I was born on 24th September 1981 in Uitenhage. I started karate in Uitenhage in 1987. I graded to green belt but unfortunately had to stop karate when my family moved to Bloemfontein in 1989.
In 1991 we returned to Uitenhage and I restarted my karate journey from white belt at the Uitenhage Karate Academy under sensei Riaan le Roux. We were affiliated to JKA SA. My instructor for us junior belts was sensei Margaret van Rooy, and since blue belt in 1994 I enjoyed to help her to teach the beginners / white belts the basics.
I graded for my 1st Dan (Shodan) in 1997 at the JKA SA National grading.
I have a passion to coach/help the youngsters and was appointed as instructor for the junior belts (white-blue) at the Uitenhage Karate Academy under sensei Riaan le Roux and it is still my duties today on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Sensei Riaan pushed me hard in karate training, we trained 5 days a week, 4 hours / day at that time… every year he would get me ready to attempt my Nidan grading. Oh, how I miss those days. We had a early bird class every morning from 05:00-06:30. Then a junior class from 16:30-17:30, tournament class from 17:30-18:30, senior belt class from 18:30-19:30 and a black belt class from 19:30-21:00.
I also have a big love for rugby, and for many years I would choose rugby ahead of my grading… to sensei Riaan’s frustration off course.
In 2011, with the help of Marika Swart from Kirkwood and the guidance of Sensei Riaan I started the Kirkwood Karate Academy, affiliated to JKA SA.
In July 2011 I graded to 2nd Dan (Nidan) at the JKA SA regional grading.
In 2014 we affiliated to WJKA.
On the 1st August 2014 I graded to 3rd dan (Sandan) at the SAFSK / WJKA National grading under sensei Michael Kliment.
In July 2015 I was awarded my 4th Dan (Yondan) from Shihan Jan Knoble at the 5th WJKA.
My tournament history:
I competed at various local, Provincial, National and International events. I represented the Eastern Cape team at the SA JKA Nationals every year from 1991-2013. I have been part of the Provincial and National Team at the WKF events. Unfortunately I didn’t always had the money to compete Internationally.
I was National Kumite Champion at SA JKA , various other styles and WKF events.
I competed at the 2015 and 2017 WJKA World Champs. This was a dream come true. I have won + - 350 medals in my karate career, mostly for kumite.
In July 2017 I was also selected to be part of the WJKA junior Board. Truely a honour for me.