A teenager from Goodwood in Cape Town will be the only youth representing South Africa in September at the International Kung Fu Federation World Cup in Turkey.
Despite being born with no left hand, it hasn’t stopped him from reaching great heights in the sport. His father, a Kung Fu master himself, is training his son hard ahead of the championships.
15-year-old Seifulah Chafeker started training in the ancient art of Kung Fu 7 years ago and has competed internationally. But now, he will step onto the grand arena on the world stage. He will compete in Taolu, weapons demonstration and Sanda, or Chinese kickboxing.
Although shy, his love for this sport is very deep and he lets his actions do the talking.
“I find it to be very calming and it’s a good way to relieve stress. I really enjoy the history of kung fu and also my father played a huge role in me getting into Kung Fu. I enjoy the forms, which are the Taolu more and also the hand-to-hand Sanda combat,” says Chafeker.
The duo practice as father and son, but also as student and Shifu or master. M.J. Li says Kung Fu is the mother of all forms of martial arts that developed in Asia. He is 5 times gold medalist Legends of Kung Fu World Martial arts Champion and says Kung Fu is a way of natural expression.
Li is also Shifu to numerous young people from across Cape Town. But he says his own Little Dragon, is now ready to make his country proud.
“My son was born differently abled, he is like no other teen in the country or in the world. God has blessed him immensely by being very resolute and strong. He doesn’t have a left hand but yet he’s been training with abled-bodied martial arts athletes and students and competed in Hong Kong 2018/19, winning gold against able-bodied athletes. So to me, he’s born a champion and now he gets this opportunity to represent South Africa,” says Li.