The South African Karate team has completed their final training session in Cape Town ahead of the Kimura Shukokai International World Championships in Sweden next week.

With the aim of defending their world championship title, South Africa’s national Karate team, have one goal – to come back from the World Championships as victors.

Ranging from juniors to veterans, they will compete in four disciplines. Shihan Chris Thompson leads the squad in their Katas – a set form of moves to enhance technique, stability and breathing.

Team South Africa has consistently been top performers despite been excluded from competitions like these previously.

Shihan Chris Thompson, 9th Dan Black Belt, says: “For years we were excluded from competition, so the basics, the level of basics became entrenched. So we’re coming off a good base of correct fundamentals and, also because South Africa is very competitive. I think many people also don’t mind a little fight every now and again if it’s controlled.”

18 year old Luciano Jacobs has made Karate a way of life. Coming from hardship, for him the sport has brought stability, discipline and joy.

“We’re all there to support one another, not just as individuals but to support us as a whole group, as a whole team together. It’s really nice I love going to world tournaments. It’s awesome for me… How many medals are you bringing back? For me, I want to bring back two gold medals. I’m very sure of that two gold medals,” says Luciano Jacobs, 1st Dan Black Belt.

Charlie Hinde has been practicing the sport for over 40 years. He will go to the championships as a competitor but also as proud father of 12 year old daughter, Zara, who is also part of the team.

Sensei Charlie Hinde, 5th Dan Black Belt, says, “To have someone to share the same sort of enthusiasm and excitement with me about something that is as dear to me as Karate is just amazing and for her to have made the team at such a young age and to be engaged and to enjoy it just for enjoyment sake is magic.”

Zara Hinde, 1st Kyu Brown Belt, says: “I can’t believe we’re both on the world team, Dad hasn’t really been to world champs for quite a while but this year since I got on the team he decided to go and Kata there with me.”

Team South Africa hope to top their previous medal tally of 46.