Umbrella martial arts body a dream

ISKK International president, Sensei John Rakoto (left), making a demonstration
ISKK International president, Sensei John Rakoto (left), making a demonstration

The dream of having all martial arts under one body will not be happening soon. Over the years, the Botswana All Budo Styles Association (BABUSA) has been pushing for all martial arts to join hands and become one entity.

But that is not something that will happen, according to Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president, Shihan Mpho Bakwadi. He told MmegiSport that BOKA is a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF) and they are an Olympic sport. “BABUSA is doing full contact and we do not subscribe to that. Being under one body with them is not something that can happen,” he said. Last week, Bakwadi paid a courtesy call to the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) offices accompanied by BABUSA founder, Shihan Thuto Thuto. When asked about the joint visit, Bakwadi said it did not mean anything. “I never had issues with Thuto, so we accompanied him to BNSC as a courtesy, not that we will be one organisation. We even train together just for our personal development,” Bakwadi said. The latest development coincided with the visit of Japanese karate instructor, Sensei John Rakoto who was in the country.

For his part, Thuto said the most important thing is that BABUSA and BOKA were under one roof during the Japanese's visit, to support him as brothers in karate. “They saw what I am trying to do. I explained to them in front of Rakoto that the BOKA era was over. We have talent out there that needs to be nurtured in Chinese martial arts, Tang Soo Do and others. These people are part of us as Batswana, as a martial arts community,” he said. Thuto, who is International Shitoryu Kenshikan Karate Do Botswana (ISKKB) chief instructor and also the founder of BABUSA, said they would now have an official engagement. He said when Tshepho Bathai was BOKA president, he always avoided BABUSA meetings even when requested to attend by the BNSC. He said things have now changed because they can meet with BOKA without the involvement of the BNSC.

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