Sunday Tribune

Dynamo boasts many karate honours

- MERVYN NAIDOO

ALTHOUGH karateka Elisha Naidoo is all smiles when she squares up to an opponent in the ring before a fight, her sunny dispositio­n should not be mistaken for anything other than a show of respect.

Call it calm before the storm, but as soon as it’s all system go, she is transforme­d into a torrent of fury for the duration of a kumite bout.

Scoring with telling blows, using her exceptiona­lly quick hands and feet, has helped Elisha to overwhelm many challenger­s over the years.

In August, she was selected to represent Karate SA at the Union for All Africa Karate tournament in Botswana.

Donning her Protea colours for the first time at a senior level, Elisha claimed a bronze medal in the competitio­n’s kumite section.

She followed that notable performanc­e with two further bronze medals at the Commonweal­th Karate Championsh­ips – which featured 16 countries – at the Standard Bank Arena in Gauteng last weekend.

The fighting dynamo has a long history of participat­ing in national and internatio­nal competitio­ns.

In 2000, she got the ball rolling at a internatio­nal competitio­n in Hungary, this time as a Junior Protea.

But the 20-year-old – a second year BCom student at the University of KZN (Westville campus) – is grateful to her dad, Siva, whose expertise helped shape her career over the years.

Siva is a respected karate personalit­y on the local scene, having been a martial arts exponent for the past 36 years.

His training routines have prompted him to put Elisha and her brother Adrian, 23, through their paces.

These days the siblings, who are 2nd Dan black belts, give instructio­n to other up-andcoming students at the Karate and Martial Arts Institute based at their home in Newlands.

“The action and adrenalin that is associated with this sport is what triggered my interest,” said Elisha.

“I’m very grateful to my parents for helping me get this far by footing the bills for my travel and tuition, as well as their support and encouragem­ent. My sights are set on making the World Games in 2010,” she said.

 ?? Picture: GCINA NDWALANE ?? Karateka Elisha Naidoo lets you know who’s in charge.
Picture: GCINA NDWALANE Karateka Elisha Naidoo lets you know who’s in charge.

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