The Botswana Karate Association (BOKA), in association with the Japanese Embassy, will this coming week host a high graded Japanese Karate Instructor on a month long official visit.
Shihan Shigeki Uemura, who holds a 7th dan Black belt in Karate, is expected to land in the country this coming Wednesday. Speaking in an interview, BOKA’s Public Relations Officer, Jerry Ditlhong, said Shihan Shigeki comes to Botswana courtesy of the Japanese Foundation, an organisation which undertakes international cultural exchange for the country.
“This trip is coordinated by the Japanese Embassy. As you are aware, we have been working together with the Japanese Embassy for a long time and they helped us build our training centre. Also, Karate is part of the country’s culture, hence the involvement of both the Embassy and the Japan Foundation,” Ditlhong said.
He said that Shihan Shigeki’s month long Botswana trip is a highly welcome development which will benefit the country’s karate a lot.
“As a 7th dan black belt karateka, Shihan Shigeki is one of the highest graded instructors in the world. For us, his visit will mean a lot as it means our local karatekas will train directly under one of the highest graded instructors, something which does not happen so often for us,” the BOKA PRO continued.
He further added that Shihan Uemura’s stay in the country will cover training with both junior and senior karatekas. Ditlhong says while in the country, the Shihan will have a chance to travel across the country, visiting and instructing various karate clubs.
“This will ensure that all local karatekas will have a chance to learn and benefit from this trip. The training will be given to all karatekas of different fighting styles. This will be much different from the visits of other instructors in the past who came here for a very short period and thus end up benefiting only those around Gaborone,” the BOKA PRO added.
He also says while in the country, the 54-year-old Shihan, who is a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF) judges committee, will also have a chance to conduct referees and judges courses for local adjudicators. He says to ensure that all adjudicators benefit, the courses will be open to all, no matter what their level of adjudication is.