Members of the Colorado Park-based Karate Satori have reason to celebrate following their students’ performance at recent national competitions.
Five students travelled to Mpumalanga a fortnight ago for the national under-21 and senior karate championships, bringing home three gold medals, a silver and bronze medal.
Two others attended the SA junior championships in Durban two weeks prior to the senior nationals, making it all the way to the finals in their respective divisions.
One of the biggest karate organisastions in Mitchell’s Plain with dojos in Strandfontein, Rocklands, Portland, Lentegeur and other areas, club members did remarkably well, considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the year-long lockdown, says chief instructor Jeffrey Jackson.
The club is affiliated to Karate South Africa (KSA) and have been around for more than 20 years.
Jackson, a 10-time SA champion, 2008 Commonwealth champion and multiple Africa Zone Six and Western Province champ, is understandably proud of his students’ performance.
Like every one else, he says, club members have had a difficult year dealing with the impact of the global pandemic, in some case, even death in families,
However, for Jackson, the last year has also been one of renewal, an opportunity to start afresh.
In December 2019, the Colorado Park dojo opened its door but had to close barely three months later, in March 2020, when the government declared a national lockdown and all things normal came to an abrupt end.
The dojo, a fully-fledged karate studio and crossfit circuit, is the first of its kind in Mitchell’s Plain, says Jackson.
Thee are many karate schools in Mitchell’s Plain, most of them located at community centres which they share with other sporting codes, but this is the first standalone studio, he said.
He says he’s thankful that the owners of the building where the club is situated showed leniency as far as rent due was concerned, which allowed him to focus on the task at hand: helping his students for upcoming competition, instead of having to worry about how they were going to make ends meet.
“For most of the lockdown period, we held virtual training sessions, shared videos and communicated via social media,” he said.
Things eased up a bit towards the end of last year, when lockdown regulations were relaxed to allow for limited exercise and training.
The students gradually returned to class and their work continued, he said.
“For me it’s more than just about karate. It’s about a partnership with parents to help the children become successful, whether it be in karate or ather areas,” he said.
“We consider ourselves a lighthouse, of sorts, where young people can come and develop their full potential.
“Most of them have trained with me since a very young age and a number of them made it all the way to university,” he said.
Jackson was quick to point out that the club was open to anybody, any age and any level of fitness.
Classes are held Mondays to Saturdays between 4.30pm and 8pm. Call 076 164 1827 for more details.