JKA Gauteng North Tournament

JKA Gauteng North Tournament
(Written by Sandy Verreyne)

There is just no rest for all our champion karatekas.  As we finish one tournament we start preparing for the next.

On Saturday, 5 November 2016 we competed in the Gauteng North JKA Tournament as qualifying tournament for all SA JKA 2017 tournaments. 

The tournament was attended by 6 dojos.  Solis Ortus students pitch in the majority and most of our students qualified for SA JKA 2017!  Our sensei and our instructors are very proud of each competitor.

From the photos it is clear that Solis Ortus is a close knit family and without the assistance of everybody, we will not be the best dojo!  This was a serious tournament, but nothing can ever stop us from having loads of fun while we compete.

Looking forward to seeing everybody, including our fellow JKA Dojos at the 2017 SA JKA Nationals.

Cansa Club Event – October 2016

In 2013 Solis Ortus started wearing pink karate belts during the months of October in support of breast cancer.  It is excellent to see that a few dojos have now followed in our footsteps for this worthy cause.

This year was no exception and the students of Solis Ortus wore their pink belt with pride.

It is such a great feeling when young and old unite for the something that so many struggle with.

Solis Ortus is proud to make another donation to CANSA this year.  This will not be possible without the students and the parents.


1st Coen Memorial Challenge

The hosting of the Coen Memorial Challenge has been a dream of Sensei Eugene’s for many years.  His dream came to fruition this year on the 22nd of October 2016.  The inaugural event was held at the Magister Hall, the hall which the late Sensei Coen built and at which the Solis Ortus Karate Club has been growing from strength to strength ever since.


The intention of the Memorial Challenge was not only to honour the memory of the late Sensei Coen but also to afford each Solis Ortus karate-ka some exposure to the competitive side of karate, whilst ensuring the environment was safe, controlled and fun.


There was a total of 149 competitors and for many it was the first time they had taken part in any form of competition.  Judging by the broad smiles on the competitors faces at the end of the day, as well as the positive feedback received from participants and parents alike, I think it is safe to say that everyone enjoyed the day and so walked away with a new and better understanding of Karate tournaments.


Even the mini karateka had the opportunity to shine on the day.  The group was well represented, with a total of 14 mini karateka showing off their skills which they have learnt from Sempai Sandy during the course of year.  They all proved to be quite agile and determined and of course the cuteness overflowed.  Many thanks to Sempai Sandy and the “Mini’s” parents alike.


From start to finish, the day ran like a well-oiled machine.  Very few karate-ka are aware of what goes on behind the scenes in order to make such a day as successful as this day was, and it is only with the assistance of dedicated students and parents, that this was possible.  Thank you to each and every volunteer who gave of their time and effort.


Thank you Sensei Eugene for affording all your students the opportunity to participate and we look forward to seeing the Coen Memorial Challenge as an annual event on the Solis Ortus calendar.




Written by Cathy Van Onselen (currently purple belt)

National Grading – 15 October 2016

The Journey to Shodan;  1st Dan; Black Belt

(written by Sandy Verreyne)

You walk into this dojo, everything is strange and you are in awe of the black belts, the seniors, the “giants” who teach you how to move, how to stand, discipline, respect and ethics.  Your jaw is on the ground and you wonder if and when you will be where they are now.  You put your white belt on and your karate journey starts!

Each of our journeys are different.  Some of us started karate at a young age, stopped mid-teens and only returned to the dojo many years later. Some started karate in their mid-teens and have persevered through all the obstacles you face as a teenager.  A few came from other dojos seeking something else, something better and others only started in their thirties, or forties and are now the inspiration to so many of us.

2016 delivered the first ever group of 10 Solis Ortus students to attempt their Shodan grading.  Grading is scheduled for Saturday, 15 October 2016.  As the group is too big to train during our normal class times, our sensei graciously gives up his time to teach us at his home.  And so the Saturday morning early trainings sessions are booked and we get split into 2 groups.

Saturday, 2 July 2016 is a cold, very cold, winter’s morning.  The sun is out at 7 when the first group starts with their intense technical training and preparations for Shodan.  We start with the technicalities of a kekomi geri.  We concentrate more on the cold that cuts through our gis and jackets than we do on the kick itself.  The whole group spent about 2 months perfecting the kekomi geri and it was worth every pick up, butt cramp and tired legs!!!

Two weeks prior to grading we dig deep and we put all our efforts into perfecting everything.  We train 4 times a week and we work together as a group.  We are united in our effort to make it to the top and make our dojo and sensei proud.

This group of 10 consists of a variety of people.  4 females and 6 males.  The females range from 15 to 52 years of age and the males 15 – 54 years of age.  We all have the same collective goal that we are working for, but for each this goal means something else.  We all deal with different life issues and we do the best we can to prepare for grading.

Saturday 15 October 2016 came way too soon.  Are we ready?  Yes we are!  Are we nervous?  You can bet your auntie we are!  We start the day with a 3 hour pre-grading course from 09:00 – 12:00.  We have a 45 minute lunch and then we start the grading.  A group of approximately 50 student from all over the country are grading to shodan and get called out in groups of 4.  They start with the youngest and work their way up from there.  On the panel is some of our idols and our own Sensei Eugene is leading the grading, so you definitely want to give it more than your absolute best.

Out of our group of 10, three of our fellow karatekas sadly did not pass the grading.  Luckily, the door to your shodan never closes after a fail because we will all stand behind them again when they attempt the grading in May 2017.   And their silver lining in this situation is that they already know it all and they know what is expected of them, now they have ample time to perfect every movement, placing of the foot and distance of the punch!

Out of our group of 10, seven successfully graded to Shodan.  Congratulations guys, now our real training starts.

When you put on your white belt your journey starts, yet, so we all thought.  But then we get to wear our black belts and we know that the journey only starts now.  All that we thought we knew, we now know that it was only the tip of an enormous ice berg.  Now we have the opportunity to really learn, to be taught by our countries best and occasionally attend a seminar hosted by Japan’s best.

Thank you Solis Ortus for providing the space to grow.  Thank you Sensei Eugene for sharing all your knowledge with us and giving us the tools to succeed.  Thank you to our families and friends and fellow karatekas for motivating us, believing in us and supporting us.

ONE WAY ….JKA!!!!!