Notches in their black belts


TWO East Cape Shotokan-Ryu (ECSR) karateka achieved dan grades at the South African Shotokan Karate Academy (SASKA) Dan Gradings which were recently held in Port Elizabeth.

Johan Slabbert and Alex Holland were awarded 1st dan black belt (shodan) and 2nd dan black belt (nidan) respectively. The gradings were conducted by SASKA style-head, Shihan Koos Burger (8th dan black belt) and a panel of senior SASKA instructors.

DON’T MESS WITH THEM: East Cape Shotokan-Ryu head instructor Gary Grapentin (left) with his student Johan Slabbert, who recently achieved his 1st dan black belt Picture: SUPPLIED

Both Slabbert and Holland train with ECSR head-instructor, Gary Grapentin.

“For Slabbert and Holland, the dan grades are the result of years of dedication and commitment to karate,” said Grapentin.

Slabbert, a grade 10 pupil at Hoerskool PJ Olivier has been practicing karate for ten years. At the age of 16 he is also one of the youngest karateka in the SASKA style to hold a 1st dan black belt. Holland has been practicing karate for nine years, and is an instructor at ECSR’s Albany Karate Academy in Grahamstown.

The gradings were preceded by an intensive training camp which was conducted by Burger at various ECSR dojos in Grahamstown, Fort Beaufort, Port Alfred and at Yellowwoods Primary School.

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