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Author UZABAKIRIHO Jean Gabriel Views

On Sunday February 9th 2020, the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda in partnership with the Rwanda Karate Federation (FERWAKA) co-organized the 5th Karate Ambassador’s Cup, at Lycee de Kigali’s gymnasium. The competition consisted of “kata,” in which players demonstrate combination of various motions, and “kumite,” in which players fight against each other.

At the opening ceremony, H.E Masahiro IMAI, Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, expressed his gratitude to FERWAKA for its effort to promote karate in Rwanda. As karate becomes one of an official events in Tokyo, Mr. Masahiro expressed how he expects Rwandan karateka experts to compete internationally.

“It is our hope that the karate Ambassador’s Cup produces Rwandan karateka experts who will compete in international competitions and contribute to better understanding of Japan including Japanese mentality as well as culture.” Said Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda Mr. Masahiro IMAI

Even though it is a challenge when the competition is attended by many competitors, the President of Rwanda Karate Federation, Theogene Uwayo said that the event was successful and explained how important it is to gather many people and choose the best ones.“The more competitors we get, the more we know who the best is and who has the potential.” he explained

“These competitions play a big role in the Rwandan karate as it helps to choose those who are better and represent our country in international competitions.” He added

The Rubavu-based team was ranked as overall best both in kata (skill demonstration) and kumite (fighting) categories.

Lion karate club finished second, while Mamaru club and Okapi tied for third in Kumite, whereas UR–Huye Campus and APR finished second and third, respectively, in kata.

Competitors fighting for Medals and Cups

The Embassy of Japan has been cooperating with FERWAKA to promote the Japanese martial art of karate in Rwanda. In September 2018, the embassy donated karate equipment including 400 tamati mats to FERWAKA. In 2018, FERWAKA was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s commendation for its promotion of karate in Rwanda for more than twenty years.

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