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!