Scores of Batswana children may soon be graduating from their nappies to white karate gi tunics. The Botswana Kofukan federation (BKF) announced this week that it intends to introduce infants as young as four years old into martial arts.
BKF has established Kofukan Karate academy under the tutelage of instructor Sensei George Tshikare. Tshikare said the academy is looking at introducing young kids to do martial arts from an early age of 4 years who will be groomed to represent Botswana in international competitions.
Tshikare said he established the academy as a way of giving back to the community and hope this will help mould Batswana kids into better teenagers and eventually responsible adults.
Tshikare’s passion for karate has seen him winning the then Botswana National Sports Council coach of the year award. He was the Karate head coach during the 2013 2nd Africa Youth Games which were hosted by Botswana.
“The academy is doing well especially when you get support from the parents. The support from parents is important because it also helps to retain kids” he said. He is adamant that his academy would by the end of the year have produced at least three kids who will be competing at national level. Tshikare said the academy also plans to unearth new talent in martial arts.
BKF Chief Instructor Sensei Million Masumbika told Telegraph Sports that they are giving the academy technical support to help in drilling the kids and to train academy instructors. “I train with instructors so that they too are in the right shape to teach kids proper techniques” he said. Masumbika says He wishes to help instructors’ graduate to higher levels and to keep them up to date with new martial arts techniques. The federation uses a community hall as a dojo to ensure that as many kids as possible have access to training. Masumbika is confident that Botswana will start seeing results soon. The country’s foremost karateka prides him with having established many Kofukan clubs around the country. Lessons are charged P175 per month per kid and training lessons are done at Master Gym North gate Mall.