Top honour for African Tiger
Three leaders from the World Karate Organisation in Japan are in South Africa on a two-pronged mission - to honour Shihan Isaac "The African Tiger" Mashinisi and train local karateka.
The trio are WKO deputy president and chief referee Iso Kabayashi, chief technical and grading officer Yasu Yaru Fujiharu and Tatsuo Koi, office manager.
On Saturday at the University of Limpopo in GaRankuwa, Mashinini was awarded a sixth dan during the Kyokushin Africa World Cup selection tournament.
"The tournament was divided into three categories - Under-70kg, Under-80kg and open," said Mashinisi. "The top two karateka in each category qualified for the world tournament in Russia on June 20 and 21, 2009.
"We are delighted with the commitment of our karateka, especially in the presence of our three leaders from Japan."
On his recent achievement, Mashinini said: "This is great news not only for me, but for the entire martial arts in South Africa.
"It feels great to once more be the first in South Africa to be awarded sixth dan. It will encourage me to work even harder."
Under-70kg: 1. Edward Matjila (North West); 2. Mafiki Ngcobo (KwaZulu-Natal); 3. Sthembile Phama (Gauteng).
Under-80kg: 1.Samuel Rampai (North West); 2.Mbongiseni Sihlogonyane (Swaziland); 3.Kwazu Fakudze (Swaziland).
Open: 1.Siphamandla Ngubane (KZN); 2.Tshepo Mtshali (KZN); 3.Thabo Hlophe (Swaziland).