Police martial arts instructor, Wilfred Mashaya has been invited to represent Zimbabwe at the International Kobudo Competition and Samurai Show to be held in Moscow, Russia, from 18 to 20 November 2016. By Own Correspondent -Newsday
Mashaya will be the only African competitor at the tournament, which will bring together contestants from 30 countries including Japan, France, Malaysia, Iran and hosts Russia.
Kobudo is a system of martial arts in which practitioners use swords, nunchaku, sai, wooden staffs and other ancient weapons. The competition will involve both pre-arranged forms known as kata, and freestyle combat, or kumite.
Mashaya’s participation will be a first for Zimbabwe, where the sport is still growing. The trip to Russia will also afford an opportunity for Mashaya, who already holds a black belt in Kyokushin karate, to be graded and certified as a kobudo instructor so as to spread the discipline in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.
Although the budget is relatively small, the lack of funds may prevent him from realising this triumph for the nation. The Zimbabwe Karate Union confirms its confidence in Mashaya’s abilities, and points to problems with financing his trip as the only hindrance. It is hoped that well-wishers will support this opportunity to bring pride and visibility to Zimbabwe.
In addition to his specialty of Kyokushin karate which is a hard, full contact style, Mashaya has had training in Wushu and Shaolin Kung Fu.
He is one of the founding instructors of the ZRP Morris Kyokushin Karate Dojo, and is a regular feature of police displays, where he wows the crowds with the ninjitsu skills that will now be put to the test on the international stage.
On his Martial Arts journey, he met s lot of martial arts instructors, who taught him some of the fundamental skills of the art.
Among those who have imparted knowledge are Japanese, Chinese and Korean masters.
His Kyokushin master who groomed him from a tender age was the late Sensei Titus Chigumbu (Tito)who passed away in 2008 but left him with a die-hard spirit of a warrior to soldier on and conquer.
Sensei Tito trained with one of Zimbabwe’s finest Sensei who are Tendai Marange, Kempton Gutsa , and the late Tendai Tonderai among others.