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The Inaugural Jaguar Cup

What is the Jaguar Cup?

The Jaguar Cup is an in-house development tournament, designed to expose students to both kata and kumite as sporting codes, alongside their traditional training. As a development tournament, it allows us to teach students how to compete, while also giving senior students the opportunity to learn how to referee and do table officially. All of this will be overseen by Ché, Zoë, and our three national champions Connor, Dylan and William.

It is open only to students of the Goju Ryu Karate Centre shibo dojo.

There will be kata and kumite divisions according to age and belt to try make it as fair as possible. There will be a unison kata division as well, for teams of 3 students. The team can be mixed belt and mixed gender.

But I thought the dojo didn't do tournaments?

For the most part, we don't. This isn't a pathway to provincial or national tournament, but rather an opportunity for students to experience the benefits of sports karate within a safe and structured environment. We do not attend formal tournaments and are not involved in the South African tournament scene. This is our way of giving our students the benefits of sports karate without the admin and massive equipment cost.

So what are the benefits?

Sports karate, like all serious sports codes, teaches students how to work towards a goal, perform under pressure, win gracefully, but also (and most importantly), how to lose without losing their spirit. These lessons, far more than the medals, are the ones that stick with us for life, and help kids build resilience and courage. By helping students overcome their fear of failure, we set them up for far greater success as adults.

Older students (teens and adults) will also learn administrative skills as they assist in the running of tables, wrangling kids to their correct divisions, and taking responsibility for their floors and officials.

Sounds great! What do I need to do?

It's simple! Sign up here on Google and simply settle your invoice for the number of divisions you choose to enter. For the full experience we do recommend signing up for both kata and kumite, but for students with any existing head injuries or epilepsy, we do not recommend kumite.


R250 for one division

R280 for kata and kumite 

R300 for kata, kumite and unison kata

Venue: Arthur Matthews Primary School, Florida

Time: 8:00am to 17:00 (detailed schedule will be released closer to the time once entries are in) 

Rough schedule: 

8am - 11am - white and yellows

11:30 - 1:30: oranges and greens 

2:00 - 5:00pm: Blues and up, plus all adults of all ranks.

Dress: Full karate suit. Gumguard recommended for kumite. 

The dojo will provide mitts for all competitors, and shinners and footers for older students. Should students wish to purchase their own kumite mitts, they are most welcome to do so through the dojo, or buy at any sports supplier. Please note that it is a specific kind of mitt, and boxing gloves will not be allowed. The mitts do not have to be WKF-approved, which adds an extra cost.

But isn't fighting dangerous?

All sports carry risk, but kumite has severe penalties for head contact, and it is discouraged to make contact to the head. Kumite is about light contact (the opposite of MMA) and sportsmanship and control are part of the scoring criteria. We will have medical assistance on standby throughout the day, but usually they end up being pretty bored.

If your child plays rugby or soccer, they already take far more knocks than they will in kumite.

My Kid is Really Shy, Do They Have to Enter?

For shy kids, tournament can be a special kind of nightmare - all that attention, and all that noise! But as we say in the dojo, no one grows in the comfort zone, and tackling this fear within the safe confines of a dojo tournament is one way to boost their confidence.

The tournament is not compulsory, but it is a wonderful opportunity! All students will get a participation souvenir to celebrate their effort.

So what's this unison kata thing?

Unison kata is a single kata performed as a team in perfect (well, attempted perfect) sync. This is a wonderful way for friends to compete together and spend wholesome time together as they prepare for their moment on the mat.

Below is my personal favourite unison team kata performance. Obviously this is at the highest level, but worth aspiring to.

We know that as parents, you have your worries and questions - please don't hesitate to ask! We are here to answer any question, and discuss your child's readiness (or yours, as an adult student!) regarding the Jaguar Cup.

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