DISCIPLINE, self control and the path to a good and healthy life are some of the things young Ayabonga Shasha (pictured right) learnt when he started karate classes.
His original aim was to learn to defend himself from what he terms the “tsotsis” from the township.
Speaking to The Rep from his Get Ahead Project High School on Friday, the Grade 8 pupil said he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the national champ in the same year that he started, in 2015 last year.
His first win was during a friendly tournament in Port Elizabeth. “I then went to the national Goju Kai tournament in Cape Town. I won a gold medal and became the national champ. It was a great achievement.”
He returned to the trials for the national championships this year in East London and made the team.
Shasha went to Bloemfontein on August 5 as the defending national champion. He lost his title but came back with a silver medal.
He fought four fights and only lost the last to a world champ.
“I am looking forward to the friendly tournament in PE in October. Next September I might go to Canada with the national team. My chances are great because I was No 1 last year and number two this year.”
Sensei Sibongile Gqeba said Shasha was committed and had proven himself in a short time.
“His future is bright in karate especially if he continues without distractions. He is still young and will definitely make the national team. Karate is one of the sports that instills discipline.”