WSKF South Africa held the “August” monthly Black Belt Training event on 29 July 2023. What a memorable, special occasion it was… The 50th anniversary of the WSKF-SA Vaal Dojo – a Golden Jubilee! Mike Dukas Shihan and his wife, (and WSKF-SA Secretary) Mrs. Marion Dukas were the honoured guests at this momentous occasion. Kuro-Obi Shotokan Karate-Do dojo and its formidable team of volunteers were our gracious hosts for the day.
More than seventy senior rank students (Red / 4th-Kyu and above) participated in the 3-hour long Senior training session. Dojos from Gauteng, Northwest and Free State provinces sent delegates who trained under the tutelage of our Chief Instructor. With the annual Dan Grading only eleven weeks away, Mike Dukas Shihan paid particular attention to elements of the various Dan syllabi that begged clarification and specific focus as they represent building blocks for the more advanced components.
In addition, a delegation of WSKF-SA karateka and supporters are eagerly awaiting their karate tour to Japan (November 2023) where they will represent WSKF-SA in the 16th WSKF World Championship, held in Tokyo. Mike Dukas Shihan highlighted a selection of the spinning combinations that WSKF is renowned for. Since the team is likely to be drilled on these techniques during their training in Japan, considerable emphasis was placed on the correct execution of the combinations. The importance of good posture, balance and spatial awareness was apparent as students grappled with their imaginary, multi-directional targets, whilst executing these rotational movements.
After the session, Senior karateka were joined by students both young and old, present and former, who are associated with the Vaal Dojo.
Amongst this group were people who had been students of Mike Dukas Shihan for more than three decades!
Messages of congratulations and well wishes were conveyed to the well-loved founders, whose indomitable spirits built the dojo from its humble beginnings to the “institution of Karate” it is today. If anything is to last, it must be built on a strong foundation. Mike and Marion Dukas built an enviable legacy on the foundational principles of:
“Stick to the Basics”
“Karate fixes Everything”
Reflecting on this, it remains humbling and evident that “mastery” is a “journey”, not a destination. The goalposts are forever shifting, and depths of “knowledge” are yet unknown. Therefore, in the words of Mike Dukas Shihan:
“…no matter what happens – just keep training…”