Mark was born October 30th, 1975. When starting
primary school in 1982, his parents enrolled him
for karate lessons at the original Orange Grove
Dojo, which at that time, was run by Sensei Stan
Schmidt, as well as Senseis Keith and Derrick
In the year 2000, the World Shoto Cup was again
to be held in Japan, except this time in Tokyo.
The South African Unison Kata team put on a
performance that stunned the karate world, and
according to most, deserved to be world
champions! Unfortunately though, they were
narrowly beaten by the Japanese team, and Mark
and his two team mates came home with the Silver
medal. This feat was to be repeated in the 2006
World Shoto Cup in Sydney, Australia, with the
South African team narrowly coming 2nd to Japan
It wasn’t until 1991, nine years into his karate
career, that he would start reaping the rewards.
It was this year that not only did he grade for
his 1st dan black belt, but also won his 1st
ever medal at the SA JKA Championships.
A year later, in 1992, Mark not only won the SA
JKA Kata title in his division, but also became
the Grand Champion at the WKF All Styles SA
Championships, winning both Kata and Kumite.
In 1993, Mark matriculated from Sandringham High
School, and went on to study a BA majoring in
Law and Criminology. It was during his first
year of university, that he was selected at a
national trials to represent South Africa at the
6th World Shoto Cup in Philadelphia, and later
that year to compete in the WKF World
Championships in Malaysia.
In 1996, Mark got his first opportunity to
travel to Japan as The 7th World Shoto Cup was
being held in Osaka. Now at the age of 20, he
would compete in this prestigious tournament,
winning a bronze medal in the team kata event.
By the start of 1997, not only did he achieve
his 3rd Dan (instructor level), Mark went on to
win the Senior JKA open Kata division for the
first time.. A title he would go on to win 4
times between 1997 and 2008.
In 1998 Mark was selected to compete in his 3rd
World Shoto Cup, the venue was Paris.
Towards the end of 2000, Mark was offered the
opportunity to start teaching karate, and to
take over the area, which to the karate world,
was known as GROVE. Since JKA karate was brought
to South Africa by Stan Schmidt in 1963, Grove
area has always been synonymous with the best
instructors, the best karate-ka, and producing
many karate champions.
Looking back over the past 15 years, Sensei
Mark’s achievements as a karate instructor are
nothing less than incredible! His dojo not only
produces champions every year, but his focus on
developing his students in ways that will
benefit them throughout their lives,
specifically concentration, discipline, physical
exercise and following a healthy way of life,
have all lead to the success of his dojo.
Sensei Mark is currently a 6th Dan JKA karate
instructor, and continues to be one of the
countries most recognised and respected
exponents of JKA Karate.