Kickbox at the Rec

Husband and wife pair Tersia and Neil de Lange taking each other on. Photos by Sonwabile Antonie

Inspired by Bruce Lee as a young boy, Sensei Jaco Oberholzer has become on of the most accomplished martial arts practitioners in the West Rand. Growing up as a young boy in Witpoortjie, Sensei Jaco started training in Karate at the recreational centre. His experience would form the foundation of his love and passion for martial arts. After leaving school, Sensei Jaco separated from Karate and went off to the navy where he trained in boxing. After a few years of service in the navy, Sensei Jaco left to find civil occupation. This led him to return to his love of martial arts and take on the challenge of getting a black belt in Tang Soo Do. Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art and it’s techniques combine elements of shotokan karate, subak, taekkyon, and kung fu.

From there, his passion grew and he decided to learn more about the world of martial arts. He took on the challenge of kickboxing and mix martial arts before going on to improve his repertoire which includes submission, grappling, judo, Brazilian ju-jitsu and Vale Tudo. Vale Tudo uses techniques from many martial art styles, making it similar to modern mixed martial arts.

After gaining enough experience, Sensei Obe decided to explore other forms of martial arts. He then started teaching Kickboxing at Discovery Recreational Centre, calling the club Kickboxing Florida.

“Money was an issue so I could never travel aboard. Unfortunately, funding is one of the biggest issues in our sport,” he said.

After 22 years in the world of martial arts and nine of those spent as a teacher, Sensei Jaco has become an inspiration to his pupils due to his vast knowledge; however, he does admit that being a teacher is not always smooth sailing.

“It is challenging due to different age groups of my pupils and their different backgrounds and lifestyles. But being a teacher is to always inspire your pupils to better, that way they will have the spirit to better. Its an art that takes effort, patience and training to master. It keeps you fit and you learn self defence,” he said.

One of the reasons Sensei Jaco urges the community to take up martial arts as the best way to protect themselves. This is because five years ago, he survived a burglary at his home.

“I survived a house burglary because I was able to defend my home and myself without getting hurt. The guys who were hurt were the criminals,” he said.

Kickboxing Florida currently has 38 members from the age of seven, being taught not only kickboxing but self defence, self confidence and to become an upstanding member of society.

Sensei Jaco aims to share his vast knowledge of martial arts to his pupils and those interested to learn.

“I have a passion for training people especially now with crime. So I believe I’ll still be training when I’m 70 years old. I love it that much,” he said.

The Kickboxing Florida Club has its classes at the Discovery Recreational Centre. For more information contact Sensei Jaco on 073 982 1032.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites Randfontein HeraldKrugersdorp News and Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Sonwabile Antonie

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