Date: 23 – 25 October 2020
Place: Ga-Mathakga Lodge, Klerksdorp, North West Province, South Africa
Organizers/host: WKO Branch Chief Sindephi Thomas Mayekani
South African full contact Kyokushin karate females held the 1st All Female Kyokushin Karate Training Camp with the assistance and support of sensei Thomas Mayekani and WKO Matlosana branch and the approval of WKO South Africa/Africa region president. The camp was a great success, attended by 55 females of all grades (kyu) from 6 years and above and was open for all styles. The organizations and provinces that participated in the camp were IKO Matsushima (Gauteng, North West, and KwaZulu-Natal); IKO Kyokushinkan (Gauteng); IKO Nakamura (Gauteng); WKO Shinkyokushinkai (Gauteng, Limpopo and North West). The training camp activities were conducted by Masedisa “Mas” Mojaki (4th dan), Andronica M. Rakgantso Shonhiwa (3rd dan), Tshepiso “Sasa” Lesiba Sithole (3rd dan), Bongiwe Skosana (3rd dan), Mamokete Moleme Moselakgomo (4th dan) and Sizakele Nyembe (4th dan).
The purpose of the training was for the senior female sensei to spent time with the junior female karateka and share their karate experience and knowledge in order to encourage and motivate them on their karate journey as females in this male dominated sport and also to provide career guidance and awareness on other important issues that women encounter in their real life outside of karate. Beside the karate training sessions on the inner core and karate dynamics, the camp focused on sharing information on cancers (particularly on breast cancer awareness since October is designated as national breast cancer awareness month in South Africa), teenage pregnancy, gender based violence (GBV) (violence against women and children) awareness and career path guidance and other topics to inspire the juniors to make wise and better choices in life, and become good examples in the communities/society in the manner in which they behaved, spoke and simply taking the bull by its horns.
The strength of the camp facilitators that made it possible for all the sessions to be carried out successfully was that all the instructors have great experience in karate and have all represented South Africa in international tournaments and world cups and are already considered role models by the juniors. Beside their karate experience, all the sensei also have different professional and life experiences as qualified marketing specialist, engineers, teachers, clinical psychologist, medical scientist, epidemiologist, medical doctors, nurses and as senior police officers to mention a few and life experiences as mothers, wives, sisters and aunts. Karate is a non-paying sport, which takes an individual away from immoral behaviors such as drugs and alcohol abuse, unwanted pregnancies and criminal activities. It helps one to be disciplined, have respect, self-esteem and to have a good physical and mental wellbeing as it brings positive aspects and moral behavior for all spheres of life. Karate is not just a sport but also a way of life.
We are grateful for the support received from the parents, husbands, dojo instructors and style heads who allowed their female student to participate and the chef parents who made sure there is food. We also extend our gratitude to the sponsors, the Mamokomane funeral parlours, Se-sefikile Construction and Project Company, Bigdawgs VIP Management and Security Events for their support and making the event possible, successful and memorable.
Sensei Andronica M. Shonhiwa (née Rakgantso)
WKO South Africa/Africa Region
On Behalf of The Kgosigadi-Mbokodo, All Female Kyokushin Training Camp organizers/facilitators