This prestigious event was the first to be held in Ireland at the University of Limerick (UL). JKA World Karate Championships attracted about 2,500 competitors and supporters from 58 countries participating in the 14th Funakoshi Gichin Cup August 18 and continued until Sunday, August 20.
There are impressive numbers involved in the JKA World Karate Championships 2017 with 800 fighting mats being used to make up eight tatamis and 2 400 bottles of water.
The JKA World Karate Championships 2017 took place outside Japan just once every six years and has previously been held in Australia and Thailand. This year history was made as it is the first time since 1994 that Japan gave the winning title to Chillie.
JKA Ireland was founded in the early 1970s by Corkman Sensei Noel Casey, 7th Dan JKA; who has played a significant role in bringing karate in Ireland to a world-class standard. Its history is said to date back over 2000 years and involve development in India, China, Korea amongst other countries.
Karate, as we know it today, was introduced to Japan from Okinawa in the early part of the 20th century when Gichin Funakoshi presented a demonstration in Tokyo.
Solis Ortus makes history
What an honour to be selected as part of the South African JKA International Team as karatekas and Coach. PW Pentz and Elmien Viljoen had the privilege to be part of the 14th Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Championships 2017 in Ireland. Sensei Eugene was selected as a South African coach to accompany and coach the team to Ireland.
Sensei Eugene is not only a sensei or karateka but also a role model, motivator, holds strong karate values and is a great achiever on South African and International soil. He believes in the harder you work in your karate the more satisfying is your results.
After 2 months of hard training and long hours of body and mind preparation, the day came to face their opponents. Still convincing your body to let your mind do the work, nerves kicked in and your heart is about to climb out of your throat.
After a long flight they arrived at Shannon International Airport, 25 km alongside the N18, in the spectacular green clean city Limerick, a city of many contrasts, first City of Culture, which managed to successfully blend the modern with the historic. The weather was from shiny the one minute to dripping wet the other.
They stayed in the luxurious hostels at the University of Limerick.
PW Pentz started his karate journey when he was 7 years old. His heart beats karate. He eats, drinks and sleeps karate. He always dreamed to achieve high ranks in his beloved sport. Karate for PW is a lifestyle although he loves to compete and to improve himself. He is a dedicated hard working 12 year old, who is determined to improve and achieve. He practice 2-3 hours five days a week.
His preparation for Ireland consisted of continuous hard work and concentration on faster movements with his feet and strong fast punches. He also trained by improving his kumite techniques such as keep distance, attacking and defending techniques and more effective kicking.
With no expectations, a lot of nerves and guts he competed against 34 competitors in his division. He had four fights. In the first round he fought against Japan, second round Russia and third round Canada. After three successful wins he faced Japan again. He admitted that it was hard, mentally and physically, but prevailed and made history for Solis Ortus.
It is the first time in the history of Solis Ortus karate club that someone achieved a medal in the junior division. Sensei Eugene bursting with pride and is humbled with the fact that to receive a place in an International Championship is a huge achievement. Solis Ortus salutes you PW and stand proud next to you lifting you up to celebrate your victory and achievement. PW got bronze and ranked number 3 in the world in his division!
His parents, Pieter and Iris, are extremely proud of him. In the interview they humble themselves with PW’s achievement and stated they did not expect a medal, being there is already a big achievement.
PW was worried about his father’s reaction if he fails to achieve. Pieter gave permission to publish his message to his son to read on his flight to Ireland as his answer: “Jy het hard gewerk en jy is net so goed soos enige seun van jou ouderdom in die wêreld. Moet nie oorhaastig wees nie, gaan geniet dit en doen net jou beste. Gebruik jou kop en jy sal bo uitkom. Ek glo in jou. Lief vir jou my CHAMP!”
PW, happy and proud and cannot thank his parents enough, especially his father for all his support in his karate journey. He also give thanks to Sensei Eugene his role model and motivator. PW is already planning to start preparing himself for Tokyo 2020. His goal is to achieve the ultimate.
He made a lot of new friends and will cherish his experiences in Limerick.
Solis Ortus formidable achiever
Elmien Viljoen, 1st Dan, 16 year old karateka started her karate journey when she was 7 years old. She is a formidable athlete with high goals and achievements. She won many JKA kumite divisions in her age group over the years. Her biggest dream is to represent her country at Shotocup.
With determination, hard work, focus and a goal like bulls eye, she prepared herself as her dream aroused in front of her. She can touch it for the first time, as number 1 SA JKA Kumite Champ 2017. At last, now she can pack her bags, go to Ireland and represent her country. What an honour.
Elmien worked hard on her fitness, kicks and distance in-between school demands and studies as a grade 11 pupil. Her division was massive with 62 competitors all over the world. It was quite intimidating to see them all standing ready with no tatami in sight. Most of the girls was already 18 and 19 years old, knowing each other as the years passed by, and always meeting as competitors on common ground.
Competition was tough, extremely fast and of a very high standard. Unfortunately Elmien fell out against Argentina in the first round. She was sad and disappointed but luckily Elmien has her eye still on the prize and above the honour of being there for the first time, she will push herself to do better and prepare herself for greatness to be back in Tokyo 2020.
Her desire for greatness is the key to her motivation, but her determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of her goal – a commitment to excellence – will enable Elmien to attain the success she seeks. One of Elmien’s characteristics is, once she dealt with disappointments, motivation kicks in and she can focus on her purpose for the next goal.
Her first goal is to focus on Matric next year and then she will put her body and soul into her preparation for 2020. She wants to show the world she deserves to be there and therefor will give her everything to be victorious. “True victory is victory over oneself.” Morihei Ueshiba
Her mother, Sonja, also a 1st Dan karateka, mentioned that karate is a learning curve for life. As a sport it also has its ups and downs as in true life scenarios. Karate teach you to overcome disappointments, to perform under stress and arise victoriously in every situation.
Solis Ortus stand in awe of Elmien’s strong character and is proud in her achievement as ambassador for Solis Ortus and her country. Well done, you deserve to be part of our SA JKA National Team and looking forward to see you in 2020. It never gets easier. YOU get better!
Solis Ortus believes in you – high achievers, like you, spot rich opportunities swiftly, make big decisions quickly and move into action immediately. Follow these principles and you can make your dreams come true – Robert H Schuller
Solis Ortus is exceedingly proud of PW and Elmien that touched the feeling of their dreams. The great future belongs to those who have strong vision and determination. It doesn’t matter where you are now, starting well and finishing strong is all that matters.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. “Teddy Rosevelt
Written by: Heilethe Calitz