Karateka learn from masters

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

Karateka from eight African countries will benefit from the expertise of the Japanese masters who will be conducting clinics at Medunsa sports complex in GaRankuwa from today.

Shihan Isao Kobayashi, deputy president of the World Karate Organisation and Yasuharu Fujihara, the organisation's technical and grading committee board member, who arrived in the country yesterday, will run the two-day workshops.

Kobayashi will conduct the referee's course today while Fujihara will deal with the karate basics tomorrow at the same place at 3pm.

The Japanese were welcomed by Shihan Isaac "The African Tiger'' Mashinini, president of the African World Karate Organisation at the OR Tambo International Airport.

Shihand Yasukazu Koi, who was supposed to have arrived with his compatriot yesterday, is expected to land in the country today.

"In tomorrow's [today's] workshop we will be teaching the karate basics - kihon [basic techniques], ido kihon [movement] and kata [a set of movements against imaginary opponents]," said Kobashi through interpreter Sumi Watters.

"Also, we will be imparting our knowledge of the martial art to the karateka from various African countries," he added.

Karateka from Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho are expected to turn up today.

The three Japanese will be judges at the African World Cup selection tournament in Pretoria on Saturday.