The third United World Karate South Africa (UWKSA) National Championships were held at the Boardwalk Hotel’s Tsitsikamma Room on Saturday 5 May. More than 260 karateka contested the Championship on six floors in the novice-elite categories. Federations and affiliates in attendance included the South African Shotokan Karate Academy (SASKA), South African National Shotokan Association (SANSA), Shotokan ZA (SZA), Shotokan Circle of Karate (SCK) and United Shotokan-Ryu (USR) as well as numerous individually affiliated dojos from across South Africa.
In the Veteran Men’s Brown and Black Belt Kata Category (forms), Mzwandile Matebese of Joza Karate Club, Grahamstown won gold, while the Western Cape’s JP Muller (Brackenfell Shotokan Karate Academy) was tops in the Veteran Men’s Kumite.
Anne Hartley of East Cape Shotokan-Ryu, Port Alfred won gold in the Veteran Ladies Kata Category.
The Cadet Boys (15-17yrs) Red to Black Belt Male Kata and Kumite Categories were both won by Brent Smith of East Cape Shotokan Ryu, Grahamstown. Morishca Minnie of PE Noord won the Cadet Girls’ (15 – 17yrs) Red to Black Belt Kata Category, and in a controversial kumite final in the same age category, Kayle Olivier of East Cape Shotokan-Ryu, Grahamstown was awarded gold after her opponent was disqualified for excessive contact.
There was action a plenty in the Senior Men’s Brown to Black Belt Kata and Kumite categories with Jacques Bardenhorst of Dragons Karate Club, Gauteng winning gold in both categories. Shaun Kapp (Dragon Suburbs Karate Dojo, Port Elizabeth) and Lutho Singata (Rhodes University Shotokan Karate Club, Grahamsttown) were the respective silver medallists in the kata and kumite categories. Both Bardenhorst and Singata will travel to Dundee, Scotland for the WUKF World Championship in June.
Tanya De Villiers of PE Noord Karate Club clinched the Senior Ladies Brown and Black Belt Kata Category, with Mel Ackerman of East Cape Shotokan-Ryu, Grahamstown placing second. These positions were reversed in the kumite category, with Ackerman taking gold and De Villers silver.
According to UWKSA President, Gary Grapentin, the Championship was extremely successful with UWKSA once again showing positive growth in membership over the past 12 months. Based on results achieved at the weekend’s Championship, a team will be selected to represent UWKSA at the 2019 UWK World Championships. UWKSA is endorsed and recognised by United World Karate, one of the largest international karate sports federations. This was also the first time that the Championship had been held in Port Elizabeth. Grapentin praised The Boardwalk Hotel and Entertainment Complex as the perfect setting for the Championship.