Forty-seven years of kicks and punches for Malvern karateka

Kyoshi Eric Govender believes in 'hands on' involvement to achieve success.

Musko, geri, yuko, dachi and kihon. These five words which define meditation, kick, block, stance and basics is a technique that karate extraordinaire, Kyoshi Eric Govender of Malvern, has adhered to for the past 47 years.

The fitness fanatic was introduced to the sport by his cousin, Links Pillay, who took the young and apprehensive karate kid to attend lessons at Ruku’s Judo and Karate Club, in Bayview.

Govender proudly admitted that it was his ability to break bricks and tiles, which enhanced his attraction to the sport. The martial arts player earned his black belt in 1980 which gave him the opportunity to launch the International Federation of Funakoshi Shotokan Karate OF SA (IFFSKSA), three years after his split from SKISA.

Govender is thankful to Subbiah (Raku) Naidoo and Robbie Reddy, who gave him the urge to keep at it. According to Govender, Robbie was a great believer in discipline and more involved with teaching judo while Subbiah handled much of the karate training. Govender has always believed in the doctrine, ‘the ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of one’s character’. He strongly believes that his organisation grew from strength to strength.

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In its 33 years of history, large numbers of karatekas passed through the organisation’s rank and it presently boasts a membership of 3000 students. “IFFSKSA is a dynamic house to be in and it has many national and international affiliates,” he said.

The karate enthusiast added, “Karate always demands one’s main fitness and whenever I take a class, I guarantee an active participation together with my students. More than being able to defend oneself, the beauty of karate is the discipline that the sport offers while learning.”

“Once imbibed with the principles of the sport, a karateka does not go out looking for a fight, instead it teaches a person to respect others,” concluded Govender, who holds a seventh Dan in the Shotokan Discipline of Sport.


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