EVENT CO-ORDINATOR - KARYN SMITH - 5th DAN - KARATE (SHOTOKAN )
Karyn was a late starter, only beginning her karate career at the age of 30. She was awarded her 5th dan in 2015 and is now a full time karate and Self Defence for Women instructor. Karyn has competed internationally on many occasions winning several medals and titles and is still an active competitor. Karyn was awarded senior SA JKA and Protea Colours on several occasions and as well as being a competitor at 3 JKA World Champs "Shotocup" she was also appointed as a Junior coach for the event in 2011 and a judge in 2017.
KATHARINA ARAUJO - BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU
Katharina is 23 years old and says "I started training to lose weight because I used to be bullied at school so I decided to change my lifestyle and here I am!"
She is a highly successful practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self defense and is a two time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion. She is also an MMA fighter.
KATJA BRUWER - JUDO
Katja started judo 44 years ago and started competing at the age of 17 years. Judo is her passion and she is a full time coach on the West Rand. She is the Chairperson of West Rand Judo Association which is affiliated to Gauteng Judo Federation and Judo South Africa. Katja won the SA Senior Championships as well as National Trials and represented SA abroad. She is 2 x Gold medallist at Zone 6 Competition and won a silver medal at the International Judo Federation ( IJF) World Championship for Veterans, and winning Bronze and Silver medals at African Senior Kata Championships. Katja was selected as a coach for Judo SA and has toured the National Cadet and Junior teams. She was also selected as one of the coaches that attended 2018 Region V Youth Games in Botswana with Team SA Judo Team
DANELLA ELIASOV - MMA
Danella has been involved in boxing on a recreational basis since her early 20s. In 2009, she began to compete in the sport of grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and later began to train in Mixed Martial arts but was initially unable complete as there was no women’s division in South Africa. In 2010, she competed in the first women’s MMA bout in SA and went on to become the first female South African Fighter to be signed and fight as a professional mixed martial arts athlete. She retired from competition in 2018 and became involved in coaching boxing and MMA. She was also involved with the development of boxing program which is used as a treatment for children with autism and is involved in coaching athletes.
MARY JAMIESON - KARATE (GOJU)
Mary has excelled at many different sports in addition to karate. She is currently a 3rd Dan Black belt and holds Karate-Do international Instructor Certification, B.A.A (Basic ambulance assistant) Netcare Traumalink. She is a certified-ETA Personal Trainer as well as Pilates Matwork- FitPro. In addition to her 2 years Bachelor of Education at Wits University she is also Sports Strength and Conditioning certified- ISSAPersonal.
SARAH O'DONNELL - KICKBOXING
Sarah has been involved in martial arts, particularly kickboxing for the past 17 years. She started her training in the UK learning kickboxing and Kung Fu in one unique system. She fought for England in 2013 in Italy at the World Championships winning Bronze. Due to injuries she was unable to continue fighting at that level and in 2013 moved back to South Africa where she opened up her own Club, Alberton Chinese Kickboxing. She also runs women's self-defence workshops helping women feel empowered and confident.
SHARLE VERMAAK - KRAV MAGA
Sharle is an Israeli Krav Maga Specialist with 4 years experience in gun and knife disarming, close quarter combat and other Martial art skills. She holds a Black Belt in Krav Maga and is a Level 3 Israeli Krav Maga Instructor. Sharle has more than 10 years experience as a personal fitness trainer specializing in large group training sessions.
WENDY WANNENBURG - 6th DAN - KARATE (SHOTOKAN )
Wendy started karate in 1985 under Sensei Johan Roets and she opened Horizon Karate Centre in January 2001. She was awarded her 6th Dan in 2012. Wendy was a very successful competitor both nationally and internationally winning many medals as a junior and a senior for both SA JKA and the Protea teams earning National colours and medals for both on several occasions. Wendy has been involved in National coaching for both KSA and SA JKA. In addition to being a competitor at 4 JKA World Champs (Shotocup) she was also appointed as assistant coach for the event in 2011 and 2014 and as a referee in 2017. She was appointed General Manager for SA JKA in 2015.