Contact fighting to be revived soon

• By Michael Uugwanga

FOUNDER of Rising Contact Fighting Art International (RCFAI) Namibia, Ingo Oosthuizen recently told Confidente Sport that he has plans to revive the sport in the country.

In 1991 when Oosthuizen -a qualified sensei- started RCFAI, only traditional karate existed.

Before RCFAI reached Namibia, it was established in South Africa in 1984 by Joe Viljoen, who combined the sport with ballet, boxing, karate, judo and wrestling into one fighting art  before it was expanded internationally to countries such U.S.A, Canada, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Oosthuizen, who is a qualified RCFAI instructor was trained by Viljoen before he started RCFAI in the country in 1991, which saw clubs formed in Gobabis, Okahandja and Walvis Bay.

He also led to the formation of the Namibian kickboxing and contact karate in 1999.

Explaining the situation, Oosthuizen said: “After 23 years and with Covid-19 and lockdown, I realised that I need to start again in order to give the people back a fighting spirit and something positive to do.

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“Last year I managed to open a club in Windhoek with TSU Protection Service Namibia and the anti-poaching unit. Walter Philander, currently residing in Rehoboth, and one of my students that continues in kickboxing in Walvis Bay made contact with me, that is when I agreed to join forces and plant RCFAI clubs in Rehoboth and Mariental as well.

“Since then several young and old students from the 90s returned as grown-up men, fathers with their kids. We are currently working on qualifying nine other instructors in Namibia in 2022 and 2023 in order to open up more clubs.”

He added that non-fighters can participate in combinations of techniques with breaking techniques on wood and ice or controlled weapon fights and that students only get promoted once they pass their grading if they are to be awarded with belts.

“Each belt includes different blocks, punches, kicks, self defence techniques and katas. Students are graded from white belt to red, first blue and second blue.

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 These belts are considered as our beginner division. The next belts, first yellow, second yellow, first green and second green are considered at our more advanced /intermediate division. The last four belts, first brown, second brown, Ushidoshi (learning instructor) and black, is our open division.   

“Our students wear blue suits, instructors red, Shihan’s (5th dan/ rank and above) yellow suits and the master or head of the style a black suit,” explained Oosthuizen.

Today, bodies such as World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO) and International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) which originated from RCFAI are all part of Professional Karate Association (PKA), which resulted in the formation of mixed martial arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

WAKO a world governing kickboxing organisation was recognised by the WOC (World Olympic Committee) as a full member in 2021 and kickboxing will become an Olympic sport code in 2024, France. 

The Namibian Kickboxing Federation (KFA) which is recognised by the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) is affiliated to WAKO, of which KFA events are supported by NSC and the Namibia Olympic Committee; with RCFAI in the past four years providing WAKO tournaments with ringside officials.

Currently all ringside officials in Namibia including referees, judges, timekeepers and table officials are RCFAI trained and qualified.