Sensei sensation holds her own

Kyokushin Karate Sensei Nwabisa Jiya holds a Black belt in karate and teaches karate to the youth for self-defence purposes in Langa close to Cape Town. Photo: Lindile Mbontsi
Kyokushin Karate Sensei Nwabisa Jiya holds a Black belt in karate and teaches karate to the youth for self-defence purposes in Langa close to Cape Town. Photo: Lindile Mbontsi

Nwabisa Jiya is not the kind of lass you don’t want to mess with...that is, if you know your boundaries.

For, if you do, you might end up colliding with a migeri, if you even know what the phrase means...

Jiya, 44, is a mother of one, who holds a a black belt in karate.

A migeri is a type of karate kick or two which is unleashed in defence whenever trouble arises.

But then, says Nwabisa, people have nothing to fear because karate is a self-defence sport that teaches discipline.

“I have never had to beat up anyone in the more than 20 years that I have been doing the sport.

“The major part of karate is that you are taught to be disciplined.”

Nwabisa, who lives in Langa, Cape Town, said she started doing karate in 1994 after she was inspired by a movie actress who defended herself and other people with her karate skills.

“I told myself that is who I wanted to be,” said Nwabisa, who now holds a black belt in Kyokushin karate.

Nwabisa, who works as an administrative assistant, is a sensei in her own dojo, which is known as Langa Kyokushin Karate, whose classes are held at the Johnson Ngwevela Community Hall.

The dojo was established in 2001 and has just over 40 members who each pay a R20 monthly fee.

“This sport is not about money but more about passion, said Nwabisa. “Not all my members are able to pay even this R20 fee.

“I just do it because I love it and want to equip youngsters with the skill.”

Langa Kyokushin Karate is currently preparing for a competition on Saturday 27 August.

“Other clubs from around Western Cape will be coming to compete with us here in Langa,” said Nwabisa.

“It will be an exciting opportunity for the youngsters to show their skills.” Despite her being a woman karateka and sensei, she says not many women come for lessons.

“This is sad. I have only five women in my class. As women, we need to have some sort of skill in order to be able to defend ourselves whenever the need arises,” she said.

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