Karate kids make their parents proud

Sensei Munifa Canterbury starts a karate class with her students.

There was plenty of martial-arts action at the Unicity/Karate Association Western Cape’s provincial competition at the Schotsche Kloof Civic Centre in Bo-Kaap on Saturday.

Residents filled the hall to cheer on their children and other competitors in the kata and kumite competitions.

Munifa Canterbury, a fourth-dan black belt and sensei at Munifa’s Martial Arts Academy, had six students compete, and all won medals.

“I’m proud of all them; they did really well. Their parents were also there, and that is what I wanted: for the parents to see what their kids are capable of. I’m satisfied with the results,” said Ms Canterbury, who teaches karate at a hall inside the civic centre on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“It was good for them to experience a provincial tournament, and they were really eager to compete. They even come to my house to fetch me for training whether it’s hot or raining. They are all so eager. They already want to enter the next competition so I have to start with preparations for that.”

Her youngest student, Obeid Samuels, 7, won two silver medals for competing in kumite.

Kariema Williams won gold in kumite, Mishka Japhta won bronze in the kata and kumite, and Tasqeen Samuels won gold in kumite and silver in kata. They are all 8.

Moazzam Solomons, 10, won gold in kata, and Aaliyah Botha, 16, won gold in kata and silver in kumite.

Ms Canterbury said an anonymous sponsor paid the fees for some of the children.

The parents say they are seeing a positive change in their children.

Tasneem Samuels said her daughter, Tasqeen, was very quiet, but her confidence had grown.

“She was very excited about this tournament, and she enjoys the training. She is always ready for karate.”

Lizzy Jaftha said her daughter, Mishka, loved to train.

“She was very happy to be part of this tournament, and she never misses training. I can see she has changed and is driven. She likes this karate, and we support her.”

Moazzam Solomons’s aunt, Marshez Blessie, said her nephew was making his parents proud.

“His mom and dad send me pictures. They are always speaking of him doing karate, and he is no longer so playful; he has developed as a person, and he is definitely more disciplined.”

Mandy Mathews, Moazzam’s step-mother, helps Ms Canterbury at the training classes. “I help them get prepared for training and to organise things, their gum guards and the kit that they wear, basically just checking that they are ready for training and for the competition. They all enjoy it and Moazzam is dedicated to this sport. He wants to learn more and we are here to support them,” she said.

Five more children have joined the academy after the karate competition and Ms Canterbury said they needed financial aid for karate gear. She can be contacted at 076 057 6371.

Kariema Williams strikes her opponent in a kumite match and went on to win gold.
Moazzam Solomons displays his kata moves.
Tasqeen Samuels, left, and Mishka Japhta after the kata competition.