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Sensei Chris Ensil – a sport legend

Sensei Chris Ensil with Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais.

Franschhoek’s resident karate instructor has been recognised as a ‘legend’ by the Department of Culture and Sport at the Western Cape Legend Awards Ceremony on 14 December 2016. 

After 44 years as a student of the martial arts and 34 years as an instructor, Sensei Chris, after serving South Africa as the National Coach from 1996 to 2003, and also as Western Province, Boland and Western Cape Coach or Director of Coaching, has served the province and South Africa in traditional karate, sport karate as well as kick-boxing, and has an exceptional track record having produced provincial, national, continental and world karate champions since 1984. This year alone at the Eighteenth Kimura Shukokai World Karate Championships, seven of his students came home as World Karate Champions to help South Africa once again to first place – a feat that has been repeated every two years since 2012 and twice before.

Sensei Chris, himself, an ex- World Karate Champion more than once and many times runner up at international level, is also the head coach for the South African branch of Kimura Shukokai Karate. This group is headed by Chris Thompson, Ensil’s instructor and mentor who is also Joint World Chief Instructor for this group.

The valley is fortunate to have this Sporting Legend on its doorstep as he teaches karate at the Franschhoek Health Club. This year the Health Club gained its first World Champion – Annelize Morkel, a student of Sensei Chris’. Classes for the new year have already started up, but it’s never too late to join!