Wednesday 6 March 2019

South Africa 2019 Seminar (Part Two)

In this second post I'd like to look at USR - UNITED SHOTOKAN RYU. With a great attitude, the seeking of top level karate for its members, and wonderful people, I believe that USR will have a bright future in South Africa and, indeed, internationally. Greetings from Oita City, Japan. Osu, Andre
One of the group photos from the March 2019 South Africa Seminar, hosted by USR. - Photos courtesy of Maureen Sensei.

United Shotokan-Ryu

United Shotokan-Ryu (USR) is an independent Shotokan group which was formed in South Africa during 2018. USR currently comprises eighteen different dojo situated in various towns and cities in the provinces of the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng. The Union is run by a working committee overseen by Gary Grapentin who holds the position of Chairperson. Other senior members include Alta Venter and Kenny Tawse.

USR’s priority is to preserve the practice of Shotokan Karate in South Africa as a true form of Japanese Budo. In order to achieve this, world class Shotokan instructors who focus on Budo are brought to South Africa to conduct seminars on an annual basis. Not holding an international style-affiliation enables USR greater freedom in accessing some of the world’s most talented and highly-regarded contemporary Shotokan Karate Masters. Space permitting, USR International Seminars are open to all Shotokan karateka irrespective of affiliation. USR embraces the opportunity to build friendships with karateka from other Shotokan groups and karate styles.

USR recognises the need for transformation, specifically within a South African context, and strives to support members from previously disadvantaged communities in their practice of Shotokan Karate. In terms of community and social development, karate training is offered in Alicedale, Joza (Makhanda) and at the MTR Smit Children’s Haven in Port Elizabeth. USR believes in equal opportunities for its members, irrespective of race, culture or gender and prioritises an investment in the next generation of karateka. 

For further information regarding USR, Gary Grapentin may be contacted at

 © André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

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