The World Authority Traditional Karate Association –Kenya (WATKA) has launched an ambitious programme to train budding martial artists ahead of next year’s international competition.
To instil new techniques in the game in Kenya, more than 130 karate practitioners have acquired new skills after attending seminars in Nairobi.
The first workshop was held in Nairobi and was organised under the auspices of Funakoshi World Authority Traditional Karate Association –Kenya.
The organisers are planning to spread the game in all the 47 counties in Kenya.
“This is a major milestone in the game. It marks a new chapter in the history of karate which is gaining popularity in Kenya by the day,” said WATKA chairman Sensei Caleb Atemi.
The karate seminar held on November 2 brought together men, women, children and youth from more than 70 clubs from all over Kenya.
The players were drawn from Kisumu, Kakamega, Busia, Murang’a, Nyeri, Embu, Kirinyaga and Kilifi counties.
“After holding such a successful training, we plan to make it a regular training and possibly one a month ahead of the WATKA and Taikan Africa in 2020 training,” said Atemi.
He added: “This training is a new dawn for karate in Kenya. We have embarked on a journey of growing and improving karate in Kenya and in East Africa. WATKA will not only be the pacesetter but also the torch bearer of martial arts excellence in the region” said Atemi who is the former Chairman of the Kenya Karate Federation (KKF).
Atemi who is also the President and chief executive officer of Taikan Africa, a martial Arts company that promotes leadership, health, wellness and Self-defence commended the participants for their high discipline during the training.
He told the karate seminar that WATKA will not only promote the game, but will place a premium of self-defence by incorporating karate skills and teachings such from krav, maga and aikido among learners.
Taikan Africa runs karate and aikido classes at the Parklands Baptist Church East Gate in Nairobi’s Nyayo Embakasi Estate.
The company and the church launched a leadership programme dubbed; Karate4Christ in October 2018.
The partnership has seen hundreds of budding players receive martial art tips from the chief Karate Instructor at Taikan Africa sensei Bon Owiti who is also the Technical Commissioner for the KKF.
The gashuk training held at Nairobi’s Utalii College, was conducted by a team of highly qualified karate teachers led by Shihan Yusuf Bakari, sixth Dan and Sensei Gregory Oluoch, fifth Dan and Sensei Frederick Kenyatta fourth Dan.
They were assisted by Sensei James Gikonyo and sensei Peter Kogi, the senior-most Goju Ryu teacher in Kenya.
During the event, Atemi unveiled the new WATKA leadership structure and technical bench.
The new leadership structure comprises of Shihan Mohan Nirah (patron), sensei Caleb Atemi (chairperson), sensei Kanga Omollo (vice-chairperson), sensei Jackson Wainainah (secretary-general) and Rosemary Audi (treasurer),
The technical team is led by Sensei Gregory Oluoch as technical commissioner. Other members are Yusuf Bakari, Frederick Kenyatta, James Gikonyo and David Kimani.
The 2019 has been a busy year for Taikan Africa.
In March, the martial arts company hosted one of the world leading Aikido masters Shihan Piotr Borowski from Poland for seven weeks.
Shihan Piotr, a 7th Dan Aikido teacher traversed the country spreading the art of peace and imparting skills.
Taikan Africa unveiled its self defence programme which will among other things promote the security of the most vulnerable members of society among them women, children and disabled.
It also unveiled a Sport Tourism programme that will use martial arts to attract sports lovers to Kenya.
Taikan has also launched its Bushido Leadership programme to train corporate leaders and also enhance leadership skills among children and the youth.
“By the end of 2020, we intend to hasten the quality and growth of martial arts in Kenya by holding tournaments in different parts of the country. We shall invite countries from the Great Lakes Region to grace our biggest event which we plan to hold in Watamu beach in Kilifi County,” said Atemi.
Taikan Africa and WATKA will also hold national grading and standardisation workshops and events for its trainers, referees and judges and top executives ahead of the international event in Watamu.
“These will include boot camps and events held in the wilderness to campaign for sustainable environmental practices, added Atemi