On Saturday 3rd December 2011, Kyousei Karate held their inaugural National Championships in Oudtshoorn at the De Jager Sports Centre.
At this championships recognition was afforded to Dai Shihan Nellie Kleinsmidt when she was promoted to 8th Dan with the title of Hanshi which makes her the highest graded female Karate-Ka in South Africa.
Dai Shihan started her karate career in 1965 under very difficult circumstances during the apartheid era and she persevered through all the difficulties that were thrown her way. In 1982 with her partner in life Kaiso Johan Roux and a few selected Black Belts they formed the Karate-Zen International organisation, which under their guidance grew into a force to be dealt with on the competition floor.
During her 46 years of training, she not only had to deal with a government which tried stopping her from training, but also with the men in a male dominated sport.
Dai Shihan Nellie rose above all that to become the 1st Black Female Referee on a Provincial, National, Continental and International basis and also the longest practising female karate-ka. She is also an excellent instructor who has trained many a student to reach their full potential. Many of her student obtained their Junior and Senior SA colours under her guidance.
During March/April of 2011, Dai Shihan Nellie, the Mother of Karate-Zen, joined a new organisation being Karate Kyousei, formed by a group of Black Belts from Karate-Zen and since then she has not looked back.