Police Learn to Judo-Box

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Self-defence through physical training is one of the key elements for police officers on the ground to effectively curb crime and ultimately enforce law and order. In view of this, some members of the force have been taking part in intense physical training exercises to know how to engage criminals when it comes to man-to-man combat. Under the guidance of Chief Inspector Hieronymus Goraseb and Warrant-Officer Kennedy Muatara, a group of police officers have been keeping themselves fit through judo-boxing. For the past six years, between 14 and 25 police officials as well as interested local sportsmen have been taking part in judo-boxing training sessions in a hall next to the Katutura Police Station. When New Era arrived at one of the training sessions recently, 14 of the trainees were sweating it out through intense warm-up exercises in the medium-sized hall. Among them was Chief Inspector Goraseb who chairs the group and one of the eldest members being 56-year-old Commander of the Katutura Police Station Ruben Hangome. Speaking to New Era, coach Muatara said the idea behind this training is to help keep police officers fit and give them know-how about how to defend themselves during encounters with criminal elements whilst on duty. “Judo-boxing is like a martial art for self-defence and this is great training for police force members in self-defence and knowing how to confront the criminals,” explained Muatara. It becomes apparent that policing is not only about having the skills and knowledge, but also being fit to carry out one’s duties. Judo-boxing provides participants with the techniques to defend themselves without necessarily having to resort to using a gun during life-threatening situations. Every weekday after five o’clock in the afternoon, the officers meet for training. Quite interestingly, some young men from Katutura have also joined the training. “Some of those guys we all know, like Hitman and Paulus Hambuda, come from here,” said Chief Inspector Goraseb while taking a short break. Both of these men won a gold medal and trophy at the Walvis Bay Boxing Tournament held in 2001. NamPol team was overall winner. The coach however added that as their popularity grows in the profession, some of these men forget where they come from. “They forget what and who really made them to be where they are today,” said Muatara. Pointing at 24-year-old Bethel Tyson Ushona from Windhoek, both Muatara and Goraseb noted that he was ready to challenge anyone who would like to come into the ring for a fight. Ushona has had 12 fights altogether, with nine knockouts, and is a professional welterweight titleholder. So far, he has defeated all his opponents locally and regionally and his last knockout fight was recorded in the United States. “I am ready and in Africa I cannot see anyone beating me,” said the energetic Tyson Ushona unleashing a barrage of blows on the punching bag.