Skai Black Belt Grading

Karate Academy International (SKAI) had their National Black Belt Grading on 27 July 2018.  At this grading, an attempt was made by karateka to obtain the coveted black belt.

The Karateka who were successful were honoured at an illustrious ceremony held at the Yacht Club in Walvis Bay, recently. The Karateka, who were tested for shodan, had a minimum of five-year experience, with some of them even having as much as nine years training, in karate.  The syllabus which they had to comply with is very stringent, resulting in all of them training and preparing since the beginning of the year for the above grading.

Before an attempt could be made to grade, all karateka grading had to undergo a “gruelling” pregrading, where all technical aspects were finely scrutinized by four senior instructors.

The karateka were graded on aspects like, proficiency in basic techniques, proficiency in forms, proficiency in combat, fitness, etiquette and procedure, neatness and attitude, eye position, concentration and self-control.

The grading panel, consisting of the four highest graded Namibia Shotokan karateka, were very impressed with the standard displayed by the karateka.  To be successful, karateka had to demonstrate that they have the required skills, values and character traits required for the Junior Black Belt and Shodan rank (1st degree Black Belt).

The chief instructor of SKAI, sensei Willem Burger made the following observations regarding the achievement of obtaining a black belt.

  • For every 10 000 people that join a Karate school, half will drop-out within 6 months,
  • Of those remaining students about 1 000 will complete a year of training before quitting,
  • Approximately 500 students will study for 2 years, but only 100 will be there in 3 years,
  • Usually only 1 or 2 will progress and be successful in obtaining their 2nd degree Black Belt,
  • 1 Will progress to teach others as he/she has been taught – this person, 1 in 10 000, is a true Black Belt

Sensei Willem Burger also observed that a black belt means that the person now fulfills the role of a modern-day Samurai. The word Samurai originally meant “one who serves”. Black belts serve their family and community and protect those that cannot fend for themselves.

The black belt also lives by the bushido code (warrior code) and living values like loyalty, honour, courage, unselfishness, fairness, sincerity, honesty and courtesy are of the utmost importance. Being a black belt means constantly developing yourself physically, mentally and emotionally to face the challenges and opportunities that life presents, and then to pass along these tools to those around us so that they all may benefit and take best advantage of all opportunities that arise in their lifetimes. Sensei Willem explained that wearing a black belt does not mean you are invincible, it does mean that you never give up, you are prepared to work past pain and dis-appointment and do not cave in to your doubts and above all you are prepared to face your fears.

The karateka who all graded to Junior Black Belt and who were honoured on Saturday were:

  • Miriam Idiou
  • Jan-Magiel Leff
  • Dominique Smit
  • Merziaan Mouton
  • Christopher Armstrong

The senior karateka who all graded to Shodan (First degree/dan black belt) and who were honoured on Saturday were:

  • Dominique Tsaneb
  • Caitlin Louw
  • Corné Engelbrecht
  • Rudolph Barnard
  • Jessica Maasdorp
  • Adrian Cloete
  • Giovanne Haoseb

Shotokan Karate Academy International is extremely proud of the achievement of the above karateka and gladly welcomes these warriors to the Shotokan Black Belt scroll of honour.

The following contact numbers apply:

  • Windhoek Sensei: Willem Burger (Chief Instructor) +264 81 129 2519
  • Walvis Bay Sensei: Wikus Oberholster(Shihankai member) +264 81 258 2000
  • Swakopmund Sensei: Valdemar Swart(Shihankai member) +264 85 124 2938
  • Omaruru Sensei: Marvin Mbari (Dojo Head) +26481 255 1510
  • Tsumeb Sensei: Rudolph Barnard (Dojo Head)                     +264 81 129 0162


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