturday, 6th October 2018, at Vanderbijlpark Dojo.

Various students attempted grades from Shodan (1st Dan) to Yondan (4th Dan) under the watchful eye of an extremely senior grading panel led by Mike Dukas Sensei (8th Dan).

The highlight of the day was Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski who successfully graded to Yondan (4th Dan). Tatjana Sensei had an impressive and technically advanced grading, showcasing her brilliant ability and knowledge.

The National Grading was also extended to cater for the members in the Western Cape.

The following members also passed the respective grading.

Frikkie Botha (Nidan), Jan – Taljaard Marx (Nidan), Inge Titus (Shodan), Jan De Wet (Shodan), Lieb Liebenberg (Nidan) en Jan Marx (Yondan).

Congratulations to all successful candidates on attaining their new grade!

8’th Dan for Sensei Mike

01 Oct

We are so incredibly proud to announce that Michael Dukas Sensei has successfully graded to 8th Dan in Tokyo, Japan!

Mike Sensei has dedicated his life to karate-do and is a true ambassador of the art. His passion, drive and commitment has only become stronger over the years and is evident in both his personal training and teaching.

Mike Sensei – your strict yet kind leadership, coupled with your strong sense of integrity and humility, makes each one of the WSKF SA members honoured to be under your guidance!

We are also equally proud to announce that Bryan Dukas Sensei has successfully graded to 6th Dan in Tokyo, Japan!

Bryan Sensei is renowned for his technical expertise and this was highlighted at the grading. He is a true testament to karate-do.

Congratulations on these remarkable achievements!

WSKF South Africa Japan Tour – 2017

19 Sep

Days 1 – 3: Travel and Acclimatization (11 – 13 August)

The WSKF SA team of 13 departed from Johannesburg on Thursday, August, 10th and arrived after a long and tiring flight in Tokyo on Friday, August 11th.
From the Haneda airport, we travelled by bus to the Sakura Hotel in Ikebukuro.
Some immediately went for a sightseeing expedition to Shibuya while the others unpacked, chilled and waited for Wenette, Sensei Bryan and his Australian team to arrive.

We used the Saturday to acclimatize visiting the bustling Takeshita Street in Harajuku; and the majestic Meiji Shrine, located in Shibuya, where we met with long-time friends Paul, Yuko and their beautiful daughter Emily.

The 1st weekend ended with a fabulous stretching session in Ebisu with the renowned Akihita Isaka Sensei. What an honour and privilege to learn from such a Master! Isaka Sensei has you train as slow as possible in order to isolate each muscle for each movement, understand its function and maximise its potential. Thank you Sensei Mike for arranging this opportunity!

Day 4 – 6: Building Technical Skills (14 – 16 August)

On Monday, the 14th we travelled to the Tokyo Budokan in Adachi, to attend a 3-day technical seminar with Hitoshi Kasuya Sensei, 8th Dan, Chief Instructor of WSKF and one of the leading Shotokan karate instructors in the world.


The seminar was aimed at maintaining a conscious presence, mindfulness and awareness when executing any karate technique. It was very interesting and mentally exhausting but, so worthwhile. On the 1st day of the seminar, Sensei Mike was awarded his 8th Dan by Kasuya Sensei with the approval of WSKF Headquarter’s Shihankai – an honour and privilege after more than 45 years of committed training, teaching and mentoring – we are proud to call you “Our Sensei Mike”!

The seminar was topped off by a gruelling grading session in the Warabi City Gymnasium, where Sensei Bryan graded for his 6th Dan (Rokudan), Jéan and Marelie for their 2nd Dan (Nidan) and Duncan, Dehan and Tristan for their 1st Dan (Shodan).
Well done to all on a remarkable and successful performance, high standard and good attitude!

On the 7th day, we had a biblical rest from formal training, but it did not deter our team from flexing their muscles together with their Australian counterparts in the beautiful Yoyogi Park.
Sensei Andrio worked through the Heian and Shitei Katas with the two teams.
While we were training and relaxing, our endearing father-son combo, Senseis Mike and Bryan visited the scenic Odawara Castle, together with the President of WSKF, Haruo Ueda, and several other delegates from countries all-round the globe.

Day 8-10: 13th International WSKF Championships (18-20 August)


Finally, the day of the 13th International WSKF Championships in Tokyo, Japan came.
With butterfly-filled bellies, we travelled to the Tokyo Budokan in Adachi-ku. The cheerful, playfulness faded away and the team switched on for the 2-day battle.
…and what a successful battle it was for us; 10! Medals in total for SA…

Sensei Bryan won Gold for Kata in both Veterans and Senior Men’s, and Bronze for Kumite in both Veterans and Senior Men’s.
Wenette won Gold for Female Cadet Kata and Silver for Kumite.
Duncan won Silver for Kata in his division.

To top it off, Marelie won Silver for International Team Kata (SA, Australia and Venezuela) and both Marelie and Wenette got Bronze for International Team Kumite (SA and Ireland).
Well done to Mark, Matthew, Jéan, Dehan, Tristan and Sasha for also participating in this tough international arena. We will start training hard for 2019 real soon.

A big thank you to Senseis Mike, Andrio and Otto, who also did an excellent job at judging and keeping the standard high.
The 13th International WSKF Championship was concluded with a celebratory Sayonara Party on the 58th Floor of the Prince Hotel in Sunshine City, Ikebukuro on Sunday, the 20th.

Day 11-13: More Training and Sightseeing (21-23 August)

On Monday, the 21st we travelled to Chofu, to train with the energetic Senseis Daiki, Goro, Makita and Shirakawa, together with some of their students. Training was focused on muscle contraction and expansion, hip rotation and spinning uraken techniques.


After training we took a long stroll to a Japanese Public Bathhouse. We were treated to a traditional Japanese meal at the Jindai Botanical gardens by Goro, Makita and Shirakawa Senseis, a gesture we humbly appreciated. Thereafter, a quick walk to the Jindaiji Temple, Tokyo’s second oldest temple.


The next two days were spent travelling and training with the phenomenal, Norio Kawasaki Sensei, in Kiti-Kamakura. On our last day, we visited several historic shrines, temples, botanical gardens, and the tourist “must-do”… a visit to the Great Buda.
Training with Kawasaki Sensei was exhilarating; with the focus being on engaging the correct muscles for kicks; speed and pauses within kata and mindful distancing and penetration techniques in Kumite.
This reiterated the “good Kihon, makes good Kata and Kumite” we have heard too many times in the Dukas dojos.
Naturally, our visit was crowned with a jovial super at a local Chinese restaurant which echoed with loads of laughter, food in abundance and plenty Kanpais!

This was truly a trip that will be etched in my mind forever.

Bring it on Tokyo 2019!

Respectfully compiled by Tatjana Radojevic-Rogowski, with sincere thanks to all the willing and able photographers.

WSKF South Africa National Dan Grading October – 2016

15 Oct

Congratulations to the following members of WSKF South Africa on a successful Dan grading held on 15th October 2016:

May their karate careers grow from strength to strength.

Onisha Rungasamy        SHODAN

Caitlin Pillay                    SHODAN

Jacques Matthee             SHODAN

Lindie Jenkins                NIDAN

Zone Knoetze                  NIDAN

Tristan Healley               NIDAN