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Junior karateka ready to fight for medals

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Six black and brown belt students from the Zanshin Karate-Do Academy will participate in the Karate South Africa Children, Cadet, and Juniors National Elite Championships in Durban from March 17-19.

The team seen here will be attending the Karate South Africa Children’s, Cadet, and Junior National Elite Championships in Durban from March 17–19. They are (back left): Sempei Mathews Makinta, Markus Becker, Jayden McGregor, Sabi Rambert, Kgosietsile Maganelo, and Shihan Peter Stegmann. Front: Kamogelo Makinta. Absent: Micke Strydom. Picture: Danie van der Lith

RECENTLY, several of his students from the Zanshin Karate-Do Academy competed in the 2023 Karate Association of the Northern Cape Provincial Trials, and nine of these students were chosen to represent the provincial team.

Six of those black and brown belt students will participate in the Karate South Africa Children, Cadet, and Juniors National Elite Championships in Durban from March 17-19.

According to Shihan Peter Stegmann, the proprietor of the Zanshin Karate-Do Academy, their primary goal for this championship is to win medals.

“Receiving a medal around your neck is a reward for something that you accomplished, and it demonstrates that the hard work you put in has paid off,” Stegmann explained. “But more importantly, this competition will show us if we are on par with the rest of the field and other clubs throughout the country.

“When you participate in these competitions, you earn points in everything you do, and as those points accumulate, you are ranked higher. That is why each competition is essential.”

Stegman also said that participating in a competition gave students something they could not get at training. “This competition will also enable these students to gain critical floor time, fighting against other Karate students, and that is something you cannot achieve in dojo training,” he told the DFA.

For 30 years, Stegman has been practising Karate and has been coaching his students in the discipline of Shito-Ryu for most of those years. Currently,34 students with ages ranging from 4-46 are under his instruction.

And the quality of instruction is not to be taken lightly. Shihan Stegmann has advanced through the ranks during his Karate career and holds a 6th Dan black belt in Shito-Ryu Karate. He holds the position of vice-president of the Frances Baard Karate Federation, serves as the technical convenor of the Karate Association of the Northern Cape, and also serves as Karate South Africa’s National Coach.

Though the name “Shito-Ryu Karate” may sound new and unfamiliar, Stegman explained that the discipline is a traditional Japanese Karate style that was established in the early 20th century.

It combines elements from the Shuri-te and Naha-te styles of Okinawan Karate. Karate originated in Okinawa and Shuri-te and Naha-te are the oldest styles of the Art. However, in addition to traditional Karate, the style also incorporates influences from Chinese martial arts.

Shito-Ryu advocates for a well-rounded approach to training, focusing on both hard and soft techniques, and includes training in kata (forms), sparring, and self-defence.

The style prioritises the importance of proper technique and body mechanics, while also emphasising the development of strong character and spirit. Shito-Ryu has a global following and is practised by martial artists all over the world through various branches and organisations.

Shihan Stegmann expressed his immense pride in each and every student that will be participating in the upcoming competition and is confident that they will make him and the dojo proud.

Anybody who would like to get involved in Karate as a form of self defence or for fitness reasons can contact Shihan Peter Stegmann on 083 456 9664.

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