PAUL Muguti recently proved that "age ain't nothing but a number" when, at the age of 54, he was upgraded to a fifth kyu yellow belt-belt holder during the third IFK Kyokushinkai Zimbabwe karate grading at Lake Chivero just outside Harare.
At the age of 54, Muguti was the oldest karateka to be upgraded while Rebecca Sanyamandwe was the only female karateka to receive her colours during this upgrading session.
Sanyamandwe is now a sixth kyu blue-belt holder while Kudakwashe Shava was upgraded to a second kyu green-belt holder.
Other senior karatekas who were upgraded are Brighton Mutashu (sixth kyu blue-belt) and Sydney Zhanero (sixth kyu blue-belt).
A number of junior karatekas were also upgraded during the third IFK Kyokushinkai Zimbabwe upgrading session at Lake Chivero.
Leading the way in the juniors category was seven-year-old Jean-Claude Domingo Mufundisi who is now a third kyu green-belt holder in kyokushinkai (full contact) style.
Mufundisi, the son of one of the country's top kyokushinkai karatekas and instructors Tawanda Mufundisi, has also won four gold medals in national tournaments, which were held this year.
Another promising young karateka Nigel Marunga was also all smiles after this session as he was upgraded to a fifth kyu yellow-belt holder.
Mufundisi and Marunga were emulated by Itayi Deyera who rose to a sixth kyu blue-belt holder while his brother Michael was upgraded to an eighth kyu orange-belt holder.
Brandon Makanja (eighth kyu orange belt), Derek Gudhe (eighth kyu orange belt) and Francis Bingadadi (ninth kyu orange belt) were the other young karatekas who were upgraded at Lake Chivero.
The grading panel consisted of Tawanda Mufundisi, Tendayi Mutikani, Jabulani Mabhena, Naison Chituwa, Progress Makoni and Nicholas Tandi Muchatisi.
Speaking after the grading session at Lake Chivero, Tawanda Mufundisi, who is one of the founder members of the IFK Kyokushinkai in Zimbabwe, said the upgrading of all these karatekas showed that the sport of karate was growing in this country.
"We are all gathered here to mark or celebrate another milestone achievement for our style, kyokushinkai, which of late has established itself as one of the biggest karate styles in Zimbabwe.
"The upgrading of all these karatekas, both juniors and seniors, will not only benefit the kyokushinkai style but it will also benefit karate in general in this country.
"This shows that the sport is growing in Zimbabwe and we, the IFK Kyokushinkai Zimbabwe, are determined to help to make karate one of the most popular sporting disciplines in this country," Tawanda Mufundisi said.
The next grading session will be held in June 2013.
Tawanda Mufundisi is one of the most respected karatekas in the country and with the help of seasoned instructor Mutikani they formed the IFK Kyokushinkai Zimbabwe a couple of years ago.
Last month the organisation successfully staged their second knockdown championships at the City Sports Centre where more than 100 fighters from all the country took part.
Mutikani said after the knockdown championships that they were looking at staging more tournaments next year in which they would invite top karatekas from neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Botswana. Apart from being one of the founder members of the IFK Kyokushinkai Zimbabwe, Mutikani is the national full contact styles technical director.