Meet the Team


Oscar Knoester

Sensei Oscar’s judo career started at the tender age of 3 with his father, Sensei Joe. He was a hard task master on and off the mat, and discipline was high at all times. At the age of 13 he represented his province for the first time. In these early years he achieved many titles such as Sportsman of the year for Judo South Africa. He captained the junior and senior men’s team for his province for many years. He won his first senior SA Open at the age of 16 (u86kg’s) and from 1981 he represented SA on many occasions in England, Holland, Germany. Belgium, Switzerland, Israel, Zimbabwe and Taiwan. He also trained in many countries all over the World. During the 80’s he represented SA in the military as well as the combined forces teams overseas and qualified as an international coach in Japan in the early 90’s. Sensei Oscar was head of refereeing and coaching for SA for a number of years.

He is a qualified World Referee and the first and only South African Referee to achieve the status of representing South Africa at the 2012 London Olympics.

In his career as a coach he produced many Provincial and National champions and International players.

Sensei Oscar retired as a competitor at the age of 38, to focus on his coaching and refereeing. He currently holds a sixth Dan grading and is still the Head coach at KANO INSTITUTE.

He is an outdoor enthusiast, is a long standing member of the Bushveld Conservation Bureau and loves being in nature, hunting, trout fishing, spear-fishing and diving.

Damien Botha

Damien has been doing Judo for 17 years and have placed fourth in Africans for Kurash. He is a first Dan Black Belt wanting to do his second Dan at the end of the year. He has 10 years of refereeing experience in the sport as well.

Outside of Judo he has a degree in Psychology with subjects in child development. He has a passion for teaching children and is an Au Pair for two boys.

Apart from coaching at our main Dojo, he will be coaching our juniors at various Schools.

Fransesco Tientcheu

Francesco is a second Dan Africa Championships medalist, is known as the Lion of Cameroon and is a highly decorated Judoka.

He has found a new home in South Africa and especially at Kano. He is a qualified personal trainer, coach, qualified Physio therapist and is a fantastic, active competitor in the 100kg+ category.

Apart from coaching for Kano, he is available for private coaching and gym training sessions too.

Kevin Keuvelaar

Kevin has been doing Judo exclusively at Kano since the age of 6, and at the age of 30 he has now become a very powerful force in the Judo world.

He is the current heavyweight champion of South Africa, has represented our country (very successfully!) overseas as a double bronze final competitor at the Africa Championships and has also qualified for the World Championships. He has been in the National team for many years and is a highly decorated Judoka.

Apart from these accomplishments, he has proven himself a great Coach on the side of the mat at National events. He is going for his second Dan hopefully at the end of the year.

Kano is proud to have him on board and wish him well!