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Martial arts comp welcomes world pros

The tournament welcomed over 100 participants from Kazakhstan, Russia, Korea, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

KwaDukuza has been put on the martial arts world map after the first Open International Intercontinental Budo Martial Arts Festival 2018 was recently held in KwaDukuza Town Hall.

KwaDukuza’s Budo Martial Arts run by internationally acclaimed Taekwondo and Hapkido master Timur Kurmanov, hosted the tournament which welcomed over 100 participants from Kazakhstan, Russia, Korea, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Kurmanov – eighth Dan Akinakdo, fourth Dan Taekwondo and Hapkido World Champion 2004/2006, Euroasian champion 2001/2007 and international black belt instructor – said he hoped to see KwaDukuza and the Ilembe district reach international levels through this tournament.

“We have taken many locals for overseas tournaments. I decided to host this to bring the competition to my home and our beautiful town,” said Kurmanov, who started the centre in 2009.

He has focused his training on underprivileged children and has worked with kids from Stanger High School, Stanger South School and currently trains recovering drug addicts at the Centre of Hope in KwaDukuza.

His training includes different forms and styles of martial arts including Taekwondo, Hapkido, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, boxing, forms of meditation including Taichi, Akinakdo (a form of sword fighting) as well as training in other weapons.

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Kurmanov brought over some of the world’s most recognized martial arts experts including former world and euro champion, ninth Dan Akinakdo grandmaster Aleksander Rhee. Further greats included master Anatolyi Ni – an eighth Dan Akinakado and fourth Dan Taekwondo and Hapkido expert.

South African martial arts experts included Abdul Latiff from Jogies Dojo in Durban, Bruce Madura from Richards Bay Stingers, Kuben Pillay from ISKF in Glenhills, Lisa Dobson from Megaforce Black Belt Academy and Terrence Goldstone from Paul Caves Kickboxing Club from Empangeni. Kurmanov said the highlight of the tournament was when the youngest competitors – both four years old – Farah Heuvel and Julia Clarivette sparred.

“When you introduce children to martial arts at a young age, it instills discipline strength and courage. It is a tool. Martial arts will not just help their self-defense skills, but it will also encourage them to remain resolute and strong minded.

“I believe it is vital for our young girls to also emerge as front line competitors. It is a different time for women and we must embrace it. It helps our country and community grow.”

KwaDukuza deputy mayor Dolly Govender alongside Kazakhstan Deputy Ambassador to South African Berik Sadykov also attended and enjoyed the event.

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