Karate club instils discipline in pupils

Members of the Monwabisi Karate Academy.

It was a joyous occasion when the Monwabisi Karate Academy held a graduation ceremony for 48 students at Kuyasa Primary School in Khayelitsha on Saturday October 6.

The academy is affiliated to Ryushin-Kan International and was started in 2014.

The students had been trained for at least three months before they could move to the next grade.

But before the formal proceedings began, the students locked horns and demonstrated some of the martial arts skills they have learned to their peers and parents.

The academy trains students, aged from five years old, for two hours a week at Kuyasaand also has a branch in F section, Khayelitsha.

Instructor Monwabisi Spogter said one of the key factors that had propelled him to start the academy was to introduce this disciplined sporting code into the township.

He said many youngsters battled to join karate clubs because it was an expensive sport and parents could not afford the fees.

The academy seeks to teach children that martial arts is a defensive skill and should not be used in an offensive way.

He said the training would make them strong and very disciplined.

Mr Spogter said the students are taught to be polite and respectful, especially towards their parents, teachers, elders and fellow students.

He said you would never find the children who attend the academy roaming around at night or drinking alcohol.

Looking back, Mr Spogter said when he started the academy he had only eight children but that number has grown to 48.

He said he has dedicated his life to ensure that children who are interested and love this sport get the opportunity to showcase their talent.

In July this year the students competed at the South African karate national championship and walked away with 14 gold medals, eight bronze and eight silver medals.

“We want children to be able to diffuse violence. We are equipping children with defensive skills. We also intend to shape their minds and thinking. Karate is a very disciplined sport. We instil respect and good behaviour. Raising children is not only the role of parents but the entirecommunity has a role to play,” he said. Talking about challenges, he said like any community-based organisation, funding remains their major challenge and appealed to local businesses to assist them.

Parent Nomzamo Fudumela heaped praise on the academy and said it has changed the behaviour of her children.

Ms Fudumela said karate was a rare sport in the township and it was great that there was such an academy. She said an idle mind is a devil’s playground.

Student at the academy, Kamva Zokhela said he has learnt defence mechanisms and his confidence has been boosted. The 11-year-old said he enjoys being part of the academy and urged his peers to join too.