Date: October 21-23, 2022
Place: Bianric Farm Inn, Klerksdorp, North West Province, South Africa
Organizers/host: WKO Branch Chief, Sensei Thomas Sindephi Mayekani
South African full contact karate females held the 2nd All Female Full Contact Karate Training Camp with the assistance and support of Sensei Thomas Mayekani and WKO Matlosana branch. The camp was a great success, attended by 91 females of all grades (kyu) from 4 years and above, it was an open camp for all full contact karate organizations. The organizations and provinces that participated in the camp were IKO Matsushima (Gauteng and North West); Kyokushinkan (Free State); IKO Nakamura (Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape); WKO Shinkyokushinkai (Gauteng and North West) and IKO Kyokushinkaikan Sonoda Group (Gauteng). The training camp activities were conducted by Phumza Kekezwa-Mhani (3rd dan), Thembeka “Thembi” Njena (1st Dan), Masedisa “Mas” Mojaki (4th dan), Andronica M. Rakgantso-Shonhiwa (3rd dan), Bongiwe Skosana (3rd dan), Buyie Mogobo (2nd dan), Nomonde Makhanya (3rd dan), Agrinette Khanyile (3rd dan), Mamokete Moleme-Moselakgomo (4th dan) and Thandeka Mbonambi (4th dan).
The purpose of the training was for female karateka from different organizations to spend time together in unity and for the seniors to share their karate experience and knowledge in order to encourage and motivate the junior female karateka on their karate journey as females in this male dominated sport and also to provide career guidance, awareness and advice on other important issues that women encounter in their real life outside of karate. Beside the physical activities such as aerobics and karate training sessions, the camp focused on sharing information and advice on topics such as cancer, puberty and teenage pregnancy, gender based violence (GBV) (violence against women and children), bullying, self-defense, career path guidance and different types of higher education institutions and bursaries in South Africa, personal experiences/testimonies on life changes, balancing career/studies/school and karate, educational fun games, all about being a female 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 behave and carry themselves in all aspects of life.
The strength of the camp’s 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 represented South Africa in international tournaments and world championships and are already considered role models by the juniors. In addition to 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, professional nurses and University Administrators to mention a few. The facilitators also have different personal life experiences as mothers, wives, sisters and aunts that they were able to share with the participants. The participants also guided the topics by sharing their expectations from the camp, questions and burning issues that need or wish to have covered during the camp.
Karate is a non-paying sport which takes an individual away from immoral behaviors such as drugs, alcohol and all manners of substance abuse, unwanted teenage pregnancies and engaging in criminal activities. It helps one to be disciplined and committed, have respect, improve self-esteem, improves focus, self-defense and to have a good physical and mental well-being as it brings positive aspects and good moral behavior for all spheres of life. Karate is not just a sport but a way of life. At the end of the camp, the attendees gave a brief review of the camp and what topics and activities they wish to have covered in the next camp. All attendees expressed their gratitude towards the organizers and the host for the great hospitality and facilitators for the great event and knowledge sharing activities.
We are grateful for the support received from the parents, husbands, dojo instructors and organizations’ heads who allowed their female students to participate in this event. We extend our gratitude to the Matlosana hospitality service team of parents who made sure there is food for all participants without failure. We also extend our gratitude to the sponsor and host, Sensei Thomas Sindephi Mayekani and WKO Matlosana branch 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 Full Contact Karate Training Camp organizers/facilitators