The Embassy of Japan is set to host the first Japanese Karate Championship tournament in Lilongwe this coming Saturday.
The championship to take place at Kamuzu Institute for Sports is expected to provide a platform for athletes to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Kae Yanagisawa, observes that Malawians are familiar with Karate as an entertainment in movies but do not value the sport.
Japan is also supporting other martial arts groups in Malawi such as Judo, Kendo and Karate.
Karate (Japanese: “empty hand”) is a type of unarmed martial-arts discipline employing kicking, striking, and defensive blocking with arms and legs.
Emphasis is on concentrating as much of the body’s power as possible at the point and instant of impact.
Striking surfaces include the hands (particularly the knuckles and the outer edge), ball of the foot, heel, forearm, knee, and elbow.
Karate evolved in East Asia over a period of centuries, becoming systematised in Okinawa (Japanese Island) in the 17th century, probably by people forbidden to carry weapons.
It was imported into Japan in the 1920s. Several schools and systems developed each favouring somewhat different techniques and training methods.
Karate, like other Asian martial-arts disciplines, stresses mental attitude, rituals of courtesy, costumes, and a complex ranking system (by colour of belt). There is some overlapping of technique with other fighting styles.