By Nyasha Mutena
Multi-award winner, Wilfred Mashaya and his 5 year old son Wilfred Junior Mashaya scooped a gold in the virtual Samurai World Championships hosted and organized by the International Martial Arts – Self Defense Kwon-Ki-Do Organization based in Poland.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, participants around the world entered the tournament through sending their videos online to a panel of carefully chosen professional judges. The tournament attracted participants from Zimbabwe, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, USA and the host Poland among others.
This was a Weapon Kata or forms tournament that included various weapons such as Katana Swords, Nunchaku/Chuckle sticks, Tonfa, Sai, Bo/Staff, Kama among other Martial arts weapons.
Wilfred snr performed a Tonfa Weapon Kata called Hama Higa No Tonfa and Wilfred Jnr performed a Tonfa kata called Terukawa no tonfa.
Wilfred Mashaya and Junior are the only two that managed to enter the competition from the ZimNinja Academy due to logistical constraints associated with the pandemic. Since they could not meet and train with others during the lockdown period, they trained at home perfecting their weapon skills for the tournament.
The deadline for the video submission was 28 February 2021 and results were received on the 11th of March 2021 evening. Through an official statement, Zim Ninja Academy Secretary General, Christopher Garatsa had this to say;
“They managed to do the country proud by winning the top accolades at the tournament and are hoping to continue raising the nation’s flag high in the upcoming and future tournaments”.
Organizers of the tournament from Poland represented by Grand Master Wojciech Dolny who is holder of 10th Dan Black Belt in Kwon-Ki-Do Martial Arts – Self Defense had this to say;
“The competitors are true lovers of martial arts in kata with a weapon, I am very grateful to them considering that the world has been shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic and it was not easy because most clubs were and are still not operational. Many martial artists were affected.
“Videos were shot in the field or at home . Especially since we are in a cold period some clubs are closed and others have not been training but to those who continued training and competing even in their homes, it’s a sign of a good fighting spirit. This is greatly appreciated. Great respect, honor to all of them and congratulations to all who participated.”
This is not the first time the duo won accolades during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The pair of father and son together with Sempai Vincent Fambira of Zimninja Academy scooped several accolades in the 2020 OTW World online Karate Championships which was organised by the Meditarean Karate Alliance (WKA) in September last year.
Fambira took a Gold while Mashaya got silver and bronze and Junior got bronze from a total of 6 medals obtained.
Junior, who is undoubtedly a chip of the old block was thoroughly prepared for these tournaments following serious training at home as the dojo is currently closed.
Wilfred urged sports people and Zimbabweans in general to keep fit by maintaining an exercising regime which also would help in the fight against the pandemic.
“Keeping in shape and form will help our sportspersons to represent the country well when duty calls in the near future so relaxation is not an option,” he said.
Other notable Achievements by Sensei Wilfred Mashaya include becoming the first African Kobudo World Champion, First Zimbabwean certified Ninja, First Zimbabwean to be crowned Regional Sportsman of the year, Pioneer of three Martial arts Disciplines in Zimbabwe namely Kobudo, Ninjutsu and Nunchaku-do, Hall of Famer inducted in more than 5 European countries Hall of Fames, holder of four black belts in Kyokushin Karate, Bujinkan Ninjutsu, Kobudo and Self Defense.
He is Zimbabwe’s Martial arts ambassador, regional sportsman of the year and 2018 Zimbabwe sports person of the year.