Five athletes from MKA Ryushin-kan in Khayelitsha will represent the Western Province at the Karate South Africa National Championships in Cape Town in March next year.
Trained under the watchful eye of provincial fighter and instructor, Monwabisi Spogter, the five karatekas are Khanya Jingxela, Kamva Zokhela, Solomon Makratho, Akhanyile Dlelani and Liviwe Ngcaca.
The two female athletes, Jingxela and Ngcaca will participate in the under-16/17 juniors and the under-21 kumite divisions. The young male athletes, Dlelani and Zokhela, will both compete in the junior under-16/17 boys. Makratho will participate in the veterans’ division.
Earlier in February this year, Sensei Spogter represented the province in the national championships in Gqeberha and brought home a bronze medal, in kumite, in the veterans’ division.
He said preparing his troops for the past weekend’s provincial trials was not difficult as an instructor with the knowledge and experience of developing athletes in the province.
They kept a strict regime, focused on speed, strength and a healthy diet. Spogter said this is how they will maintain a fit and manageable weight leading up to March next year.
“The competition was tough, I must say, especially for my senior guys because they had to go through the toughest and well known athletes that made the Western Province team every single year. I taught them to use their techniques very strategically in a way that they win the attention of the referees and judges for points,” he said.
Spogter said he has different ways of instilling qualities like focus and resilience in his karatekas.
“First of all I train them to overcome the negative impact. For example, one student won a bronze medal to qualify for the team and that’s not what he/she wanted, it is then my duty to create a growth mindset and for them to be willing to have new experiences. I teach them to maintain high expectations and I fully support them on every step they take. Remember, that is the only way to connect with your students, to support,” he said.
Spogter said through teamwork, they want to break stereotypes, by creating national karatekas and community leaders.
“Teamwork is one of my top ways of achieving my goals. I teach them to be united and to lead by example. Team work gives the ability to build a ‘no fear’ karateka. I also encourage a lot of support from the parents and other fellow team members. I let my team occupy one corner in every event where we can support all our athletes that are performing. This is truly power in unity,” he said.