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)

 

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 hosts our World Chief Instructor – Hitoshi Kasuya Sensei – 2016

25 May

WSKF South Africa, under the leadership of Michael Dukas Sensei, was recently honoured to host Hitoshi Kasuya Sensei, (8th Dan) the Chief Instructor of The World Shotokan Karate-Do Federation and one of the leading Shotokan karate instructors in the world.

 

Kasuya Sensei is a former protégé of Master Nakayama Sensei who had an important impact on him because of his scientific approach to karate and his ability to challenge his students.

 

Kasuya Sensei is acknowledged and respected worldwide for his unique teaching method, scientific approach and dynamic technical skill. He emphasizes rotational dynamics and a thinking, analytical approach to Shotokan karate.

 

During his short visit to South Africa, Kasuya Sensei presented a number of training seminars – a session each for junior Grades (White to Green belts) and a session each dedicated to more senior Grades (Blue to Black) belts in Pretoria and Vanderbijlpark respectively as well as special training session for WSKF South Africa instructors. Those who attended were inspired by the world-renowned Karate Master who has excelled in both kata (set forms) and kumite (sparring) throughout his karate career spanning several decades.

Michael Dukas Sensei, (7th Dan) Chief Instructor of WSKF South Africa and Vice President of WSKF in Africa has known Kasuya Sensei for many years and recalls training with him in Japan as early as (date?) where he witnessed first-hand one of most versatile karateka of all time. Kasuya Sensei was a member of Japan’s national team until 1982.

 

Currently he is active as an instructor and referee. Kasuya Sensei is also in great demand on the seminar circuit and spends a large part of his year abroad teaching seminars in the different WSKF member countries. [The World Shotokan Karate-Do Federation (WSKF) has members in 75 countries.

 

 

Dukas Sensei says, “We are very pleased that Kasuya Sensei managed to find time in his very busy schedule to visit South Africa. I am sure that our members who attended the seminars gained a lot of knowledge and insight from this exceptional opportunity. I hope they appreciate our Chief Instructor’s excellent contribution and that they will apply his teachings on the various karate techniques and karate etiquette in particular for the improvement of their own karate and to the benefit of karate in general.

We look forward to the World WSKF Championships which will be held in Tokyo, Japan in August 2017.”

WSKF South Africa Japan Tour – 2015

25 Oct

Members of the World Shotokan Karate Federation (WSKF) South Africa recently returned from Japan where they attended the 12th WSKF World Karate Championships.

Seminar

During the two weeks the team spent in Japan, members also attended a rigorous three-day karate seminar presented by renowned karate master and World Chief Instructor WSKF, Kasuya Sensei. During the seminar, members got the opportunity to train with top karateka from around the world.

Dan grading

Another highlight of this trip was definitely the dan gradings which were held after the seminar. Kasuya Sensei once again conveyed his satisfaction with the excellent standard of our members who graded. Congratulations to Martin Pretorius Sensei who graded to Yondan (4th Dan), and Muhammad Lala, Tristan Basel and Zanro Burger who graded to Shodan (1st Dan).

Their performance in these gradings exhibited good technique and karate spirit and drew many positive responses from the attendees from other countries. We congratulated the karateka expressing the hope that they will endeavour to train harder so as to achieve their goals in karate.

Referees course

Senior members, Mike Sensei, Andrio Sensei and Martin Sensei completed a high-level referee course. They officiated during the World Championships where they executed their refereeing duties in an outstanding manner.

Championships

The championships, which were held at the Tokyo Budokan – the world-famous arena for martial arts – went well for most of our members.

      

The standard of the competitors, representing 35 countries, was very high.

Congratulations to all WSKF South Africa team members who once again showed that the standard of our karate is comparable to the best in the world and whose excellent behaviour gained us a lot of respect from our hosts and the other competitors.

Congratulations also to the following members on their individual achievements:

Bryan Sensei              Silver medal in Men’s Open Kata
Simone Sensei            Silver medal in Women’s Kumite
Elize Sensei                Bronze medal in Women’s Veteran Kata
Jéan Roodt                 Competed in the finals of the Men’s Open Kata

And then two exceptional achievements that made us all very proud:

•   Mike Sensei was awarded a medal as “ Best Referee”  at the Championships.

•   WSKF South Africa received the trophy for “Best Branch 2015”.

Congratulations to all who helped to make this achievement a reality. WSKF South Africa is very proud of this achievement.

Sayonara party

After the championships Kasuya Sensei and his staff hosted a prestigious function on the 58th floor of the Sunshine Prince Hotel in Ikebukuro in celebration of the 25th year anniversary of WSKF. This event was attended by dignitaries and team members from the participating countries.

   

More training and some sightseeing

The team members also got the opportunity to attend a few special training sessions -amongst others with the University Team in Yokohama. Some of the members were also privileged to meet Ibusuki Sensei. A true legend and one of the few remaining students of Gichin Funakoshi – the founder of Shotokan Karate.

Tokyo is a beautiful city to explore and in the little free time, we had everyone enjoy some really good times, eating out, shopping and exploring Tokyo and its surroundings. Amongst many others, we visited Meiji Shrine, Kamakura (where there is a memorial to Gichin Funakoshi), Asakusa and Harajuku (a favourite shopping and hang-out spot for teenagers).

This was truly an unforgettable experience and I am sure that all the tour members will want to extend a special thank you to our Shihankai and especially Sensei Mike and Sensei Bryan who made this trip of a lifetime a reality. Domo arigato gozaimasu!

The future

We received the exciting news that Kasuya Sensei will be visiting South Africa in May 2016. This will present a unique opportunity to train with – and even for some to grade with – our WSKF Chief Instructor.

We are looking forward to the next WSKF World Championships in 2017. The team selected to participate in this event should be announced early in the New Year. There is an only a limited number of places available so be sure to start training now and book early.

WSKF South Africa Japan Tour – 2013

22 Oct

Congratulations to all our members who made us feel so proud…. We take this opportunity of thanking all our members for being so well behaved on and off the floor.

Our karate etiquette is something to be proud of!!

The three day training Seminar was very tough, but was enjoyed by everyone who took part in it. Kasuya Sensei was, as always very inspiring. It was great to train with karateka from other countries. New friendships were formed during this time – this is always the bonus that comes with such an event!

 

Tokyo is a fabulous city to explore – a city full of history and beautiful culture. Everyone enjoyed the sightseeing during their free time (not a lot of free time available!!) – great fun was had by all members – despite the heat and humidity.

Grading:

• Marius Jordaan Sensei Rokudan (6th Dan)
• Christo Riekert Sensei Yondan (4th Dan)
• Andrio Lombaard Sensei Yondan (4th Dan)
• Brandon Shepherd Sensei Nidan (2nd Dan)
• Ewald Van Zyl Sensei Nidan (2nd Dan)
• Elandre Strauss Shodan (1st Dan
• Daniel Nunes Shodan (1st Dan)
• Marelie Botha Shodan (1st Dan)
• Wenette Jordaan Shodan (1st Dan)

The people who graded proved that we have a high standard of karate. Kasuya Sensei was happy with our results. Congratulations to all of you.

Referees Course:

Mike Sensei and Marius Sensei completed the course.

•    We have just received a letter from Kasuya Sensei thanking all our members for the help given to the organizing committee in cleaning up after the championships.  This just proves what kind of members we have in our dojos – thanks to all of you.

Demonstration:

Mike Sensei and Bryan Sensei demonstrated Sochin Kata during the championships.

WSKF World Championships Tokyo – 2011

26 Sep

What a successful tour our team had in Japan. We are so proud of every one of the members who took part in the WSKF World Championships and also the Technical Seminar. To the parents that toured with the group, all I can say is that you have now experienced a karate tour – not full of luxuries, but good camaraderie and karate spirit!

Herewith some feedback on the sequence of events:

Technical Seminar conducted by Kasuya Sensei was conducted in true Japanese style. Kasuya Sensei was very strict on the floor but friendly off the floor. It was a great experience for all who attended and everyone felt that they were “beginners” again!

Werner Pretorius and Brandon Shepherd graded for Shodan (1st Dan) under the Japanese Instructors and the comment from Kasuya Sensei (WSKF Chief Instructor) after our boys graded was: “Standard of a very high level”.

We are very proud of them both.

Congratulations to the two Individual Kata medalists:

Chezan Nel who won a Bronze medal and to Palesa Mafereka who also won a Bronze medal. You girls are both stars.

Well done to the participants in the Team events:

Boys Team Kata – Bronze medal i.e. Brandon Shepherd, Johnny Kuhn and Daniel Nunes.

Girls Team Kumite – Silver medal i.e. Chezan Nel, Wenette Jordaan and Marelie Botha.

What a wonderful surprise we had when the award was announced for the “Best Competitor of the Tournament” and it was won by our own Bryan Sensei. Bryan Sensei commented later that the award meant more to him than the 2 medals he won i.e. Silver for Kata and Silver for Kumite. What an achievement!

To all parents and karateka, please believe me when I tell you that good basics will deliver results. Bryan Sensei is a true example of good basics.

To all the other competitors who did not win medals – please remember that we are very proud of you as well. Experience gained will make you stronger for future events. Remember what I always say “Learn to lose gracefully and then it is easy to win gracefully”. Keep training.