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On the 11th, 12th & 13th September, three flights carrying 114 South Africans, 63 of which were members of the KWF S.A. national senior and junior team left Johannesburg for Tokyo. Tremendous excitement prevailed especially as the majority had never visited Japan previously and for many, it was a dream come true.

Shane Dorfman Sensei became KWF World Grand Champion for the second successive world championship on Sunday 19 September. He beat Norio Kawasaki Sensei, the Japan champion, into second place in both kata and kumite. In kata, Shane Sensei’s Nijushiho was 0.4 higher in points than Kawasaki Sensei’s Gojushihodai, but the highlight of the championship was the unbelievable mawashi geri executed with such power and precision flooring Kawasaki Sensei 6 seconds after the match commenced

Sensei Shane Dorfman's winning kick

In addition, Shane Sensei was promoted by the KWF Supreme Council to 6th Dan at the KWF International Grading Examination on Saturday 18 September, making him the youngest Japanese graded mainline JKA-style 6th Dan in the world. Michael Roetz Sensei was also promoted to 6th Dan at same grading examination.

South Africa took 4 of a possible 5 male kumite titles - Shane Dorfman (Open), Les Kroon (Veteran), Ryan Fransman (15-17years), Rory Moses (12-14 years). Elandi Van Niekerk took the 15-17 Girls Kumite title

Sensei Shane Dorfman with his trophies

Rory Moses and Ryan Fransman

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Seeing and participating in the culture of the Japanese, being in the land of the origin of Shotokan karate and training under great masters, Kanazawa Sensei, Yahara Sensei and Isaka Sensei far outweighed the participation in the actual championship in terms of worldliness, knowledge and understanding, karate experience and development, 

There was team training everyday under Malcolm Sensei, Mike Dukas Sensei, Michael Roetz Sensei, Shane Sensei and Johan Van Tonder Sensei in preparation for the actual KWF World Cup.

A special training session was given to the S.A. team members by Isaka Sensei, 8th Dan, the joint Assistant Chief Instructor of KWF, (Malcolm Sensei being the other joint Assistant Chief Instructor of KWF). He concentrated on stance work and all who attended appreciated his ideas and training methods of this crucial technical aspect. 

Isaka Sensei, the joint Assistant Chief Instructor of KWF (middle) with
Sensei Malcolm Dorfman (right) and Sensei Mike Dukas (left) of South Africa.

The most talked about and a major highlight of the tour was the training organised by Malcolm Sensei and his friend Naito Sensei with the legendary Hirokazu Kanazawa Sensei. 
Kanazawa Sensei was Malcolm Sensei’s first instructor in Japan over 30 years ago and although the two of them now are from different organisations, the link and friendship was still evident. The first session was for children and 50 Japanese children and 50 S.A. children enjoyed a great ‘friendship’ training session together. At the end of the session every Japanese child gave a gift to a S.A. child and received one back in turn. This was an experience not to be forgotten by both sets of children. The fact that this session was held in a very ‘Japanese’ area of Tokyo and not in an area frequented by tourists and foreigners added to the authenticity of real Japanese karate training.

The Japanese and South African juniors "mixing it"
in an exhilirating class given by Kanazawa Sensei

The second session was the adult session, but the older children were allowed to participate also. The south Africans trained with, against and alongside Kanazawa Sensei’s Japanese black belts, including former SKI world champion, Murakami Sensei, Kanazawa Sensei’s second in command and Kanazawa Sensei’s three dynamic sons. Although 72 years old, Kanazawa Sensei still showed that he is the great master.

After a long photographic and autograph signing session, the S.A. team left for the hotel. Kanazawa Sensei invited Malcolm Sensei to dinner and invited him to bring the senior S.A. black belts with. Mike Dukas Sensei, Michael Roetz Sensei and Johan Van Tonder Sensei accompanied Malcolm sensei to dinner and a most enjoyable evening was spent with the senior SKI Japan black belts.

The Senior Instructors group


The instructors of the World Camp were Yahara Sensei, Isaka Sensei, Malcolm Sensei, Hozumi Sensei, Robert Sidoli Sensei and Kawasaki Sensei, each teaching a different aspect of karate. The link between the variation of the aspects was the clear KWF dynamics shown by each instructor and the emphasis on Budo.

This was a tour not to be forgotten, with the majority of members looking forward to the day they will return to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.

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