Learn to kick, to punch, to go to your limit to become a better and self-disciplined learner? This was the goal of the martial arts program “ŠAKA”, which was launched as a temporary pilot at the Football Foundation, at Gansbaai Primêr (Blompark). The programme was initiated by Stefen Rudloff from Germany, who is passionate about the benefits martial arts can offer children from marginalized communities, such as those in and around Gansbaai. Drawing from his personal experience and background, Stefan believes martial arts offers a constructive discipline to these children and enables them to better channel their energies to overcome the challenges their environment presents.
The program was dedicated to learners with a perceived lack of discipline – the “naughty boys and girls”. Attendance is not compulsory, so learners that attend have already taken the first step of understanding that they and only they are responsible for their attendance. Martial Arts techniques are used to work through: working together, showing respect to each other, how to focus and concentrate, on being honest and to become disciplined through hard physical training.
It’s about giving learners critical tools they can apply to many other areas of their lives. The program is ideal for addressing aspects of empowerment, lack of discipline, lack of self-esteem and the ability to focus and concentrate. This great programme was run as a trial from February to April of this year, with a follow up month of intense training in September. With the success of this initial trial we are hoping to attract funding to make this programme a permanent feature offered to learners in the community.
“My passion for this programme comes from observing the progress and development of the kids that show up regularly”, said Stefan Rudloff (Berlin, Germany), Coach of the program.