White River is situated in the heart of the Mpumalanga Lowveld, close to the Kruger National Park and just East of the South African Mozambique border. The Lowveld region is one of South Africa’s major tourist attractions, close to the Kruger National Wild Life Park and numerous beautiful waterfalls, the spectacular “Gods’ Window” and lots of other major tourist attractions.
All are welcome to join or watch training sessions at any one of the WSKF Lowveld Dojo’s.
Instructor: Sensei Piet Venter, 4th Dan.
As a Shiankai member and senior instructor of the Lowveld region, he is responsible for the technical standard and Shotokan growth of the Lowveld Region.
He started his Karate career in early 1992, at the age of 29 years, and as en ex-paratrooper, he instantly felt comfortable with the strict discipline of the art. As a result of his devotion and hard work, he graded to Shodan in 1995 and to Nidan in 1997, under Sensei Nigel Jackson. He was graded to San Dan in March 2001 and to Yon Dan on the 20’th of September 2008 by Hitoshi Kasuya Sensei (8th Dan).
Sensei Piet participated in several WSKF and All Style championships through the years and usually ended up as a medallist. He started teaching Karate in 1994, while he was still a 2nd kyu brown belt. Since then he taught different dojos including the Skukuza dojo in the Kruger National Game Reserve.
After being Dojo Head of the Hazyview and Sabie Dojos for several years, he has now settled in White River where he runs a very successful Dojo.
Why is the White River Dojo so successful?
Sensei Piet believes that one should stay close to the fire to feel its warmth. For him and the other Lowveld instructors, it is of outmost importance to make use of every opportunity to train with the senior Shotokan instructors, in order to gain the knowledge that they love to share with their own students.
Why join the White River WSKF Dojo?
The White River Dojo is the strongest of the three WSKF karate clubs in the Lowveld region and has a constant membership of between 60 and 70 students.
WSKF is the most preferred karate style in the region. It is a semi contact style that can be practiced by young and old. At the White River Dojo the youngest beginners are usually about four years old and there is no age limit for older beginners. All ages can participate in championships and stand a chance to win medals. Several members of this dojo have earned their Provincial All-style Colours and WSKF/Shotokan National Colours through the years. Many loyal students who started their karate careers in White River eventually graded to black belt while being members of the White River Dojo.
Practicing this form of the martial arts, however, is not only for those who enjoy taking part in championships. Karate is an excellent way of keeping fit and learning self defence. It also teaches you valuable skills to practice in your everyday life, like patience, discipline, to be focussed and to endeavour. The best of all is that you never stop learning. Karate becomes a way of life.
The spirit of the White River Dojo.
Not all people were blessed with the same capabilities. While some students have a natural ability to learn and perfect karate techniques quickly, others have to work very hard in order to reach and maintain the standard of karate that is expected from them.
While preparing for a local championship, a student with a very low self esteem, who eventually made it to senior class was instructed do a kata, on his own, in front of all the senior belts. He froze halfway through the kata. The next evening he was given another opportunity. He froze again. The next week he was given another opportunity and he did the whole kata in front of the senior belts. His kata was executed far from technically correct, but the whole senior class applauded him spontaneously.
Such is the spirit of our dojo. It’s all about building character, respecting others, being faithful and to achieve our goals, whatever they may be, through hard training.