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Patrick Mintah named Martial Artist of the Year at African Goju awards

BY: Kweku Zurek
Patrick Mintah (left), Martial Artist of the Year receiving his prize from Donald Gwira.
Patrick Mintah (left), Martial Artist of the Year receiving his prize from Donald Gwira.

Thirty-two-year martial arts practitioner, Patrick Mintah has been named the Martial Artist of the Year 2022 by the Martial Arts Institute.

Mintah, 48, also won the Donald Gwira Breaking award for his concrete block breaking technique and was given a sixth-degree Black Belt at last Saturday's award ceremony in Accra.

He was awarded a plaque, martial arts equipment, a mobile phone and a $1,000 cash prize to complete his martial arts training club.

In an interview after claiming his prizes, Mintah said the award was in recognition of his commitment to the African Goju martial art and contributions to its development in Ghana.

"I started with Taekwondo in 1990, I was introduced to African Goju founder Professor Danny Gwira in 1991 and I have not looked back since I started training with him," Mintah told the Daily Graphic.

"For me, martial arts is about discipline, physical fitness and self-defence and I would encourage all young people irrespective of gender to take it up".

He said he had established an African Goju club at Ashongman and would be using his prize money to furnish it.

Other winners

Mintah was among a tall list of individuals who were rewarded for their contributions to the sport.

Among them were a former Minister of Communications, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah who was given an honorary black belt for his support and contributions to martial arts in Ghana, Ohio-Michael Elakhe who won the George Heward-Mills Kata Award while African and South American Goju founder, Professor Danny Gwira was also presented with a certificate of honour by the Ghana Karate-Do Association.

Twenty-six others were also presented with certificates in honour of their contributions to promoting martial arts in Ghana.

They included: Donald Gwira, Kenneth Gwira, Reginald Gwira, Duke Banson, Caroline Gwira Anane, George Heward-Mills, Alfred Kweku Ogoe, Melvin Brown and Henry Akpode.

See the entire list of winners below;

1. DUKE BANSON 1984
2. CAROLINE GWIRA ANANE 1987
3. GEORGE HEWARD-MILLS 1988
4. DONALD GWIRA 1990
5. OHIO-MICHAEL ELAKHE 1998
6. HARRY GWIRA 2000
7. PATRICK MINTAH 2010
8. GODWIN OZIEGBE 2011
9. HENRY AKPODE 2014
10.MOSES KWESI BAIDEN Jnr. 2020
11.HENRY LARYEA 2021
12.MICHAEL BOATENG MENSAH 2022
13.MELVIN BROWN 2022
14.UMUAI HENRY LOPENTZ 2022

Certificates
1. KENNETH GWIRA
2. REGINALD GWIRA
3. DUKE BANSON
4. CAROLINE GWIRA ANANE
5. GEORGE HEWARD-MILLS
6. DONALD GWIRA
7. HARRY GWIRA
8. ALFRED KWEKU OGOE
9. PATRICK MINTAH
10.WELLINGTON BAIDEN
11.EKOW AMPAH
12.MOSES KWESI BAIDEN Jnr.
13.HENRY LARYEA
14.MICHAEL BOATENG MENSAH
15.MELVIN BROWN
16.WARRIOR EKWOW SPIO-GARBRAH
17.ABDUL MALIK KWEKU BAAKO
18.CHARLES WHITAKER
19.AMARLAI ARMAR
20.CHARLES ANKUMAH
21.VICTORIA BINEY HAJAR
22.AFI AGBENYEGA NYARKO
23.SALLY LEGGE-MAURICE
24.OHIO-MICHAEL ELAKHE
25.GODWIN OZIEGBE
26.UMUAI HENRY LOPENTZ
27.HENRY AKPODE

Honorary Black Belt
1. WARRIOR EKWOW SPIO-GARBRAH

The George Heward-Mills Kata Award
OHIO-MICHAEL ELAKHE

The Donald Gwira Breaking Award
PATRICK MINTAH

The Martial Artist of the Year 2022
PATRICK MINTAH