THE International Karate-Do Organisation (IKO) Academy of Guyana received a quantity of training gear from its overseas-based executive member Sensei Aubrey Mendonca this week.
Mendonca, who travels home several times per year from the U.S., made the donation to help grow the academy, which has three branches in Guyana.
According to chairman Sensei Jeffrey Wong, the gear would be used to help train the students attached to the branches.
It will be housed at the main dojo, which is at the Muslim Youth Organisation (MYO) and will be carried to and from the locations in Berbice and in Linden.
Sensei Wong, who is a seventh dan black belt, said that since karate is an international sport it requires practitioners to be more athletic – hence the importance of the training bag, weights, etc.
He pointed out that although some students would look to build a career from Shotokan karate, the academy has an equally important role to play in developing character.
“We are focused on building our youths. We want to concentrate on youth development; we know that karate is a disciplined form and that it can help to transform the lives of many Guyanese youngsters.
“We want to keep our young people on a straight path. We want to keep them away from drugs, we want to keep them disciplined, to help build their character and we feel shotokan karate would help achieve that.”
The Academy, which started two years ago, but was hampered by the pandemic, now has over 120 persons, mostly teens and pre-teens training.
Training takes place thrice per week in the afternoons.