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2009 Okinawa Traditional Karatedo World Tournament opens Friday

Date Posted: 2009-08-13

Karatedo and Kobudo, martial arts perfected in Okinawa centuries ago, are attracting the world’s best to the Budokan in Naha City for the three-day Okinawa Traditional Karatedo World Tournament.

Sponsored jointly by Okinwa Dentou KaratedoShinkoukai, the Societ for Advancement of Traditional Okinawa Karate, and the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the competition showcases the best of martial arts practiced by 50 million people in 178 countries. The sports of karatedo and kobudo promote not only physical strength, but are seen to build character.

The sports evolved in the 14th to 16th centuries, when the Ryukyu Kingdom engaged in trade with China and other Asian kingdoms. Worries about Japanese pirates as Okinawans plied their trade across regional waters, the need for self defense skills was realized, leading groups to create karate and kobudo. The arts have evolved and masters now pass down the skills and secrets to today’s generation. After World War II, Okinawan karate split into four schools: Shorin Ryu, Goju Ryu, Uechi Ryu and Matsubayashi Ryu, with each having its own distinctive kata, defensive and offensive techniques.

Opening ceremonies and demonstrations take place Friday afternoon at the Okinawa Prefectural Martial Arts Hall, adjacent to Onoyama Park, with full karatedo and kobudo competitions Saturday. Competition occurs in Junior, Adult and Senior divisions. Competitors select from 43 kata in one category and 27 in another for their routines. Sunday will be dedicated to living culture arts performances throughout the day.


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