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September 9th, 2005

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Go tutor Aketa-sensei to visit South Africa

Aketa Katsuyuki, a retired 65-year old Japanese go enthusiast will be visiting South Africa for a few weeks next month to investigate conditions for potentially spending a longer time teaching and spreading Go in South Africa. Aketa-sensei, a 6-dan amateur, has displayed an incredible success in the past few years spreading Go in Mongolia: when Aketa arrived in Mongolia, there were about 50 players in the country, with the top players at around 5 kyu – less than 3 years later there are about 1000 players, with the Mongolian representative at the World Amateur Championships this year, Tungalag Ravjir, a 17 year-old girl, at roughly 2-3 dan strength. Tungalag, who came 5th of 107 players in last year’s Mongolian national championship, won 3 of her 8 games at the WAGC, to place 47th of 65 representatives.

Luckily for South Africa, Chris met Aketa-sensei in August last year on a trip which took him to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (in fact, Chris participated in the 2004 Candidates’ tournament from Mongolia, and Aketa-sensei was very helpful in making it possible for Chris to participate). Chris, it seems, tried to convince Aketa-sensei to come and give South Africa a look, and the forthcoming visit in October is the result.

Aketa-sensei, who went to Mongolia as part of a program run by the Japan International Cooperation Agency for spreading skills to developing countries, will be hosted by Chris Visser and Andrew Davies while in South Africa – a sincere thank-you for their willingness to help. He has indicated he would like to play as much Go against South Africans while he is here, and if he feels the South African Go players still need him, he will return for a longer period.

As regards Aketa’s intentions if he does return to South Africa, Chris Visser writes:

If he likes his first visit (about 3 weeks), then he’ll consider staying, on the same basis, for a
year or longer, devoting all his time to teaching Go in South Africa.
For Aketa’s longer-term plan, he will want to set up a “dojo” (school) somewhere, and will be looking for devoted students. I have seen him train novices to reach shodan level in one year (in Mongolia). Considering the upsurge in Go interest in the Cape (evidenced by their win in the match vs Gauteng), the dubious security situation in Gauteng, and the attractiveness of the Cape, he may well choose to set up his dojo in the Cape.

Aketa-sensei will arrive in Joburg on 4 October, and will spend his first few days in South Africa doing a bit of sight-seeing (Sun City, Kruger Park area). At some stage, he will travel down to the Western Cape. We will post more on his itinerary as it is finalised.

Posted by Steve in News

1 Comment »

This entry was posted on Friday, September 9th, 2005 at 11:00 am and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Go tutor Aketa-sensei to visit South Africa”

  1. Dale says:

    keep me in the loop on his visist, please, Steve. I have an as yet undeclared interest in Mongolia.

    (btw, the mail I submitted on this comment is my spam-trap. You can keep mailing me on the gmail address.)

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