The official 2019 South African Kyokushin Kai Championships was recently held in Motherwell Port Elizabeth. The event was not only a determination of national champions but also the last chance for selection for the 12th World Open Karate Championships.
With more than two hundred of South Africa’s best Full and Semi Contact competitors gathering to see who was the best of the best, the event turned out to be an enormous success. Under the leadership of Sensei Msokoli Ntombana and local organiser, Sensei Xolile Maxama competitors from all over South Africa arrived on Thursday evening in preparation for the two days competition.
The Friday morning began at the King Hlatswayo hall in Motherwell with Kata competition, followed by the Juniors Semi and Full contact divisions before the Seniors and Veterans took to the matt in the semi-contact divisions.
The juniors divisions were dominated by the team from the Western Cape under the guidance of Shihan Micheal Shuttleworth and saw a number of gold medals in the juniors semi and full contact as well as the Kata divisions with close competition from the Eastern Cape Dojos.
Early Saturday saw the start of the Juniors divisions which saw much excitement. The Boys Semi Contact divisions were dominated by the Eastern Cape while the boy’s Full Contact divisions saw some tough competition between Eastern Cape and KZN competitors. The junior girl’s full contact divisions first place medal count equally contested between KZN, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
The veterans division saw a fantastic display of KyokushinKai spirit as several senior competitors entered to show their support for Kyokushin Karate in South Africa. The Semi contact division title going to Luvuyo Mxabaniso from the Fort Hare dojo and the Full Contact division title ending in the hands of 2018 International Champion JP Naude.
Under the guidance of Shihan Dennis Gumeds KZN again showed their dominance in the women’s Full contact divisions with victories for Gugulethu Mngomezulu from the Durban University Dojo in the u55kg division and Nokwanda Mngadi in the u65 division.
The day closed with the final display of Full Contact Karate which saw a titanic battle once again between South Africa’s top fighters Gcobani Mxama and Xolani Gumede. It was finally Gcobani Mxama walking away as the South African heavyweight champion.