Teacher and student duo take top spots in global karate competition

2015-09-01 10:29
Mergenthren Naidoo (right) and Kalvin Ashvir Maharaj hold up their medals after competing in the FSKA Karate World Championships held in Randburg last weekend.

Mergenthren Naidoo (right) and Kalvin Ashvir Maharaj hold up their medals after competing in the FSKA Karate World Championships held in Randburg last weekend. (Ian Carbutt)

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A NORTHDALE teacher and his student have fought their way to the top at a global karate competition.

The Pietermaritzburg karate enthusiasts took part in the 17th Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association (FSKA) Karate World Championship held over the weekend at the Walter Sisulu Sports complex in Randburg, attended by over 500 participants from eight countries.

Mergenthren Naidoo (37) and Kalvin Ashvir Maharaj (20) won first and second place respectively in the divisions they competed in.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. We are overjoyed that our hard has work paid off,” said Naidoo.

He won first place in the Veteran division, which consisted of 12 participants between the ages of 36 and 45.

Maharaj, who is currently studying medicine in China, participated in the Carter division in the 20-26 age group category.

Both fighters trained for eight hours a week and, in preparation for the championship, also trained with former karate world champion Ravi Moodley, a member of the South African National Karate Team.

Maharaj, who holds a brown belt, said he specifically returned to South Africa to “compete in the event”.

And Naidoo, a maths and science teacher at Silver Heights Secondary School, said he hopes to maintain his winning momentum in 2016.

“I will try to defend my titles next year, but this will depend on funding as I finance all my own costs. I was lucky that this year’s tournament was held in South Africa.”

Naidoo, who began karate in 1988, has attained his fourth Dan Black Belt. He is a sensei — a professional or teacher.

“Kalvin was my student before he moved to China and while he was a pupil at Silver Heights. I would like to see more females participate, not only as a sport but for self-defence too,” he said.

The FSKA Karate World Championship consisted of two types of semi-contact fighting: Kata and Kumite

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  karate

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