After competing at the Arnold Classic Games and the MASA (Martial Arts South Africa) championship, JP van Heerden, 21, from Wellington, became the only person from the Western Cape to be elected for the South African team to represent South Africa at the World Martial Arts Games in Johannesburg, at the ticketprodome, in mid-October.
“I flew up on the Thursday where all competitors met and weigh-in was done. Some of the countries there were the USA, United Kingdom, India, Slovakia, Namibia and many others, and everyone was looking forward to a great World Games.
“On the Friday we started with all forms (kata) and my division is from 18 to 35 years old. I competed in the “Bladed Weapons” division and the competition was very strong, especially from the American team. After a hard battle and more than 16 competitors in a division, I received a silver medal,” said JP.
On Saturday the opening ceremony was held with the junior competitors competing after it, and the “Last Fighter Standing” competition. The seniors only competed
in fighting on the Sunday. I fought in the 80kg to 90kg division and after fighting my heart out I took second place overall.”
This was a great experience and JP is looking forward to representing South Africa at the next World Martial Arts Games in 2017 in Florida, USA, if he qualifies and gets a sponsor. JP currently runs his two karate dojos in Paarl and Wellington, called Boland Dragons.