Our Karate Project

By Jarrod Odendal

At the beginning of January 2005, Jarrod Odendal started Karate at the age of Four with Sensei Ben Marè in Hillcrest. In 2013, he graded to Junior Black Shodan under his Japanese Master Mr Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi.
In 2017, he graded to his Senior Seiwakai Goju-Ryu Shodan and in 2018 travelled to Japan where he graded under an All Japanese Panel for his JKF Shodan Black Belt.


Whilst Jarrod’s passion is Traditional Goju-Ryu Karate, he competes in Competition Karate as well. After having competed at numerous Provincial and National Levels over the years, Jarrod was selected to represent South Africa at the ‘9th Commonwealth Karate Championships’ in 2018. He received a Silver Medal at this event and earned his Protea Colours, he is grateful to Karate South Africa for having afforded him the opportunity.


After having completed his factory experience for School in 2017 (he is a Student at Roseway Waldorf School, Alverstone), he indicated to his Mom that he would like to teach Karate for his Social Experience the following year. Whilst she thought it was a fantastic idea, she didn’t believe that he could make an impact on anyone’s life in such a short period of time; Karate required a long-term commitment. On the 24th July 2017, he started volunteering at 1000 Hills Community Helpers. Waldorf Education differs from mainstream in so many ways, as it allowed him to think outside of the Box. He was drawn to the Valley specifically, as he believed there were very few extra-mural activities being offered to the Children. The Children have taught him so much in his time there, their enthusiasm is what amazes him most. In all the time that he has been there, he has never had one Child tell him that they do not want to participate. They are all so eager to learn. He teaches Karate to both their Toddler and Grade R Classes every Thursday afternoon.

Karate Training provides many benefits to Children/Adolescents beyond that offered by other Sports. It is a gross motor activity that helps them develop a sense of integrity about their bodies. Balance, co-ordination, posture and general movements improve with Karate.

Benefits of Karate

  • The introverted Child often begins to blossom when he or she learns Karate. The structured drills that involve punching, kicking and yelling, help them overcome shyness and timidity.
  • The anxious or worried Child becomes more confident and assertive as he/she learns to move and control his/her body. Self-confidence and self-esteem grow. The Child feels less threatened by other children or new situations. As a result, there is often more of a willingness to become more involved with others.
  • The extroverted Child has a safe, healthy outlet in which to compete with him/herself and others. Children are taught how to avoid trouble and challenges. They learn to have enough self-confidence that they need not respond to teasing or provocation from peers.
  • The aggressive Child is taught the self-discipline that aids in keeping anger under control. He or she learns that fighting is merely a way of showing off and that showing off is a sign of low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence.