The concept of holding the KWF South Africa Elite Black Belt Championship in conjunction with a short seminar for karateka of all grades, before and after the event, proved a tremendous success. The fact that the championship was only 2 hours in duration removed the monotony for spectators of long drawn out whole day repetition, prevalent in karate championships currently. The excitement was furthermore exacerbated by the superb performances of each and everyone of the elite contestants, both male and female.
In the mens’ division, Shane Dorfman captured the Grand Champion title (winner of both kata and kumite) with a very polished and professional performance in both sections. Both runners-up, Tyrone Theodorides (kumite) and Bryan Dukas (kata) were extremely impressive in their respective divisions. In the ladies’ division, Natasha Raath came out top in kumite against sterling opposition from the other elite kumite ladies.
This event was so close, that after a round robin system, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place all tied with the same number of points. An extra match was needed to determine a runner up place which went to Ananka Loubser. The kata was won by Gabi Najjar, but runner up Stacey-lee Bolon sounded warning bells to Gabi for next years’ championship, as did the other elite lady kata contestants.
The outstanding performances of all the elite contestants was most certainly appreciated by the packed stands of spectators who thoroughly enjoyed the proceedings. Based on this standard, this KWF South Africa Elite Squad will certainly attain success against other international teams in forthcoming world and international events in the near future.
Left to Right - Back row: Warran Dukas, Bryan Dukas, Tyrone Theodorides, Shane Dorfman, Pieter Pretorius, Gerrit van Niekerk. Front row: Ananka Loubser, Marchelle Bailey, Livia Bertamini, Liesl Lohlun, Gabi Najjar, Antjie Schoeman, Natasha Raath, Stacey-Lee Bolon
GRAND CHAMPION: SHANE DORFMAN
|1.||Shane Dorfman||1.||Gabi Najjar|
|2.||Bryan Dukas||2.||Stacey-Lee Bolon|
|3.||Tyrone Theodorides||3.||Antjie Schoeman|
|4.||Warran Dukas||4.||Liesl Lohlun|
|1.||Shane Dorfman||1.||Natasha Raath|
|2.||Tyrone Theodorides||2.||Ananka Loubser|
|3.||Pieter Pretorius||3.||Marchelle Bailey|
|4.||Gerrit van Niekerk||4.||Livia Bertamini|
The first seminar sessions were held before the Elite tournament and continued in the afternoon.
Malcolm Sensei opened the seminar with concepts that are vital to all karateka, irrespective of grade. The concepts discussed, demonstrated and pracised were:-
Malcolm Sensei emphasised the important aspect of safe training –
He pointed out that incorrect training often led to severe injury to hips (hip replacement), back (spinal fusion) and knees (meniscus, ligament operations). Often, the dedicated karateka would not be able to continue training, both permanently or temporarily, by incorrect and unsafe training methods. Correct and safe training would virtually ensure a lifetime of training and fulfilment of dedication and effort...
Mike Sensei's class started with the concept of balance during the execution of techniques.
The gyaku zuki techniques practiced were done in various directions, and eventually ended with the students doing them while rotating 360 degrees. Emphasis was placed on the pivotal leg (jiku ashi) and the route of the moving leg, while stepping into an attack or moving back from an attack. The path of the zuki was also practiced, as it is common to see, even amongst senior karate'ka that the path of the zuki is not correctly executed.
The second phase of Sensei Mike's lesson consisted of concentrating on stability. The students were giving various techniques to do in a specific order. The students were made aware of the shifting of the body weight from one stance to another and of how the lowering of the center of gravity influences stability.
Sensei Ian's session was an interesting application of psychological research that he has been doing into the theory of self-defense as formulated by Geoff Thomson, a martial artist. The basis of this theory, is that an attacker works, acts and has certain rituals prior to picking and attacking a victim - therefore, the man in the street can protect himself by understanding the rituals and the mental stages an attacker goes through prior to an attack.
The sequence of events is termed "the 3 second fight", indicating the time lapse between the first interaction with the intended victim and the actual attack.
There is also a colour coded awareness level for people to work to. The colours are as follows:
Sensei Ian also talked about the effects of adrenal dumping that occurs in the body when it is under huge stress and how one should know the effects it has on the body and how to handle it. A very important technique, is the creation of a "fence" around the body by use of arms and hand positioning. If the attacker should try to breach this "fence" it would be a clear signal to take the initiative and use the pre-emptive strike and attack.
Sensei Ian's session finished with the students working on a few techniques that they could use with maximum effect on their attacker.
In the afternoon session taken by Shane Sensei, he focused on various components required for kata and specifically, for competition kata. Using segments from the basic katas and Jion, he portrayed the importance of the following aspects of kata - form, rhythm, timing, speed, power and feeling. Within this, he specifically focused on differentiating between hard and soft and fast and slow, components which most karate-ka have difficulty in competently conveying during their kata. This session was a mind opener for the participants who realised just how difficult kata is to do correctly.
During his first session, Sensei Michael worked on applications of karate techniques for self-defense. He combined various blocks and strikes against armed/unarmed attackers, with throwing techniques to disable the attacker. During the afternoon session, Sensei Michael taught a very technical class, focussing on the importance of using the lower body to create the necessary power for the delivery of effective karate techniques. He concentrated on the use of the legs, demonstrating how the forward thrust created by the back/supporting leg should be used. He also gave the students some exercises for strengthening the legs in order to maximise the speed and power of leg thrust.
Sensei Chris Anthony took the morning session and assisted Sensei Marius Jordaan during the afternoon session. This was a novelty for some of our students, who have never trained with weapons. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learnt some useful techniques from these two seasoned practitioners.