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World Karate Federation General Secretary Office News Letter vol.26

EKF Senior Championships

The Continent Most Excited About Karate
51st EKF Senior Championships I was in Montpellier, France between Tuesday, May 3rd and Tuesday, May 10th to be at the karate competition.

Montpellier is a resort located facing the Mediterranean Sea and is a home to the dojo owned by the French Karate Federation (their office is in Paris). Their dojo was chosen as a venue for this general meeting of European Karate Federation(EKF).

During the competition, I had an opportunity to dine with EKF Referee Commission members. I would often bump into them at the competition, but would only exchange greetings and never had a chance to have a conversation. It was rewarding to exchange opinions and share my thoughts on the 2020 and 2024 Olympics in a relaxed environment. Each EKF Referee Commission member is passionate about karate and has unique perspectives.

The competition was held in the arena in the city. It was so popular that every day, the spectators lined up to enter the arena. As one would expect from the continent where it has most number of members, the competition was organized successfully.

Sportsmanship
Europe has been known for its competitive level of both kata (form) and kumite (sparring), but I saw most growth in the male kata; in addition to their strong physique, the quality of their technique has grown largely.

The Male Team Kumite finals was an amazing match in many aspects including the drive, diversity, and energy in the movements. The final match began with France at an advantage with two wins and one loss. French placed a jodan tsuki (head-level strike) and Turkey acted out in pain. The French home-ground supporters booed loudly, but the French athlete gestured the supporters to quiet down and the supporters listened to him. The French athlete could have joined the supporter, but he did not. When I saw that the French athlete carried through with his sportsmanship, I was touched; that is how all the top karate athletes should be.

World Karate Federation General Secretary
Toshihisa Nagura

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