Karate youth leads by example

2018-09-18 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedJarrod Odendal (third from left) with his student assistants (from left) Nkosikhona Hoqozela, Christian Zibula, and Ntokozo Banda.

PHOTO: suppliedJarrod Odendal (third from left) with his student assistants (from left) Nkosikhona Hoqozela, Christian Zibula, and Ntokozo Banda.

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UPPER Highway resident Jarrod Odendal is a passionate 17 year old who teaches traditional karate to the youth in the Valley. He chatted to Fever’s Phindile Shozi about how he started teaching karate.

  • Who is Jarrod Odendal?
  • I am a Grade 11 Roseway Waldorf Student. Whilst my passion is Traditional Seiwa Kai Goju-Ryu Karate, I compete in Competition Karate. I have been afforded many opportunities in my life and believe that is important to share what I have learnt with others.

PS: When did you start teaching toddlers karate and why?

JO: I graded to Junior Shodan in 2013, it was at this point that I started assisting Sensei Ben Marè with Toddler Classes at the Dojo in Hillcrest. Last year, after having completed my Three-Week Factory Experience for School, I indicated to my mom that I would like to teach karate for my Social Experience in Grade 11. Whilst she thought it was a fantastic idea, karate requires a long-term commitment to really have an impact on somebody’s life. On July 24, 2017, I was afforded the opportunity to share my love of karate at the 1000 Hills Community Helpers in Inchanga. Since then, I have volunteered every Thursday afternoon after school.

PS: How long have you been doing karate?

JO: I started karate at the age of four with Sensei Ben Marè. Growing up, my dad was a Kloof Round Tabler. I was the same age of my current grade R’s when my parents met aunty Dawn for the first time. It was then that we were exposed to the wonderful work they do. Ikhaya Lo Thando, [the Home of Love].

PS: What inspired you to teach karate in the Valley as it’s not only toddler’s you are teaching?

JO: Waldorf Education differs from mainstream in so many ways; it allowed me to think outside of the box. I was drawn to the Valley specifically as I believed there were very few extra-mural activities being offered to the children. Not only am I assisted by Ntokozo, Nkosinathi and Christian, but I teach them Karate as well.

PS: Who inspires you?

JO: My mom and dad inspire me — they both support me in everything I do.

PS: What are you hoping to achieve with what you are doing for these toddlers and young men?

JO: Currently I only teach at the Centre on a Thursday afternoon. When the grade R’s leave the Centre at the end of the year, they go off to the numerous primary schools in the area. My hope is ultimately for Ntokozo, Nkosikhona and Christian to take what they have learnt to the greater community of Inchanga. The children have taught me so much in my time there, their enthusiasm is amazing.

In all the time that I have been there, I have never had one of them tell me that they do not want to participate. They are so eager to learn. If you had asked me two years ago whether you thought I could take a class of more than a hundred, I could never have imagined it.

PS: What is your message to young people?

JO: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.


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