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Dechi 2013: Giorgio Caforio

My Year as The Uchi-Dechi, Goju Ryu Karate Centre. 2013.


My Dream since I was a young child was to become a pilot of an aircraft, my thoughts have changed multiple times as to whether I wanted to be a commercial (taxi, so to speak) pilot or a fighter pilot. Last year January I was sure I had it figured out, I was “Destined” to join the Army or Air force for South Africa.


However that changed Again at around August time of 2012. I wasn’t sure if I was mentally or physically prepared to join any army or air force. So I Had a Long Chat with Sensei Mario Sequeira and Sensei Ché Jagger about taking one year, as a gap year, in the Dechi Program to prepare myself in both respects for the army or air force.

They told me that I would be the first person to do it alone and that I would have to work two times harder than the rest, so my goal for 2013 was put down in my head: Set a new Standard for the Dechi’s to come in the future.


My first real job as a Dechi was set in December of 2012 at the Annual General Meeting for Karate Do International South Africa (KDISA) held at Sensei Shaun Paulsen’s Home. There My duties were to serve the instructors and do as told. It was a hot day and I was in “Holiday Mode” so I wasn’t really keen on the idea of working at the time. But I did as told and actually enjoyed my day.

7 January 2013, I had received a message a few days prior to this day from Sensei Ché saying that I must report to the Hombu Dojo to move in for the year. Upon arrival I greeted (at the time Dechi’s, but now Sensei’s) Sensei Mauritz Kotze and Sensei Jayde Taylor. Their job of the day was to show me around and help me get settled in.


The first month was particularly difficult as I was “bound down” and not allowed to go out of the house to go visit my family. On top of that I was having a hard time getting used to the daily routine of walking dogs, making sensei coffee and fitness tests. Days were long but It slowly grew on me and I started truly appreciating the course for what it was. Friday morning training was also interesting, and was an honor to be a part of.

February was an interesting month, Karate training started picking up. I started going to my home dojo, Palm Court Karate Centre, every Tuesday to train.

Sensei Rony arrived in late Feb’ for his Gasshuku. It was interesting to be a part of every training session for a change and to see students from every dojo training together. To think that I was once one of those little youngsters training my heart out. Kanchos trip was the first real step in to making the decision of my future.


March, April and May were also good months, with a hiccup here and there. I started developing my own thoughts on how my karate was prior to then as to how it was at the time, and how my sensei and Sensei Ché are complete opposites. (Unless you have experienced the Dechi course or know them on a personal level, you will not understand).


June was a life changing month.  This is when I went on the Drakensburg hike with Sensei Ché and Sensei Ryan Peel. I had hours of time to think by myself and not care about the world. I started to think if military was really the way I wanted to go for the rest of my life. I had developed a passion for karate, and it slowly grew as each day I spent in and out of the dojo.

The hike had a huge effect in my head, I don’t know what it was, but since then I haven’t thought in the same way. This was definitely the highlight of My Year.  And it Definitely will not be my last.


July was the month of the Black belt grading. My job was to get the candidates ready for their grading. From the first training it was evident who actually wanted to pass their grading, there were certain students that put in all of their effort into each session.

At the grading I how the students sweated and gave everything, I remembered myself being in their shoes. It was a good grading and I saw how the blackbelts that passed were happy and exhausted about their grading result.


August and September were pretty quiet months. The Chi-Sai Nippon happened in late September. We got to enjoy a day where all the kids of the dojo came to sleep over and learn a bit of Okinawan traditions. This was Also quite a highlight of the year, seeing how all of the kids had so much fun. I did too.

October was the month of the KDISA Spring Gasshuku. The event was the first of its kind for KDISA. And what an event!! We trained for the most of the weekend and learned how to develop Kata into Fighting. Everybody had a changed mind at the end of the gasshuku.

It was here that I made my decision that I want to be a part of the KDISA instructor family. I had made up my mind and I had chosen that I want to one day receive my instructors qualifications, just like sensei Mauritz and Sensei Jayde.


November was dojo grading and I was tasked with the responsibility of redesigning the grading sheets. The Grading went particularly well and I think that a new standard was set for the future gradings of the dojo and maybe one day KDISA.


December was the time where the students slowly start going on holiday. And so, holiday classes were to begin, and soon end.


Throughout the year I was tasked with different duties and along the way I helped improve the dojo by installing various things to train with and help inspire. We installed the ladders in the dojo, pull up bar outside the dojo, gymnastic rings inside the dojo, climbing rope, hierarchy board, history board and instructor boards. As well as doing various other things for the dojo, like helping set up the debit order system and seeing it through for the year.



My year has been a very good year, with me learning plenty about my life, my karate, my friends and my family. I think that I have achieved my goal of setting the new standard for the future dechis.


Thank you to all that helped me on my journey!!

Giorgio Caforio.

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