Local Karate instructor and Former national team Coach Sensei George Tshikare of Botswana Kofukan Federation attained his long awaited 5th Dan black belt on Sunday in Gaborone.
Sensei Tshikare was graded following a four day long grueling grading session for instructors that was held at Master gym by United Kingdom based World Karate Federation (WKF) certified instructor Shihan Keiji Tomiyama.
The former national team was the only candidate out of other five hopefuls who impressed Shihan Tomiyama by meeting all the requirements which earned him the top honours in Karate.
Speaking in an interview, the newly graded 5th Dan Black Belt instructor said he is happy to have attained the top belt in karate which he deems a success more so because it is not an easy thing to achieve without sweat.
“I was following a three week training schedule that was prepared by my chief instructor sensei Million Masumbika and I have endured the pain. For me to be a 5th Dan black belt is a milestone and it is a true reflection of my good work and contribution to our local Karate. The fact that I am graded by the world’s most experienced Master Shihan Tomiyama is an honor,” he said.
With the grading now water under the bridge, Tshikare stated that he now intends to focus on youngsters to help them follow up on his footmarks. Among those he wants to groom are the likes of Sensei Thato Malunga and Oratile Caiphus who are 3rd Dan Black Belt hopefuls.
“The next important thing to do from here is to give back to the young ones. That is the key thing I want to focus on that is why I have a club. Karate is part of my life. I am what I am because of this sport,” he said.
Sensei Tshikare is the only Motswana who is a world Karate Federation certified coach and has led the junior team at the 2nd Africa youth games in 2014and also took charge of the senior team at the last year’s All Africa Games.
Shihan Tomiyama said he is satisfied with the level of local karatekas in terms of growth and development citing a huge improvement amongst the senior instructors.
“Botswana karatekas are good and they are considered as threats in international tournaments they bring good results and my main focus is to train the instructors so that they help in the development of Karate at grassroots level” he said.
“Sensei Tshikare worked hard for this belt and he was the only one who passed the grading because in karate we follow a syllabus and he did very well” added Shihan Tomiyama
The juniors grading sessions are normally held every four months while the senior grading sessions are conducted yearly.