Plans in place to revive karate in Africa

Some of the karate veterans who were at the karate revival meeting, in Durban, included the vice president of the United World Karate Federation, Shihan Peter Thage, and Honorary Kancho AK Ishmael, one of the organisers of the meeting.

The United World Karate Federation (UWKF) held a karate revival meeting at the Durban Military Base, on Saturday, November 29.

The meeting was organised by Honorary Kancho AK Ishmael, with the UWKF executive committee, including the president of the UWKF, Iampiaz Abdullar, and vice president Shihan Peter Thage.

The aim of the gathering was to bring all full contact karatekas back into action again.

According to Thage, who is from Katlehong, most of the karatekas who attended were retired from karate, but not because they wanted to be.

“Most of the karatekas retired because of the unfair grading fees which the Japanese were charging.

“Before, karatekas were travelling to Japan for training using their own money and even paying for expensive accommodation from their own pockets.

“Others were graded before the year 2000 but are still waiting for their belts. That discouraged karatekas a lot, until they decided to call it quits,” said Thage.

He added that during the meeting in Durban, they agreed to solve the problem by bringing one karateka from Japan to South Africa to train karatekas.

“This person is going to train all the karatekas from Africa, including Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, grade them and award them with their belts,” said Thage.

Ishmael, who is a well known karateka in Africa, said they have introduced one style of full contact in which karatekas are going to fight.

“During the meeting we agreed that we can convert a person who has trained semi-contact into training full contact style,” he said.

According to Abdullar, it was good seeing karate veterans under one roof.

“Among the karate veterans who came to the meeting in Durban were Shihan Boby Singh, Shihan Koos Singh, as well as Shihan Moses Mchunu, who is a magistrate by profession,” he said.

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