Successful self-defence seminar inaugurates ground-breaking Guardian Girls Karate project
The Guardian Girls Karate project was unveiled Saturday as the inaugural self-defence seminar and mental health session were celebrated in Los Angeles (United States).
Created by the World Karate Federation (WKF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Koyamada International Foundation (KIF), the Guardian Girls Karate project aims at empowering girls and women to fight situations of gender-based violence through Karate training.
After the official presentation and signing of the MoU on Friday at the residence of the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, the Pilot Event of the Guardian Girls Karate project took place Saturday at the Terasaki Budokan of Los Angeles.
Over 40 women participated in the first self-defence seminar of the programme. Coordinated by head instructor and three-time World champion Elisa Au, the seminar also had the participation of Olympians Sakura Kokumai and Irina Zaretska, and three-time World Champion Douglas Brose who joined the activity as assistant instructors.
The participants had the opportunity to learn several effective and useful self-defence techniques to face situations of physical and mental gender-based violence.
After the seminar, a women’s mental health session was held at Terasaki Budokan.
Head instructor Elisa Au shows a participant the technique of knee kick
The event was attended by the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Kenko Sone, KIF Global co-founder Shin Koyamada, UNFPA Chief Strategic Partnership Mariarosa Cutillo, WKF General Secretary Toshihisa Nagura, and WKF President Antonio Espinós.
WKF General Secretary Toshihisa Nagura said:
“Karate is a traditional martial art and form of defence that spread out in many countries and became universal because of its many values. Karate also came to be an Olympic sport in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Now the WKF aims at contributing to society even more through the application of Karate in activities such as this Guardian Girls Karate project.”
WKF President Antonio Espinós said:
“The Guardian Girls Karate project is one of the most far-reaching programmes that the WKF has implemented in its recent history. We are proud and honoured to have launched this project here in Los Angeles and we are pleased to note that the official presentation yesterday and the seminar today have been a sound success.
“It marks a before and an after in the connection of our sport with society, using karate values to fight gender-based violence and thus becoming a key tool against this social blight. We are very much looking forward to seeing this project come to life at all the Karate 1-Premier League events starting January 2023.”
“I would like to thank our partners in this project UNFPA and KIF for their fantastic cooperation and their help to make this ambitious initiative a reality.”
(Top picture: WKF President Antonio Espinós, WKF Secretary General Toshihisa Nagura, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Kenko Sone, KIF Global co-founders Shin Koyamada and Nia Lyte, UNFPA Chief Strategic Partnership Mariarosa Cutillo, and all the participants in the seminar celebrate the pilot event of Guardian Girls Karate)
Olympian Sakura Kokumai practising with the participants in the seminar
The pilot event of the Guardian Girls Karate project was a celebration of Karate as a tool to fight gender-based violence
Olympian Sakura Kokumai shows the application of kata
The participants in the seminar enjoy a fruitful session of Karate!
Three-time World champion Elisa Au shows one of the techniques in the seminar