Malawian UK-based Taekwondo Master Yamikani Guba, who is captain for the British Army Taekwondo team since 2010, has successfully passed the World Taekwondo Kukkiwon 5th Degree/Dan Black Belt.
The grading was held in Aldershot at the Combat Sports Centre on June 25, which was conducted by a panel of highly graded Masters that includes head coach and director of Wessex Taekwondo senior Master John Harrison.
Master Harrison is also the head coach the the UK Armed Forces Taekwondo team, which is the highest ranked in the British Army.
Master Guba said he was “humbled and proud to be the first Malawian on the world map in Taekwondo grades”.
“Been a legitimate 5th Degree Black Belt, it means a lot to me and those who support me,” he said in an interview. “It puts Malawi Taekwondo team on the boost globally and many more benefits.”
Guba represented Malawi Taekwondo team in World Taekwondo Championship held in Manchester in 2019 and also in the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifications, which was held in Agadir, Morocco.
“Now my life in Taekwondo has just begun because I will be digging deeper towards my next level upgrading in the next six years for the 6th Degree Black Belt.
“And I am also looking forward to represent the British Army Taekwondo team at the World Masters Games, the Japan Kasai 2022, which was postponed from 2021 to 2022 due to CoVID-19.”
He said he took advantage of the CoVID-19 lockdown in UK to train harder in preparation for this prestigious 5th Degree Black Belt and to prepare for the World Masters Games.
“I look forward to promoting Taekwondo to my grassroots Malawi community, especially the youths,” he said.
Guba won his last title in March just before the CoVID-19 lockdown — a silver medal attained at the Yorkshire Open Championships held in Halifax, UK.
A week before the Yorkshire Open Championships, he won two gold and two silver medals — 1 in Kendo and another in Taekwondo — during the British Army Martial Arts Open Championships.
He accumulated six medals last year alone and altogether, he has now 246 accolades as his trophy trove that include medals, awards, trophies and recognitions in martial arts in general both at international and British national competitions.
Guba was nominated for the 2019 Malawi Sport Awards’ Sportsman of the Year alongside men’s footballer Gabadinho Mhango and women footballer Tabitha Chawinga.
He arrived in the country to attend the Red Carpet gala but the award went to Tabitha, who was also voted as Best Overall Sports Personality for her excellent performance at her club in China which made her be nominated for Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year award.
Originally from Blantyre District, he also holds a 2nd Dan in both Judo and Karate and a 1st Dan in Kendo.
He learnt his Martial Arts at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) at the age of 10 at the inspiration of his family members and later relocated to UK in 2004 to study the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM-postgraduate) before joining the British Army in 2007.
He joined the British Army Martial Arts team in 2008, competing in both Taekwondo and Kendo at international and national level.
In 2016, the British military awarded Guba with the title of the best senior fighter for its Taekwondo team in which he is the captain.
Based in Larkhill at the Royal School of Artillery as a Phase 2 Instructor as a Sergeant, Guba has also been previously honoured by the British military when he was named the third best British Military Sportsperson of the Year achiever.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :