Raino Botha

It’s exam time for students

PTA NewsTHE final month of the academic year is mostly dedicated to the evaluation of students at various levels. The academy has broadened this process by including an exam for examiners, instructors and judges. The national qualifications examination will in future be conducted on the same weekend as the annual Dan testing.

National qualifications include those awarded to practitioners on grounds of their judging standard and knowledge of national and international tournament rules. Students are also tested in competence to evaluate technical standard in order to award Kyu and Dan grades. Knowledge of technical standard and grading syllabus is essential.

Evaluation will also be done of a basic presentation. Applicants are evaluated in their ability to teach or instruct. They will be evaluated on grounds of their ability to teach a basic technique to various levels of competence. Dan gradings will be included in a very full weekend.

More than 50 students are expected to apply for evaluation of Dan grades and the highest at these gradings might be fifth Dan grades. The advantage of having most senior students from across the country together for a full weekend is usual and a large percentage of standardisation practice is done. It will be a long weekend with pressure and intensive training.

Students testing for higher Dan grades will have to complete the standardisation training which is approximately six hours of hard training followed by an individual exam conducted by a senior panel. Students attempting higher than the third Dan grades must submit a thesis before such exam is allowed. The content of such thesis usually consists of a detailed explanation of a favourite combination.

The final coloured belt grading will conclude the year when a full week is dedicated to evaluations and another week dedicated to the awarding of higher kyu grades. We will offer a Dan grading seminar consisting of a four-hour training session focusing on Dan and national qualifications followed by a kyu grading seminar the next weekend.

The JSKA South Africa national development team did an excellent performance in Swakopmund last weekend. More than 100 members of the development team put up an excellent performance against a strong Namibian team.

Pretoria News Weekend Edition, 11 October 2014

Dan / National Qualifications, 11 October 2014

Dear JSKA members

The following events are extremely important for all JSKA South Africa members:

A.  Saturday, 11 October 2014: Dan Grading / National Qualifications Seminar

(Centurion Dojo 09:00 to 13:00 – R300 training fee)

JSKA Dan Grading Seminar

All levels of examination will be trained as well as choice of individual Kata

JSKA National Qualification

Please allow me to clarify the awarding of National Qualifications:

  • It is the intent of JSKA South Africa to align with the JSKA World Federation lead by Keigo Abe sensei. JSKA South Africa will in future award licenses to teach, examine or judge under the JSKA South Africa banner. Such qualifications will be awarded annually at the Dan examinations held in Pretoria and PE.
  • In only 2014, all examinees to be awarded any of the grades based on performance at the grading. All future qualifications will only be awarded based on previous awards.

Judge DD Tournament Official -16 years Junior Brown+
Judge D Tournement Official – 3rd Kyu+
Judge C Judge – 1st Dan+
Judge B Centre Judge – 2nd Dan+
Judge A Kansa – 3rd Dan+

Examiner DD Assistant Examiner -16 years Junior Brown+
Examiner D Assistant Examiner – 3rd Kyu
Examiner C Examiner – 1st Dan – 2nd Dan
Examiner B Supervisor (panel) 3rd Dan – 4th Dan
Examiner A Signatory (Grading) 5th Dan+

Instructor DD Assistant Instructor -16 years Junior Brown+
Instructor D Assistant Instructor- 3rd Kyu
Instructor C Instructor 1st Dan – 2nd Dan
Instructor B DojoOwner 3rd Dan – 4th Dan
Instructor A Area Head 5th Dan+

Preparation for examination will include:
Judge – JSKA Tournament Rules (A questionnaire on JSKA Rules (true / false) plus knowledge of signals)

Examiner – JSKA Examination Dan / Kyu Evaluation Document (JSKA South Africa Examination Document completed)

Instructor – JSKA Syllabus (JSKA Syllabus plus ability to teach basic technique)

B.  Saturday, 18 October 2014

JSKA Kyu Grading Seminar

– Centurion Dojo 09:00 to 11:00 – R100 training fee

– All levels of Kyu grades will be coached plus personal Kata taught and examined


C.  24 / 25 October 2014

Dan Grading / National Qualifications Examinations / Standardizations Gashuku

– Centurion Dojo Friday – 16:00 Saturday – 09:00

Dan Grading (Japan accreditation included)

  • Shodan     R1050
  • Nidan        R1250
  • Sandan     R1550
  • Yondan     R2150
  • Godan      R2850

National Qualification (Certification included)

  • Judge          R300
  • Examiner   R300
  • Instructor  R300


Standardizations Gashuku

  • Training fee R300 per person

D.  Saturday, 1 November 2014

Dan Grading / National Qualifications Examinations / Standardizations Gashuku

– Port Elizabeth Saturday – 09:00


Dan Grading (Japan accreditation included)

  • Shodan     R1050
  • Nidan        R1250
  • Sandan     R1550
  • Yondan     R2150
  • Godan      R2850

National Qualification (Certification included)

  • Judge          R300
  • Examiner   R300
  • Instructor  R300

Standardizations Gashuku

  • Training fee R300 per person


JSKA South Africa Dan Grading and Gashuku 2014

Date:      24 & 25 October 2014
Venue:    Lions Club, 9 Umgazi Rd, Menlo Park, Pretoria
Time:      24 Oct 2014  (16h00) & 25 Oct 2014 (09h00)

Dan Examination fee (including Japanese Certificate)

  • Shodan – R 1050.00
  • Nidan    – R 1250.00
  • Sandan – R 1550.00
  • Yondan – R 2150.00
  • Godan   – R 2850.00
  • Standardization Gashuku fee: R  300.00

Dan Application form is to be completed and returned to elmarie@jskasouthafrica.co.za on or before 9 October 2014.

JSKA ID books  must be submitted  on 24 October 2014 together with the grading and seminar fee (cash only).

National Qualification fee:   

  • Instructor  – R 300.00
  • Examiner   – R 300.00
  • Judge        – R 300.00

It was decided that senior students and dojo heads will be examined to perform as instructors, examiners and judges. This examination will take place in conjunction with the Dan Testing.

The Criteria regarding the National Qualifications will be available before 9 October 2014.

Take note that a Senior member and Dojo Head meeting will be held at the National Grading venue on 24 October 2014. Time will be confirmed.

Reaction time is essential

PTA NewsThe time to respond in offence and defence is crucial and must be trained by instructors on a regular basis.

Especially in higher level of combat, response to attack will determine a winner in most cases.

Fighters rarely expose a target area and diversions are often necessary to open such an area.

A number of popular tactics can be used, for example an initial fake attack followed by a scoring technique.

Another popular diversion is to attack with a pure tactical technique.

This technique can be launched at a non-scoring area like the inside of the leading leg just above the knee, or slapping the leading hand of the opponent.

Experienced fighters will soon determine the referee’s interpretation of this rule, which sometimes has a fine line between an effective illegal attack and a permissible tactical technique.

In the earlier days of competition, more static fights allowed single attacking techniques by welltrained fighters with superior reaction ability.

The distance between fighters was also less, allowing effective single technique scoring.

Distance between fighters has increased and requires greater speed as well as greater reaction time between fighters.

A number of matters must be included in training reaction time of fighters.

Fighters must be relaxed in their fighting position with only the muscle controlling the front elbow tensed to protect the ribs.

It is important for students not to fight with their heels stuck to the ground.

This old-fashioned style of fighting slows the attack down and reduces chances of effective technique.

A fighter must have only the balls of both his feet on the floor to not only increase reaction speed, but also improve distance.

This does require specific training of competitors.

Reaction time in defence is obviously of utmost importance.

The biggest challenge of a defender is to decide on the method of defence.

Options for the defender is first to create more distance from the attacker by moving back.

This option cancels the opportunity of a counterattack.

A popular option is to attack by moving forward on the moment of attack with a counterstrike.

This is often dangerous and requires perfect response time and a very confident fighter.

Response time can be trained by letting fighters face away from a second row of partners.

On a count they would turn around and land on the target as soon as possible.

Distance can then be increased as a variation.

Karate schools in our city have started to prepare their students for national and in some cases international participation.

The JSKA South Africa team is doing exceptionally well, thanks to hard and diligent training.

If you have any views on karate or want to discuss something with Soon, he will be pleased to hear from you. His e-mail address is: soon@karateacademy.co.za

Movement is essential in all forms of contact

PTA NewsIN the sport of karate, movement is essential in all forms of contact. Because the most important ingredient of kumite is distance, one’s ability to cross that distance must also be of high importance.

In a previous column, I discussed movement in kumite in great detail, but today will focus on only one of the methods.

The final movement in heian sandan includes a sliding move to cover the distance. This movement gives shotokan practitioners the freedom to include this sliding action in the teaching of kumite.

The advantage of sliding, or yoriachi, is that it can be effectively done in a short time.

The negative part is that not much distance can be covered.

The distance is however made up for by the Shobu Ippon fighters being in closer. The hind leg muscle is used to project the full torso to the target, guaranteeing a powerful and effective technique.

A difficult method is to include the pulling of the front leg in this action. I must confess that I have not mastered this advanced option.

Important is to keep the upper body without movement not to telegraph the intent of the attacker from a relaxed ready position.

The attacking technique can vary from a favourite front hand attack, which is closest to the target, or any leg attack.

This movement can effectively be applied in an attacking defence.

This movement must be high on every training schedule and it can include forward and backward sliding added to breaking the line of attack.

It was an interesting fortnight recently in Europe, teaching in London and Thun, Switzerland.

Most encouraging was the fact that our training methods and techniques were well received.

Switzerland karate is strong with few differences from ours and offers a fair balance between kata and kumite training.

Hans Muller sensei teaches in the most beautiful dojo, overlooking the snow-covered Alps. The schools are working hard to prepare their teams for the seventh JSKA worked championships in Italy in May.

South Africa will be represented by a strong group still sweating it out every Saturday afternoon.

It’s all in the kata

PTA NewsTHE teaching theme in Europe was “kata is kumite” and was well received, resulting in multiple invitations from a number of countries.

After much deliberation during the festive season, I decided to start the New Year concluding on this same direction of thought.

Heian Shodan has many hidden treasures applicable specifically on fighting combinations, but allow me to discuss only a single technique.

Movement four consists of contraction from a forward stance into feet close to touching with the right arm defence action.

This contraction changes into expansion empowering a right arm strike.

The success of this movement lays in the following important matters, firstly the contraction in defence followed by expansion in attack, but the secret lies in a solid back leg.

This single movement can be successfully applied in a defensive fighting situation by contracting with a solid routed back foot and in preparation for a counter attack.

In Heian Nidan we find a slipstep introduction in movement seven.

This is an appropriate introduction for more advanced fighting sequences.

The advantage of this movement is that the preparation is hidden, making defending this attack very difficult.

In Heian Sandan, the second last movement is done by sliding from one position to the next introducing the most popular movement in fighting combinations.

It is interesting to observe the increase in difficulty from the first to the third kata, but the fighting applications of these movements are amazing. This year started with a huge intake of parents starting karate careers.

Motivated by the success of their kids and the numerous advantages of training karate, many parents took the first step by attending their first class.

Karate classes are offered across our city at various karate schools.

Please contact me for a reputable reference to a proper school.

You can send an e-mail to soon@karateacademy.co.za or else call me on 083 263 1522.