From 18 to 21 August, Pattaya will play host to some of the world’s finest karate experts when the city hosts the 12th Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Karate-Do Championship. The event, which will be held at the Ambassador Hotel, marks the latest world event to choose Pattaya as a host city – strengthening the city’s ever growing reputation as an international venue for sporting competitions. The event is being organised by the Japan Karate Association, the JKA World Federation and the growing Japanese Karate Association of Thailand. The choice of Thailand as host nation is a huge boost for the Japanese Karate Association of Thailand which only began overseeing national competitions in the year 2000.
Funakoshi Gichin is revered in the martial arts world as the ‘father of modern karate’ and the world championships are named in his honour. Born in Okinawa, Japan in 1868 he was the originator of Shotokan karate the most widely practised version of the popular martial art. He established the ‘Twenty Precepts of Karate’ which encourages karate artists to practise humility, patience and respects and to treat people with compassion and develop inner calmness. This martial art philosophy has gained hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide and August will see the best of them come to Pattaya to compete in what promises to be an action packed series of tournament fights.
The Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Karate-Do Championship will see competition in all age groups with the first two days being dedicated to junior competitions. The youth tournament is divided into annual age groups from just nine years old with boys and girls competing separately. The top junior tournament is open to those in the 16 to 18 age group and will feature some of the best young exponents of karate from dozens of countries around the world. Junior matches last two minutes and the winner is the one who scores the highest points under karate’s scoring system.
The senior tournament, featuring some of the world’s finest karate exponents, start on Saturday 20 August with preliminary matches while the finals are scheduled for Sunday 21. As well as the individual championship, the seniors also contest a team tournament with five fighters from each country for the men’s tournament and three fighters in a women’s team.
Naka Tatsuya, the Chairman of the preparation committee for the tournament, has expressed his delight in the choosing of Pattaya as the host city of the event. As well as its easy access from Bangkok’s international airport Mr Tatsuya praised Pattaya as the safest place in Thailand pointing to the success of USA Women’s Golf Tour and WTA Tennis International Pattaya Open events as examples of the city’s pedigree in hosting international tournaments.
He claimed that the Ambassador Hotel was the ideal location providing enough accommodation for the competitors, support teams, judges and administrators as well as training rooms in addition to providing the tournament venue.