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Watch out, karate champs are everywhere

Date Released: Mon, 13 August 2012 10:59 +0200

Four Grahamstown karate clubs ranked among the best 10 at a recent South African Shotokan Karate Academy (Saska) competition, where a record number of 450 karateka from 21 clubs competed.

This year’s Saska East Coast Karate Open Championships were once again held at the Fish River Sun Hotel and Country Club Resort and included karate practitioners from the styles of Shotokan, Shorin-Ryu, Shito-Ryu and Goju-Kai.

The competition took place last weekend. In order to accommodate the growing demand to enter this prestigious event, a fifth arena was included for the first time. With a number of national and international champions, the men's and women's senior black belt categories produced karate of the highest calibre.

Rhodes University Shotokan karateka Brittany Denton won the senior women's kata (forms) and scooped gold in both the junior women (18-20 years) black belt kata and kumite (fighting) categories.
Clayton Thom of Hillside Goju-Kai (Port Elizabeth) convincingly won the kata. The senior mens' kumite proved to be a closely contested event, with Thom facing up against old rival Shaun Kapp of Dragon Suburbs, also a Port Elizabeth club.

At the end of their fight they were judged to be equal and it was only during the dying seconds of the extension that Thom was able to clinch victory. Competition organiser Gary Grapentin described the match as a fitting way to end the championship.

He also complimented both fighters on their sportsmanship and fighting spirit. The premier category results were as follows: For the second year in succession Hillside Goju-Kai were the winners of the katana trophy for the best club at the championship, with a total of 720 points. King Karate Club (King William’s Town) were runners up with 570 points, followed by Baysville Goju-Kai with 395 points.

Grahamstown club results saw Eastern Cape Shotokan-Ryu (ECSR) finish seventh (230 points), Makana was eighth (180), Rhodes ninth (175) and Joza tenth (170). Grapentin also announced at the championship that his federation, ECSR, would be hosting internationally respected New Zealand karateka Andre Bertel Sensei in February next year.

Bertel Sensei received private instruction from the late Japanese karate master, the legendary Tetsuhiko Asai Sensei, and is regarded as one of the leading practitioners of Asai-ha Shotokan-Ryu Karate.
The venue for the seminar has not yet been determined, but Grapentin confirmed that it will definitely be held in the Eastern Cape. For further information regarding the seminar, contact Grapentin on 073 346 0059 or at italgaryg@geenet.co.za/ital.

This article appeared on Grocott’s Mail website.