An article of our Dojo was posted in the Potchefstroom Herald on 10 November 2017.

The karateka (karate students) of Steyn Dojo, a World Shotokan Karate-do Federation (WSKF) affiliated dojo in Potchefstroom, took part in a project to raise awareness during National Cancer Awareness Month. By following an active and healthy lifestyle, the risk of being diagnosed with cancer can significantly be reduced.

The project entailed all students to train in pink karate belts during October. According to Stephan and Zilla Steyn, both 4th Dan black belts and Dojo heads of Steyn Dojo, the pink belts were a constant reminder that we are privileged enough to be healthy and able to do and teach a sport that we are passionate about.

Students vowed to train extra hard during Cancer Awareness Month for those patients affected by cancer and maybe not able to be as active as they would have liked to be.

Therefore, T-shirts with the phrase "I can fight cancer" were also sold to raise funds for CANSA Potchefstroom. "The phrase on the shirts actually extended beyond patients fighting a daily battle against cancer. In fact, our dojo’s motto on social media throughout the October campaign was #icanfightforyou and #iwillfightforyou", says Zilla.

According to Stephan, the dojo also took part in the local Park Run event during October, competing in their dojo shirts to further raise awareness. At the end of October, Mike Dukas Shihan (8th Dan Chief instructor of WSKF South Africa) also visited the dojo, giving a special class, in line with the CANSA project.

‘Mike Shihan gave a very special stretching class when he visited. The class made me realize that even static and ‘easy’ movements that we generally take for granted, might be too much of an effort for a patient with advanced cancer,’ says Brandon Shepherd, a 3rd Dan senior assistant instructor at Steyn Dojo.

Finally, at the end of the month, Isabel Minnaar, a representative of CANSA Potchefstroom, was invited to the dojo where a donation, generated by T-shirt and pink belt sales, and kind donations from dojo members was handed over to support the good work being done in our community.

‘Karate is something that anyone of any age can do, and following this project, we and our students are even more set on training to our full potential, just because we are privileged enough to do so,’ says Stephan.

‘In fact, our adult class, a special class started to accommodate university students and adults in their karate career, and our fitness class (a general fitness class for non-karate adults) have grown in numbers. Our dojo will definitely take part in similar events in the future.’



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