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.

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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 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.

Until then, CONTINUE TRAINING!

WSKF National Instructors Seminar – 2023

31 Jan

     

The World Shotokan Karate Federation South Africa’s Branch recently held its Annual Instructor Seminar at the Be My Guest Hotel in VaalPark, South Africa. This event was a great success, with over 70 aspiring instructors and instructors from all around the country coming together to learn more about this martial art.

   

The seminar began with an introduction by Sensei Mike Dukas, who is one of the most respected Shotokan karate masters in South Africa. He spoke about how important it is for practitioners to have a proper technique when performing katas (forms) or kumite (sparing) He also shared his passion for teaching others how to use their bodies efficiently while still having fun doing so!

     

The sessions included both physical exercises designed to improve strength/endurance/flexibility/balance as well as traditional forms that help build mental focus & discipline; all of which are essential components for a successful practitioner regardless if you’re just starting out or already have some experience under your belt!

     

After lunchtime lectures were given by various guest speakers including Sensei’s Stephan Steyn (Potchefstroom WSKF), Andrio Lombaard (Vanderbijlpark WSKF )

     

By the end day, everyone seemed very pleased overall results achieved especially since many attendees came away feeling much more confident in their skills than when they first arrived morning session started off! As always, we’d like to thank everyone involved in making this year’s Annual Kata Instructor Seminar possible – without your hard work and dedication, none of us would’ve been able to enjoy ourselves nearly much! We look forward to seeing you again next year same place same time 🙂

WSKF National Instructors Seminar – 2022

28 Jan

On the weekend of 21-23 January 2022, the annual WSKF Instructors and Examiners Seminar kicked off on the Friday with basics and Kata training at the WSKF Vaal Karate dojo in Vereeniging.

 

   

It was observed by the WSKF SA Chief Instructor, Shihan Mike Dukas, that many black belts and instructors lack the fundamentals in Kihon (basics) as this is reflected in both kata in kumite. He urges all WSKF members to apply the following: “learn one thing properly, and you will know many things”. Some points to consider and apply during training include 1) maintain flexibility, 2) apply the correct use of power, 3) maintain focused breathing, 4) ensure you apply the correct muscle groups, 5) understand centre of body gravity position; and lastly, more repetition of all techniques is essential – Train Every Day!

Sandile Makwali Sensei from Bloemfontein, Free State indicated that what he learned about was weight distribution, and the importance of slow training and basic training. He also observed the ease with which members were asking questions and being given the opportunity to share their knowledge of karate and the way they understand karate. He mentioned that there were so many things to learn for new-comers to WSKF and that not everything could be covered in such a short period of time. According to Sensei Sandile, the training kept him on his toes all the time, which means a lot coming from our National Kumite Champion himself!

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Sensei Natasha Mc Kelvin from Knysna, Eastern Cape found the seminar to be practically informative, refreshing, dynamic, yet personal. Also new to WSKF, she mentioned that the syllabus is substantially different from what she is used to. Sensei Natasha was surprised by the heartfelt, warm, friendly manners of everyone attending. From a technical perspective, she was amazed at the general level and high standard of the Karate performance and delivery observed.

Most seniors mentioned that they wish there was more time to conclude the Instructors Seminar; and some have invited Shihan Mike to teach and repeat at their dojos. Sensei Wesley Deysel (February 2022) and Sensei Stephan Steyn (May 2022).

Some reflection from the youngsters who attended included “Wow! It was intense, how will I remember everything?”, “I wish Sensei Mike was still here (Vaal)”, “Shjo, I’m tired. When does the Black Belt Dinner start?”

WSKF National Instructors Seminar – 2020

26 Jan

The first day of the National Instructors Seminar hosted in WSKF dojos from across southern Africa was well represented, with dojo heads and senior students from Langebaan in the south all the way to Windhoek in the north!

A content-packed day on the second day of the National Instructors Seminar! After the previous day’s focus on kata, this day focused on intense Kihon and Kumite training. This was followed by a judging course and the annual AGM for all dojo heads.

     

Monthly Regional Senior training in Potchefstroom

04 Nov

The monthly regional senior training was hosted in Potchefstroom this last Saturday. It was great training with the theme from all instructors focusing on fixing common mistakes.

The training started with a high energy Kumite movement session presented by Stephan Steyn Sensei. This was followed by a session focused on leg strengthening exercises and correct stance and footwork with Simone Roig Sensei. The final session, presented by Marius Jordaan Sensei, focused on intensity in Gohon Kumite.

All students wore green belts on the day to support the victorious Springboks as they took part in the Rugby World Cup final!

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)

 

Senior Training, Referee & Table Officials Course – 2019

15 Jun

A busy day and another excellent regional senior training hosted in Vereeninging, followed by a successful referee and table official course conducted by Mike Sensei and Tatjana Sensei respectively.

In the first part of senior training, Mike Sensei focused on kihon and there-after the katas Sochin, Jitte, and Basai Dai were looked at in detail in preparation for the upcoming Japan grading.

After a fantastic lunch prepared by Lynette and John, the referee and table official courses commenced. Mike Sensei conducted a great referee course and all students old and new had the opportunity for valuable practical experience with different scenarios presented.

The table official course was conducted by Tatjana Sensei and the team of students and parents ran through their own set of draw sheet scenarios all in preparation for the upcoming WSKF events.

A big thank you to everyone involved – it was a great knowledge based day for all!