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Meet Wilfred Mashaya, The First African To Become A Kobudo World Champion



Kobudō is a form of martial arts that originated among the Okinawa people of Japan, involving the use of ancient weapons. Although it’s not as popular as karate and other forms of martial arts, the sport has taken Zimbabwean, Wilfred Mashaya across the world.

In fact, in April, Mashaya became Africa’s first ever Kobudō World Champion in Spain!

(Photo: Fighter’s Hall of Fame via Facebook)

A sergeant with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Mashaya was inspired to go into martial arts as far back as the nineties due to his love for martial arts movies. Modeling his life and career around Bruce Lee’s teachings, he put in so much work that people named him “Zimbabwe Ninja”.

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His breakthrough came when he was invited to the International Kobudō Competition and Samurai Show in Russia in 2016. The only African and black contestant, he kicked ass in the weapon-nun-chucks and weapon freestyle categories, and eventually won silver and bronze medals.

Since then, he has been inducted into the Barcelona Martial Arts Hall of Honours after being voted the Best Kobudō Martial Artist for the Year 2018 in the World Cup Weapons Forms Martial Arts Competition.


With Zimbabwe now a member of the World Kobudō Association, Mashaya isn’t resting on his oars. He’s training others in the sport with the hope that they’ll excel enough to put Zimbabwe and the whole of Africa on the world kobudō map.

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