first victim to hospital for medical attention, at the 2010 Kyokushin tournament.
With Titus Chimedza slow to react for a mawashi uke (block), Muchena won the fight in less than the allocated three minutes. He cruised to the finals, to win the bout for the prestigious championship title.
22-year-old Muchena lives in one of Harares noisy high density suburb Budiriro- and has trained in karate for the past seven years. Presented with a profile of such a young man, loaded with martial arts techniques, a picture of a stubborn bully in the heart of the ghetto is bound to be painted in the back of ones mind.
But Austin together with his brother, Robson (24) is typical of karatekas. He is disciplined.
I dont think everyone knows we train karate, its not something we move around displaying or using in the streets, said Austin. We get along well with people where I live and we are like a family. For those who know I train karate, they have never come to poke me or push me to use it in the streets. It is a sport and whenever it is used outside the dojo (hall or club) it is always for self defence. People have come to appreciate karate.
Growing up in a sports loving family, it was never a challenge for the Muchena brothers to have the backing of their parents in training karate as a martial art sport.
My family has always been supportive; the night before the tournament my father actually said to me you need to go to bed early, I want you to go and win that tournament. He could have been there; it was just unfortunate the event coincided with a big match at Rufaro, his team Caps United was playing a confederations cup match. The whole family understands karate as a sport, he said.
With his brother missing the finals of a tightly contested open weight category to settle for a respectable fourth place, Austin brought honours to his family.
The dreadlocked young fighter who holds a brown belt in this form of full-contact karate dreams big. Muchenas dream was not only to prove something locally as he did but he aspires to emulate Sensei (third dan black belt teacher) Samson Muripo.
Muripo hogged the limelight in Osaka, Japan last year by becoming the first African and black fighter to win the world championship title. Only twice before had the tournament been won by a non-Japanese fighter.
I was looking forward to becoming the best out of this tournament and Im happy it has happened, he said. I want to reach where Sensei (Muripo) got. Being a World Champion is not an easy task. The training that is needed to prepare for world tournaments may be double the one we did for this one. So with more training and perseverance I believe it is possible.Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News