EIGHTY-FOUR karatekas from the Karate Academy of Zimbabwe converged in Tsholotsho for a grading ceremony on Saturday.
The event was confirmed by Bulawayo Karate Association public relations officer sensei Greatman Sibanda.
Karatekas from Bulawayo, Tsholotsho, Kariba and Harare attained various belts at the ceremony with three participants attaining shodan (first) black belts.
“Of the 84 karatekas, 13 were schoolchildren and they all received yellow belts while 12 were women,” Sibanda said.
“Clifton Ndlovu, Felix Chauromwe and Philip Boroma received shodan black belts while Gugulethu Ncube, the Tsholotsho first princess, attained a green belt. The highest graded karateka from the Tsholotsho event, which had 34 participants, was Mbonisi Ncube who attained a blue belt,” Sibanda added.
All athletes train with the academy which is affiliated to the Japan Shotokan Karate Association in their respective towns while the grading process was done by seven instructors (senseis) who all hold black belts.
Karate grading is conducted over nine stages and different levels are signified by colours from white which is the initial level to the highest level represented by a black belt.
Karate Academy of Zimbabwe chief instructor sensei Bryon Ndiripo said the event recorded the highest number of
karatekas he had graded especially with the high presence of women participants.
Secretary-general of the Karate Academy of Zimbabwe, Juliana Ndiripo, was impressed.
“I am overwhelmed and would like to congratulate the resident sensei here, Greatman, for hosting such a successful function,” she said.