Chief instructor of Botswana Shito Ryu Federation, Sensei Union Kgafela has described competitions such as the weekend’s open tournament as an opportunity for aspiring karatekas to develop not only physical tact but also mental awareness.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Shito Ryu youth championship at the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) dojo Saturday (October 31), Sensei Kgafela explained that since establishment of the relatively new federation in the structures of the BOKA development, the federation has been targeting youth from all local clubs.
Though disappointed by the turnout of the weekend’s tournament, Sensei Kgafela said he was impressed by the overall commitment displayed by young karatekas in attendance from a tender age of five. That, he said would help them build confidence as well as physical fitness.
The annual tournament attracted well over 75 karatekas from the clubs around Gaborone and the toast of the day was a close contest between Lentle Tanyala and her number one adversary Amantle Leburu in the girls’ 10 to 11 years category.
After an intense three minutes in kumite the score remained one apiece until Tanyala convinced three of the four judges with her previous attack prowess.
The evergreen Leburu cruised to the finals after outclassing Nnete Gabanthate in the semifinals.
In the boys’ 8 to 9 years category, it was a family tie between the Seleke brothers, Gabriel and Junior.
In the final score, Gabriel taught his younger brother a few karate tips. One Sechele beat Sibongile Kgengwenyane in the girls’ category and the latter got a consolation with a gold medal in kata.
A six-year-old sensation, Norman Leburu was crowned champion in both boys’ five to seven years beating Reatile Kgafela in the kumite final.
In the boys’ 12 to 13 years category, Joseph Chifana repeated his impressive form in kumite and beat Laone Mosielele.
He won the BOKA national youth champions last week against a highly charged Kagiso Mophuting who did not make it to Saturday’s match.
Meanwhile, the SSKB Karate club will host the inaugural Kumite Festive training camp on the last weekend on November 28-29.
The sessions will be conducted by legendary kumite trainer, Sensei Peter Molefhe assisted by Joseph Molodi while African youth champion Thabang Setshego and Teto Wakwena will form part of training sessions.