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8th Shotokan Karate-do International Federation World Cup Karate 2003, International Conference Centre, Durban, South Africa 26-28/09/03

Not since the 1986 SKIF European Championships in Cork, Ireland, has any international event that I have attended been marred by such tragedy.  In 1986, Kancho’s absence was due to the death of his beloved wife, from cancer.

In South Africa, just hours before the Yudansha-kai course was about to start, the first class was postponed. The South African team captain Donovan Goodall had been on his way from the airport, having attended a family funeral.  The vehicle he was travelling in was involved in an accident. Donovan, his sister and her husband perished.  This of course is a personal catastrophe for a family, the circumstances of which do not bear thinking about.  On a wider level this disaster must have been a major blow to the South African squad, not only in its members’ capacity as contestants, but as organisers of this complex and onerous event.  The fact that the tournament went ahead with such panache and flair, belying the heartbreak, is a tribute to Sonny Pillay and his colleagues.

Having paid their respects during the opening ceremony, the South Africans put their collective grief on hold and went on to win 20 medals, ranking 4th overall.  An abiding memory for me will be Njabulo N. Khumalo leading the South Africans in their singing, which not even the friendly rivalry of the Latin Americans could quench.  Only now and then, as their black gi armbands came into sight, one was reminded of their latent sadness.

Adversity is nothing new to the South Africans.  Indeed,

Sonny Pillay, Chief Instructor, accomplished orator, politician and international Karate-do ambassador for his people, has come a long way. From having to take his black belt in England, owing to his ethnic status in the 1970s, to founding SKIF South Africa, there has been an example of the great spirit of a true warrior for the forces of good in the world.

Kanazawa Kancho expects nothing less of us, in working together to realise his goal for the promotion of world peace.  And herein is the ultimate lesson of SKIF World Championships. There can be no second-class citizens in SKIF.  It is important that each willing country is given an opportunity to host such an event.  It is equally important that students attend world championships.  For me, the greatest benefit of attendance is educational.  I have learned about the people of participating nations, thereby learning about myself and my place in the world. 

As Sony Pillay rightly pointed out, a championship is created by all of its participants, not just the organisers.   The fortunes of some countries are less certain than those of others. It was sad to see some winning teams not in attendance or visibly depleted.  Some had lost their sponsorship.  Others were experiencing war, bereavement, or domestic political upheaval and strife.  To those who came, I say: your achievements were all the more precious.  To those who were unable to attend, I say: you are not forgotten.  It is getting through the difficult times which make us who we are, and in the long term equips us with the survival skills crucial to mastery of the martial arts.

The moment I arrived in South Africa, I was welcomed.  The African dancers at Durban Airport were astounding in their athleticism, kicking their legs up so high that their knees were higher than their shoulders.

The first day of the Yudansha-kai seminar created an opportunity for World Chief Instructor Hirokazu Kanazawa to assess the standard of the black belts from all over the world, as instructors. He observed us demonstrating SKIF grading and competition kata. 

On the second day, Kancho taught us gohon kumite, half stepping forward into the attack, with feet together, and simultaneously half stepping back into the block, with the feet together.  There is always a new way to revisit old training systems, with Kancho. Finally, we trained in Jiyu Ippon Kumite, which is now featured in SKIF competition. Congratulations are due to Ukraine, for becoming the first world champions in this event. Various participants were asked to demonstrate kumite and kata.  Finally, Manabu Murakami and Nobuaki Kanazawa demonstated Jiyu Ippon Kumite, to a commentary from Kancho.

A dan grading examination followed the next day. Congratulations are due to the successful candidates.

Kancho’s Street Children Workshop featured the teaching of local children, many of whom did not have karate-gis, and had never trained before. It presented SKIF Instructors with the challenge of teaching these children with special needs.  Minister Narend Singh indicated that the South African government intended to raise Karate-do to a curricular subject for all South African children.  This World Cup had the endorsement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.  We were disappointed that Mr Mandela was not able to attend any of the festivities owing to illness.  However, he was privately awarded an honorary tenth dan by the SKIF. This is the highest honorary dan grade ever awarded in the history of the martial arts.    Sonny Pillay expressed his disappointment at the attitude of the corporates and multinationals, in failing to assist the 8th World Cup.  This disappointment was all the more acute in light of the fact that Karate-do can improve the quality of South African youth in particular.  He pleaded to the corporates to have a change of heart. Pillay-san explained that the budget for the meeting toppled 2 million Ran, all of which had been raised on a self sufficiency basis, whereby many members had contributed from their own purses. 

The SKIF Member Countries Congress heard how the Nepalise team had arrived in South Africa, with nowhere to stay.  The Nepalese team members were swiftly accommodated by South African delegates, in true Karate spirit fashion.  Kancho commended the South Africans on their Budo attitude and technical excellence.  That, coupled with the great popularity of Karate-do in South Africa, made the country a natural choice as the first nation of the African continent to host a world championship, Kancho told the press. Sonny Pilay advised the congress that SKIF South Africa had produced a tournament planning manual, to be updated and revised such that each successive SKIF international championships can build upon the experience of its predecessor, to maintain and improve standards.  In a similar spirit, the SKIF is to produce a refereeing manual, on a database for referees, on the internet, such that officials can be appraised of new developments up for discussion.  SKIF South Africa produced a medical information guide, sponsored by the Entabeni Hospital, compiled by Professor Y. Coopoo, in association with Afrox Healthcare. This comprehensive document is a must read for every Karate sensei.  For the first time since 1988, gloves made an appearance, this time for all kumite events. Mizuno had charged the organising committee for the tournament gloves.

SKIF would also explore the possibility of opening up the senior (18-39 year old) group. The intention is to sub-divide this group into more categories.  An example was cited of the unsatisfactory situation whereby an 18 year old would be drawn in a bout against a 35 year old 5th dan.

A lively discussion ensued on the topic of the next World Championships.   This is of course not a matter that can be decided finally in such a forum. A formal proposal must be made to the steering committee, covering details of cost, sponsorship and security.  Another factor was political viability, whereby the host government would not refuse a visa to any potential contestant. It was further agreed that if a country cannot organise an event charging each competitor a reasonable amount for an entry fee (noted at the time as $50-00 per head) then the steering committee would look elsewhere.  It was appreciated though that it would be difficult to project a three-year business plan with regard to a minimum cost per entrant.  Australia and Greece were mooted as hosts for the 2006 meeting, with the word on the street going to Nottingham, England, which can boast a massive new Ice Stadium, in the city centre. For the 10th meeting in 2009, the smart money was on Japan. Interested countries were invited to open discussions with Kancho. The next SKIF African Championships would take place in Senegal, before the next world championships.

Officials were presented with silk ties, designed by Sonny Pillay. These featured The Five Animals of South Africa – the Lion, the Leopard, the Springbok, the Rhinoceros and the Elephant.  The tie was also marked with the championships logograph, featuring the map of Africa and Kancho in kokutsu dachi manji uke. This logograph featured on the championships poster, t-shirt and the medals.  A miniature version of the gold medal featured as a tiepin and was a popular souvenir.

The championship programme featured the photographs of participants, who were able to forward them in time, creating a priceless treasure for those featured. Trinidad and Tobago’s Laureen Henry went one step further, by collecting the autographs to go with the photographs.

Conducted by SKIF Chief Referee Suzuki Sensei, and assisted by Manabu Murakami, the refereeing seminar took place prior to the start of play, but was revisited, after the first day’s competition, with extra comments from SKIF Suzuki Sensei.  South African children assisted in the seminar with practical kumite demonstrations. A number of important points were highlighted by Suzuki Sensei, in the expectation of streamlining the event.   

In kata competition, SKIF judges always disregard the highest and lowest scores. In the event of a tie, those scores remain disregarded, before looking at the remaining scores, once again disregarding the highest and lowest of those.

In relation to, for example, the 3-woman kumite, if 2 members of the same team have won, then that is a fait accompli, such that the third fight is unnecessary. 

Zanshin was emphasised, such that if a contestant, after scoring a “point”, turns his back onto his opponent, then that “point” is disregarded.  Etiquette was similarly emphasised.  Referees must require the contestants to rei properly at the appropriate times. The referee’s control must extend to all persons in the competition area, including for example, teammates, coaches etc. Corner judges upon being summoned by the referee, must roll up their flags properly, leaving them on their seats.  An official’s shirt can be short or long sleeved, but must be white.  Trousers must be black or blue.  Elimination kata remained as Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Jion and Enpi.

The children’s events went well. Youngsters showed good technique and a mature and responsible attitude to the tournament. I do wish that SKIF would encourage children’s team kata.  It is an excellent way of enhancing teamwork and coordination.  My students have won this event at a national SKKIF level and I think that it is ideal for youngsters.

However, I have a major problem with children’s kumite, which I believe should be confined to Jiyu Ippon.  This attitude stems from the worst experience in my 24 year Karate career. I have had many heartbreaking moments in Karate. However, this one stands out, because my students, for whose safety I was ultimately responsible, were injured.  At the SKIF Europeans in Sheffield, England, in 1998, I fielded four lads in individual kata and kumite.  These were Duncan Tarran, William Tarran, Daniel Kennington and Adam Collins. In the individual kumite, twin brothers Duncan and William suffered concussion, one of whom additionally sustained a fractured jaw. I had to telephone their mother in Nottingham, with the bad news, summoning her to the hospital.  I had betrayed her and her sons.  I should have known better than to leave their fate to the refereeing.  Daniel subsequently received a bloody nose, whereupon I pulled Adam out of the tournament. In English law, a person under the age of 18 cannot consent to battery. Therefore, any harm that comes to that child cannot be the child’s responsibility.  It can only therefore be the instructor’s.  There but for the grace of God, no child has been injured to such an extent at any championship that have I attended since. However, I implore SKIF to look again very carefully at Jiyu Kumite for underage karateka. In England, the issue of child protection has gained great prominence in recent years.  Next year, clubs will be required to acquire child protection policies and procedures, in order to validate their club and instructors’ insurance policies.  I will never again field a student in any championship in respect of jiyu kumite, unless that person is capable of giving legal consent to battery.    SKIF owes its children the protection that they expect and deserve.

Another major problem with Karate in my view is Karate’s tendency in some countries to follow the current trend towards the destruction of the professions.  Human civilisation was forged out of the development of specialists.   This enabled people to expand the hunter-gathering way of life.  Over the years, the idea of the master and the apprentice became the cornerstone of a sacred philosophy at the heart of excellence and has expanded people’s perceptions of their possibilities. The karateka is at the highest level both master and apprentice. The martial arts master is ostensibly the apex predator, but tempered by his vocation to serve the community and protect the innocent. 

For years, in public life, the professionals have been the guardians of standards, by virtue of their journey on the apprentice’s treadmill. Implicit in this knowledge gained was the all round life education.  This was not confined to the technical aspect of the art. It encompassed a multitude of skills.  A doctor’s skills necessarily cover a personable attitude to the patient, for example, in addition to technical abilities. However, in the 1980s, a new imperative emerged. This I describe as the era of the manager-bureaucrat, which I believe to be the most nefarious and dangerous threat to civilisation itself.  Institutions that underpin and maintain civilisation require investment in terms of finances and professional personnel, to serve the community. Central to the creed of the manager-bureaucrat is the notion that the purpose of these fundamental institutions is not to serve the community, but to be financially economical, if not profitable, at any cost, in the mode of a manufacturing industry. Productivity is measured by the creation of statistics. The crunching of numbers thus assumes a greater importance than the original task for which the institution had been created.  Administrators soon begin to outnumber the professionals in order to run the vast statistical pyramid. They inhabit the best offices in the building, and they work civilised hours. The professionals, on the other hand, are squeezed in terms of space and time. Their offices become more cramped. They work longer and longer hours.  This is because, in addition to their proper duties, they have to indulge in the increasing volume of paperwork required by the administrators to justify their existence, for their monitoring of the professionals.  In addition, the professionals’ numbers diminish, but their volume of work increases. Soon, the administrators are telling the professionals how to do their jobs, because they become led by profit instead of excellence.   This creates the private reality of the professional – overworked, stressed, undervalued, powerless, ill and demoralised.  The parallel universe of the alternative public reality is the professionals’ ability as monitored by shallow competencies, encapsulated in checklist tick boxes and league tables, with little bearing on a qualitative analysis of a person’s true worth. 

In many countries, there is a crisis within the professions. Many professional people are desperate to leave the vocations, which they had sacrificed years to cultivate.  Moreover, the professions no longer attract students in large numbers, many preferring to study commerce, the media and such. The problem however, is that society cannot function without doctors, teachers, nurses, lawyers, et cetera.

Karate-do cannot function without masters. Karate-do has not escaped the manager-bureaucrat malaise. In England, there has been an attempt to make Karate-do no doubt more “respectable” and to bring it in line with other institutions. In order to undermine consciously or otherwise the power of masters and the international dan-grading system, the National Vocational Qualification was applied to Karate-do.  Instructors who did not submit to NVQ assessment would lose their local council owned dojos, which of course are paid for by ourselves, the taxpayers.   To be NVQ assessed, the instructor would have to forfeit a fee and submit to the tick-box checklist of competencies. This assessment would be presided over by someone who had gained an assessor’s qualification, again for a fee. I heard of a ludicrous situation, whereby a 5th dan was obliged to submit to an assessment by a 2nd dan.  The rationale for this was explained by the adage, that the competencies are universal and reflect a shopping list of skills that one should look for, when appraising the worth of any instructor, regardless of grade.   For example, I cite the Lesson Plan. An instructor is apparently, not competent unless s/he prepares a written Lesson Plan prior to the training session. I have never prepared such a document. The reason is that as a 5th dan, with the associated knowledge and experience, I must be alive to the possibility of spontaneity. I may have a rough idea of what to teach that evening.  However, a student may be suffering from illness or he may have injured himself playing football that day.  I may have been expecting some senior students, whereas in fact a group of beginners turn up.  To be denied the right to teach because I have no Lesson Plan, is iniquitous.   Thankfully, the NVQ was scrapped. However, I am holding my breath, because I do not think that we have seen the last of this gravy train army of ignorant and amateurish meddlers in the sacred art of Karate-do. 

Unfortunately, these meddlers are not confined to the periphery of our associations. I have always believed that to understand Karate-do, one must practice Karate-do in the dojo. Of course, the road to enlightenment is by definition hard.  As we get older, those stances become harder to achieve. I am still recovering from pneumonia and pleurisy, but I have continued to train. Kancho has taught us to practice Karate-do in the manner of T’ai Chi, to build our recovery from illness and injury. Thus it is possible to train in Karate-do, as long as one is still alive.  It is crucial that judges and referees in SKIF are practitioners of Karate-do, in my humble opinion. I could not maintain my credibility with my students, if I did not attempt to practice what I preached. I might as well become one of those charlatans who make a fat living from writing Karate books, but whom you would never see near a dojo.

In addition, to maintain Karate-do as a martial art with a value to society, I passionately believe that the political power of an association must rest in the hands of the most senior dan grade.

Imagine my approaching Kancho and telling him that I would become the president of SKIF. I would concede to him the title of technical director. He would be allowed to decide how high age uke is to be performed. However, I would decide where the next SKIF World Championships would take place.  I would decide how members’ money was spent. I would decide who would be allowed to be put before Kacho for a dan grade.   My justification for such power would be this.  I would tell Kancho that I was possessed of amazing transferable managerial skills, which I had gained in my previous job as the Chief Executive of a sausage factory. Don’t laugh, for this is exactly what is happening in some associations.  As these armchair karateka conquer associations, the senior dan grades suffer the fate of the professionals in the wider world. Thus, Karate-do in such associations loses its Karate spirit, and they should no longer be calling themselves Karate Associations. If Karate-do is to survive, then SKIF must address these issues as a matter of urgency.

Logie Naidoo welcomed delegation chiefs in Durban, as they arrived at the Luthuli Hall for a sumptuous reception upon the invitation of His Worship the Mayor Councillor Obed Mlaba and members of the Ethekwini Municipality. The entire week was photographed and videoed by Exhibition Photos. This enabled participants to select their favourite snap shots within hours of them having been taken.  Each contestant, referee and Yudanshikai Course participant was awarded a participation certificate, featuring Kancho and the World Cup Logograph.

The Opening Ceremony was as pleasurable as one might expect. The countries’ flags were shown on a giant screen, to herald their arrivals, in the procession, to the sound of rousing African drums.  Mexican and Indian team members donned national costume for the countries’ parade. Spectators were treated to traditional African and Indian dancers.  Modern South African dancers, acrobats and fire dancers subsequently took to the stage.  The local Kung Fu club staged weapons form and breaking techniques, cumulating in a resplendent Lion Dance. Local karateka staged kata bunkai and breaking demonstrations throughout the tournament, during breaks in play. South Africa’s Deputy President Jacob Zuma gave an impassioned speech in support of the future of his country.  This for me was a highlight of the week.  He was awarded an honorary 7th Dan in SKIF, that evening.  Narend Singh received an honorary 3rd dan.

South African Pop star Jae sang a song in honour of Dr Mandela.  She also sang a song in tribute to the late Donovan Goodhall, as images of this great karateka were projected on the screen, to a guard of honour comprised of the South African team.

Congratulations are due to Asano Sensei and Miura Sensei upon becoming 9th Dans. Sawada Sensei, Ishikawa Toda Sensei and Hong Kong’s Alan Castro were honoured with 8th Dans. Italy’s Grosselle Sensei received a 7th Dan.  The top order of Hanshi was bestowed upon Sensei Asano, Miura, Ishikawa, Sawada and Kwok.  Kyoshi was awarded to Sensei Grosselle, Romeo, Pillay, Chan and Maxine Kwok.  Renshi was bestowed upon Italy’s Paolo Lusvardi, in addition to Israel’s Danny Hakim, 6th Dan and Palestine’s Durgham Khalil 6th Dan.

Although Japan and Italy took the lion’s share of the trophies, this tournament saw the emergence of new winning teams, together with a good spread of medals amongst many nations.  Japan as the mother nation continues to maintain a standard to which many nations were once aspiring to and are now achieving.  It was nice to see the name of Kanazawa popping up three times in the programme photo gallery. Italy’s unflinching success unfolds from year to year. I believe that this is due to the long-standing loyalty of senior Italian sensei to Miura Sensei. This in turn provides an example to junior students, and so on, until a sound pyramid is built. Mexico and South Africa are to be congratulated on their medal tallies. Mexico shone in the team events.  South Africa notched up a decent tally from the junior and master class divisions. 

Chinese Taipei’s Li-Bond Chen, Italy’s Alfredo Romeo, USA’s Glenn Burleson, Japan’s Akihiro Kaneko, South Africa’s Jaydene Naidoo, Brazil’s Juarred Neto, Israel’s Shadya Zaobi and Russia’s Innokenty Sukhorukov deserve special mention for winning medals in both their individual kata and kumite events.   The ultimate accolade, however, must go to Mexico’s Angelica Jordan and Italy’s Giampietro Grosselle, for becoming World Kata and Kumite Champions, in their respective individual events.

There were some breathtaking kata performances from the veterans.  The over 40s are no longer eschewing the more physically vigorous forms such as Unsu.  Azerbaijan’s Oktay Mammadov, joined Aussies Georgette Dyett and Zivko Delevski in giving true meaning to the word “master” in Master Class Kata. Japan’s Hirofumi Kato has moved effortlessly from the position of Senior to Master Class World Kata Champion, with his exemplary Unsu. Congratulations are due to Elizabeth White for giving SKKIF United Kingdom its first SKIF World Championships gold medal. Denmark’s Lone Hansen and England’s Anna Mescovic revisited their current gold and silver European placings respectively in their Master Class Kata event.  Lone has recently been appointed to the prestigious post of Danish National All Styles Team Coach.

Lone’s colleague Lars Henriksen took the bronze in the Senior Men’s Individual Kata with a confident and athletic performance.   The hard-grafting workmanlike kata of Japan’s Ryushu Suzuki gave him the title, whilst his fellow countryman Shinji Tanaka was predictably amongst the medallists, in second place.   As far as the ladies are concerned, Japan and Belgium continued to maintain a presence, with the welcome addition of Greece. 

The Irish squad members were pleasantly surprised to have done so well, despite missing some of their most experienced players through family commitments.

Italy’s Marina Appiano is emerging as SKIF’s top lady fighter. She has maintained a constant superlative presence in European and World Championships for years. She has shown us that the shelf life of lady fighters at the apex of SKIF need not be short. Marina has no doubt been a source of inspiration to her team mate Barbara Tomi, who is worthy of mention in her own right as an enduring role model for ladies for many years to come.  Marina’s friend Vito Rumiano shares more than her distinctive hairstyle. He has also become an Italian bedrock in the kumite department.  The Italian ladies winning kata team looked a team, with fetching matching hair scrunchies.

It was refreshing to see lady sensei being allowed to take a proactive role in refereeing.  Most notable were Naomi Suzuki and Georgette Dyett. I wish to commend the referees generally, for their skill and hard work. They are the unsung heroes and heroines of Karate tournaments. The fact that this meeting went so well in terms of health and safety is a tribute to the SKIF referees in attendance, all the more so in that many were not that experienced.  Japan’s team coach Nobuaki Kanazawa is current All Japan Champion, winning in spite of nursing an injury. History repeats itself. 

Talking of mega spirit, I want to mention Salvador Luna, for being Mexico’s elder statesman, as well as a fighter who defies his age.

The Latin American students are very fortunate to have Hiroshi Ishikawa Toda Sensei as their Chief Instructor.  The star of the Championships was undisputedly Uruguay’s Perla Fernandez, who has been casting her spell over SKIF Tournaments for some time. Her Gojushiho Sho bowled the whole meeting over. She then went on to dance non stop throughout the farewell disco, proving that you are never too old to rock and roll.

Talking of the disco, it was a fitting end to the tournament, following a banquet, for all participants.  Some contestants chose to mount the stage and give virtuoso dancing displays.  Notable amongst these was Chile’s Felipe Saez.  However, no one expected the two Belgian Chippendales to shed more than their inhibitions.   Chika Takahashi, who had collected her second silver medal in the individual kumite, looks like she should be a Japanese pop star.  She did a wonderful Edward Scissorhands impression with fluorescent tubes in her hands, on the dance floor.  There was much goodwill and camaraderie in Durban, that week.  As I watched the sweaty bodies throbbing to the last throes of the music, I thought of all the warriors of ages past and present, from every culture, who have danced into the early hours around a camp fire, in celebration of life itself. 

Venezuela’s Alejandro Castro has the bearing and aspect of a true warrior. He was knocked down to the ground, losing consciousness, in his individual kumite semi-final, through excessive facial contact. However, he subsequently overwhelmed Ukraine’s Yevhen Hrona in the fastest final that I have ever seen, to take the title.  An individual kata title has to date eluded Alejandro, although he has been honoured vicariously through the achievements of his ladies kata team.  However, since his prodigious debut in Utsunomiya in the 1988 World SKIF Championships, I believe that he has developed into a most profound interpreter of Shotokan Kata.

The idea of “Oss!”, or pushing is central to Karate-do.  It can be likened to kata Hangetsu, in the force required by a pebble to move upstream against the power of the water current. The martial arts are very important to the societies that they serve. Bruce Lee not only united Chinese people throughout the world. He gave them pride, self esteem and respect from the world at large, which they had not enjoyed before he burst onto our movie screens. 

Kanazawa Kancho’s greatness stems from his willingness to share his knowledge and philosophy with everyone, for world peace. In 2000, I was forced to move from my club premises to a very expensive dojo, obliging me to subsidise my students out of my own pocket, to meet the shortfall.  I do this gladly, as a way of repaying Kancho.  He is in his 70s. No one could blame him if he were to retire, so that he could train in the Japanese mountains and spend more time with his granddaughter.  Kancho once told me that it was never easy to do the right thing.  So, instead, he comes to England twice a year, so that I and many like me can avail ourselves of his priceless instruction. Of course, this goes for the many nations of this world who must be as grateful to him as I am.

I want to dedicate my medal to the memory of my Mother: Olga Sapinska Zymanczyk, of Brody, who by the example of her life taught me more about Karate courage, than a hundred sensei could teach me in ten lifetimes.  Her Father was taken away from her family home and murdered. She was deported from her home and country, in a cattle truck, to Siberia, where her Mother died of typhus, whilst her oldest brother was being broken in Auschwitz.  Her youngest brothers were subsequently forcibly removed from her and taken on their own to New Zealand.  Yet she was the kindest person that I have ever known. Her love flowed through everyone who met her.  At her funeral, one of her friends told us that she had saved the lives of many children, during the Second World War. However, she had never mentioned this to us.  If I could be half the woman that she was, then I would feel that I have achieved something remarkable in my life.

To be granted the honour and privilege of hosting an SKIF World Tournament is a watershed in any association’s history.  This task can be a poison chalice.  It involves a gigantic amount of hard work and goodwill.  One also has to be reconciled to being unable to please everybody all of the time. In addition, the best laid plans inevitably go wrong. However, SKIF South Africa acquitted itself very well. I was so pleased to visit the African Continent for the first time.  I will have treasured memories of Africa’s beauty and unique spirit for the rest of my life.

Bozenna Z.Z. Zymanczyk Tedder
Godan, Chief Instructor of the
Olga Dojo, Nottingham, England


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