Twenty-five countries have expressed interest in gracing this year’s Mombasa Open Tong-IL Moo-Do International Martial Arts Championship slated for December 7 to 8 at Aga Khan Academy.
Kenya Tong-IL Moo-Do Federation chairman Clarence Mwakio said some of the nations expected to feature in the championship include South Korea, Japan, Philippine, Thailand, Thailand, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Iran, Paraguay and Brazil.
The championship, which will be marking its seventh edition, is open to other martial arts sports which include Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Kung-fu, Aikido, Jiu-jitsu, Ninjutsu, Hapkido, Capoeira, Japanese Kendo and Wushu.
Mwakio, who doubles up as Africa Tong-IL Moo-Do Federation president, said preparations are in top gear and will be completed in good time.
“We expect stiff opposition from other participants but I’m confident we will retain the overall crown,” said Mwakio who revealed defending champions Kenya will have 60 participants.
Mwakio said the Mombasa event is the first martial arts program of its kind in Africa.
“The tournament is meant to bring together participants from across the globe to compete against martial artists from all styles, participate in voluntary service to our communities, tour our beautiful historical sites and see our exotic wildlife through the Safari experience.”
Mwakio said the organising committee has invited martial arts practitioners to compete in sparring, forms and special techniques.
“Competitors from as young as eight years shall compete as individuals and teams in various categories in the two days tournament,” he said.
Mwakio thanked Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia for their support.
In August this year, Kenya Tong-IL Moo-Do national team popularly known as Jasiri finished second at the World Martial Arts Mastership Championship held in Chungju, South Korea with nine medals -- two gold, two silver and five bronze.