The national Karate team will be attending the Region 5 Sothern African Development Community SADC games in Zimbabwe Harare in May this year.
Sensei Nichol Sebiso told The Villager that the team has been preparing for the competition since last year. The competition takes place annually. The National team consists of 69 participants from all over the country from the ages of 9 to 35 years old.
The team is made up of participants from all the karate clubs in Namibia according to Nichol Sebiso the core of student training is not the association itself, it’s the member’s styles of the association.
“I believe our biggest challenge is finances we have seen a lot of companies pumping money into all these other sports like boxing and soccer but for us we have come out with nothing, because we have tried to approach these companies but we always come out with negative results ” says Nichol Sebiso.
The team will consist of different Karate.
There are two sorts of karate, the sports karate and the traditional karate. In the sports karate the levels are not determined by or according to the colour of one’s belt. It’s not like in traditional karate where if one person has a black belt they only fight an opponent with the same colour.
“ In sports karate, the level doesn’t count what counts is the weight category and the age group and in other words depending on how capable the player is and how best they are at it, you can come across a brown belt, fighting a fifth level black belt if he is good the brown belt can win,” he said adding that, “There are no titles in this sports but the one thing that we want to achieve is medals. For the past three year we have been coming third at the Region 5 championships. Botswana second and South Africa first but we have been working very hard to make sure that this year we are bring back first place.”
Even with their preparations to leave for the games in progress there is but one challenge their facing. The national team is not being funded by the government, even with the biggest events coming up which is the WKF World Karate championship.
“Currently with our national team I can say we are very satisfied with their slandered and performance and even what the National Team Coach Freddy Muya mentioned.”
Namibia goes to the Region 5 games every year but most of the time fail to attend UFAK, that’s the African championship because the transport and accommodation is expensive. They cannot cater for themselves and in most cases it’s being held in countries that are very far from Namibia.
Sports karate is growing year by year, to such an extent, that according to sebiso this year it was very difficult to select a national team because they are all very good and they are a lot to choose from.
“In the past I felt like karate was not taken seriously at all until recently where NBC would show our games and for that I commend them. I look at other sports that are always getting publicity and I question myself as to “why not karate?” If we look at Namibia, we have a national issue of passion killings. If you are trained in such a discipline as karate, you are most likely to walk out of this situation unharmed. We are taught self-defence and how to counter but the number one thing is DISCIPLINE and how to come out of a situation safe and uninjured. If you look around, rarely would you find a karateka involved in a fight unless it is in self-defence,” he said.
He added that, “I think karate is not taken seriously because people have a perception of “yeah, I’m strong, I have a gun/knife and I can protect myself” but do you know how to use such a weapon? Those are items that can go missing or the other party grabs it from you, so what would you do in a situation where you don’t possess them? All these we are taught how to deal with. Ombili Kafidi Aukongo a student from the national team that will also be participation in the games pointed out her view about the sports.”
He also appealed for support from stakeholders.
“The only this that I would like to appeal to the stakeholders is to come in and assist n sponsorships, because sometimes you will find that we have a very good athlete and they won’t be able to attend these major events because they cannot afford accommodation and transport so it’s very disappointing” says Sebiso.