Botswana’s legendary Karate Master Million Masumbika is now considered as the highest ranked karateka in the country following his recent award by the international Kofukan Federation for his hard work and loyalty he has shown to the sport for many years. He was graded into a 7th Dan Black and a awarded a title of “Shihan” which is a Japanese term used in Karate as an honorific title for expert or senior instructors.
Shihan Masumbika who is also a councillor for Maitengwe South has previously served as the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) President and the Zone 6- Union of African Karate Federation Vice president before he ventured into politics. The Botswana Kofukan Federation chief instructor was graded into his new title by the international Kofukan Federation President Shihan Keiji Tomiyama. Shihan Masumbika told Gazette Sport that he is honoured to have been graded into this title and vowed to continue imparting knowledge and skills to other aspiring leaders in the country. “It means a lot to myself and the country and it is going to highly benefit the BOKA immensely. I am up north fulfilling my political mandate as a councillor and I am still active in Karate, whenever I have time, I train at a club in Tutume just to keep up with the sport because Karate is a way of life. I am proud that I got graded by the person that I first brought to Botswana, Shihan Tomiyama and he changed local karate to better standards. I will continue to serve until Botswana Karate reach greater heights and I am thrilled with the support that I got from seniors from other federations,” he said.
Sensei George Tshikare, Sensei Otto Tafa, Sensei Boston Ramagapu were also graded into 6th dan by Shihan Tomiyama
Botswana Hayashi Ha Chief instructor Shihan Mpho Bakwadi was amongst those who congratulated Masumbika for his promotion as he is of the view that it was long overdue for him to be graded into this title. “I am very happy for Shihan Masumbika because he is a hard worker, he has undying love for karate, and he has been committed from way back. He was long graded into a black belt while I was still a brown belt and today, he is the highest ranked karateka in the country and I wish him well and I will continue to learn more from him,” said Bakwadi who is a 6th Dan Black belt and was awarded the title “Shihan” at that level which is allowed but unusual.
BOKA President Tshepo Bathai also expressed gratitude on Masumbika ‘s promotion and said he believes that it will contribute towards the development of Karate in Botswana. Nonetheless Sensei Soccer Moruakgomo has questioned the grading system and expressed disappointments on frequent awarding of belts to administrators who are not active at club level which he said it kills karate as it losses meaning of the titles and belts.