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Karate family mourns passing of pioneer and coaching icon Antonio Oliva


Karate family mourns passing of pioneer and coaching icon Antonio Oliva

The world of karate mourns the loss of one of its most esteemed figures, Antonio Oliva. With his passing, the Spanish and international karate community bids farewell to a true legend whose legacy will forever resonate in the hearts of karate worldwide.

Antonio Oliva stands as one of the pillars that built Spanish karate, symbolizing resilience, dedication, and excellence. As one of the three Spanish-born karatekas to have achieved the prestigious 10th dan, his impact on the sport is unparalleled.


A trailblazer in every sense, Antonio Oliva was the epitome of karate excellence. He etched his name in history as the first-ever national champion, holding the title uninterruptedly from 1970 to 1975. As a competitor, Antonio Oliva?s prowess was unmatched. Leading Spain to victory as a coach, he secured gold in the team category at the 1980 World Championship, leaving an indelible mark on the global stage.


Serving as the technical director of the Spanish Karate Federation from 1975 to 1980, he then dedicated his life to advancing karate.


Beyond his achievements on the tatami, Antonio Oliva?s contributions to karate literature and research are profound and unparalleled.  founding member of the CICAC (Centre for Scientific Research on Martial Arts and Combat Sports), he authored numerous seminal works, including ?Formalisation of Sports Karate?, ?Martial Arts Practical Encyclopedia?  and ?Supreme Combat? among many others.


His Sports Karate Coaching System is revered and followed worldwide, shaping many generations of karatekas over three decades. Oliva?s contribution to the brilliance in karate teaching is so outstanding that he coached over 50 national teams on five continents in his extensive and revered career.


In a poignant tribute, the President of the World Karate Federation (WKF) Antonio Espinós laments Antonio Oliva?s passing as a profound loss to the karate community. Describing him as one of the most relevant figures in recent karate history and a dear friend, the head of Karate?s governing body echoes the global mourning for the departure of a true icon.


?Antonio Oliva?s legacy transcends boundaries, inspiring countless individuals to pursue excellence, resilience, and passion in the art of karate. He was not only one of the most important personalities in karate; he was a confidante, counsellor, and a truly dear friend.

?As today we bid farewell to a true champion and a true legend, his spirit will continue to guide and uplift generations of karatekas around the globe. His legacy will forever be in our hearts and minds ?.

The World Karate Federation would like to extend the condolences of all the karate community worldwide to Oliva?s family and friends in this difficult time.


Antonio Oliva (centre) in one of his last seminars with the WKF

Antonio Oliva (centre) during a seminar in Armenia.

Antonio Oliva (far right) with Antonio Espinós (centre) and the members of the Spanish Karate team participating at the 6th European Championships in Paris, France in 1971.