The main reason for hosting the tournaments is to help local karate development and raise much-needed funds since the clubs depend solely on membership fees.
THE ZANSHIN Shito-Ryu Karate-Do will on Saturday April 24, host its annual Zanshin Karate Open Club Challenge at the premises of its long time sponsor; office furniture retailer Cecil Nurse in Long street, Kimberley.
Chief tournament organiser sensei Shihan Peter Stegmann, a sixth Dan Shobukai Shito-Ryu holder, told the DFA that the main reason for hosting the tournaments is to help local karate development and raise much-needed funds since the clubs depend solely on membership fees.
Stegmann explained that the reason for having the tournament at the Cecil Nurse’s business premises was to say thank you. Over the last three years the management of Cecil Nurse were assisting Zanshin Karate-Do to raise funds to assist its students to attend Karate SA national tournaments and to train its senior karateka to qualify as provincial judges and national coaches.
“This karate tournament is a first of its kind in the province as well and literally brings business and the prestige art of karate together.”
Stegmann explained that the Karate Association of the Northern Cape (KANC) was the sole custodian of all styles of traditional karate in the province. In turn the KANC is affiliated to Karate South Africa (KSA) who are affiliate members of the World Karate Federation (WKF) as well as the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).
KANC usually hosts at least two tournaments every year in the province. In February this year the province had their annual provincial trials. Towards the end of each year they have a provincial tournament. The rest of the year each affiliated club of the province is given an opportunity to host a tournament with permission from the provincial executive.
Stegmann elaborated by saying that having tournaments in the province was crucial. “It motivates students to achieve not only their belt grading but also to become better competitors. It helps a lot in ensuring the future of karate in the province. Secondly, it creates opportunities for all members to get regular floor time on the tatami. Regular floor time is crucial for provincial competitors to take part at national level. it is the aim of the provincial executive to have students from our province in the national Proteas team,” he said.
Commenting on the popularity of karate as a sport, Stegmann said it was very popular in the province particularly amongst women and children. “It is quite popular in the Francis Baard region with about 10 dojo’s within its borders. Pixley ka Seme has two dojos, ZF Mgcawu five and Namakwa two.
“The feedback I get from parents is the drastic improvement in their children’s schoolwork. Most of the time, these claims are made within a month or two of them starting with Karate,” Stegman said.
“It gives the practitioner something positive to focus on, feeding the physical body and imagination and improving their self-defence skills. All of us have a hero we look up to, who we want to be one day. And karate makes that dream possible. Through the hard work and struggles you go through in karate, you conquer a lot of physical and mental obstacles,” he added.
“By only conquering these obstacles you already feel empowered, your own hero, so to say. The physical and mental strength you develop on the dojo floor makes the problems of real life surmountable. At the end of the day you learn to walk and talk with confidence and respect”.
Saturday’s tournament at Cecil Nurse will consist of free fighting (kumite) and forms (kata).
The World Karate Federation (WKF) kata and kumite rules will apply. Competitors take part in their respective age- and gender divisions. The divisions are further divided into development (white to purple belts) and elite (brown and black belts).
The tournament is open to all styles of Traditional Karate. Any karate organisation can take part in this tournament as long as they abide by the WKF competition rules.
All Covid-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to. Scanning on entrance, sanitizing, wearing of masks and social-distancing will be strictly followed. Karate South Africa has an operational manual in place for all dojo’s to follow with regard to Covid-19 protocols.
The tournament will run on a time schedule for each division throughout the day to avoid overcrowding the venue. Competitor’s hands and equipment will be sanitised before and after each bout during kumite. No contact to the face will be allowed. The KANC provincial Covid Compliance Officer will be present.
There will also be a briefing this Friday evening, April 23, before the event for all officials, judges and referees on the rules of the tournament. No spectators will be allowed at the venue. Only scheduled competitors, officials, judges and referees will be allowed in the venue.
For any enquiries, contact Shihan Peter Stegmann at 083-456-9664 or e-mail: [email protected]