- Title: JAPAN: MARTIAL ARTS: Karate kids compete in the Karate Championships.
- Date: 25th August 2009
- Summary: CHILDREN WARMING UP CHILDREN IN KARATE GEAR BOWING AT THE START OF A TOURNAMENT KARATE KID WITH THE UNIFORM NUMBER FIVE, KOKOA TAGUCHI, FIGHTING KARATE KID WITH THE NUMBER FOUR TAGUCHI LEAVING THE MAT FATHER TAKING OFF COMPETITOR NUMBER FIVE'S HELMET REVEALING SIX YEAR OLD GIRL KOKOA TAGUCHI SHOWING OFF HER FIGHTING POSE LARGE CALLIGRAPHY BANNER READING IN JAPANESE 'KYOKUSHIN" OR A FORM OF FULL CONTACT KARATE. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SIX YEAR OLD KARATE COMPETITOR, KOKOA TAGUCHI, SAYING: "I started karate because I idolise karate master Masutatsu Oyama." KANAE TSUBURAYA ROOTING FOR HER SON RYO TSUBURAYA TSUBURAYA'S SON FIGHT (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 33-YEAR OLD MOTHER OF EIGHT YEAR OLD KARATE COMPETITOR RYO TSUBURAYA, KANAE TSUBURAYA, SAYING: "He's become mentally strong and even kinder to his friends since he's started karate." CHILDREN PRACTICING IN THE HALLS MORE OF BOUTS OF KARATE COACH OF SIX YEAR OLD TOKIMASA YAMAGUCHI PUTTING HEADGEAR ON HIM OLDER YOUTHS FIGHTING A BOUT AS CHILDREN COMPETE IN FOREGROUND WHITE FLAG RAISED TO SIGNIFY A POINT WON COMPETITORS BOWING KOUKI YAMASHITA, LOOSER OF THE MATCH, LEAVING THE MAT CRYING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SIX-YEAR OLD WINNER OF THE FIVE YEAR OLD MIXED TOURNAMENT, TOKIMASA YAMAGUCHI, SAYING: "That was a really good match, mate" YAMAGUCHI AND FRIEND FUGO KURISHIMA SHOWING OFF KARATE POSES
- Embargoed: 9th September 2009 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAB9TFUWM2GZZEMVGLM7BTWMM0W
- Story Text: Kids at the International Youth Karate Tournament prove you're never too young to be tough.
Nearly two thousand karate competitors from around the world gathered in outskirts of Tokyo on Saturday (August 22) to choose its top fighter at the 2009 World Weight Category Karate Championships.
However on the sideline of the adult competition where top karate experts clashed amongst themselves, the International Youth Karate Tournament was drawing the crowds and the strongest cheers.
The 12 competitors in the mixed five-year old kindergarten age group may all be of diminutive stature but that did not prevent them from sweeping the audience off their feet with their moves.
Competitor number five Kokoa Taguchi certainly needed no kiddy gloves as she wiped the floor with her opponent.
Just turned six, she told Reuters that she began karate two years ago because she was a fan of the founder of Kyokushin Karate - one of the first styles of full contact karate.
"I started karate because I idolise karate master Masutatsu Oyama," Taguchi said.
Oyama, a Korean national nÃ©e Choi Bae-dal in the days when Korea was ruled by Tokyo, eventually took up Japanese nationality after the World War Two and became one of post-war Japan's most famous karate master.
He is credited with the founding of Kyokushinkain, one of the most influential styles of karate. Karate is a Japanese martial art originally from the southern islands of Okinawa but also believed to trace its roots back to the Chinese martial arts, Kung-fu.
Martial arts training for young children, though dwindling in modern days, remains strong in Asia - where the formalities and strict rules of engagement are believed by many parents to help develop a child's sense of self-discipline.
"He's become mentally strong and even kinder to his friends since he's started karate," said 33-year old Kanae Tsuburaya, mother of eight year old Ryo Tsuburaya. Ryo, she told Reuters, began karate at the age of four.
In the finals of the kindergarten group Tokimasa Yamaguchi beat his final opponent Kouki Yamashita. While the loss was tearful to the loser, six year old victor Yamaguchi praised his opponent for the good fight.
"That was a really good match, mate," Yamaguchi said, proving again these fighters' stature have nothing to do with their physical height.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Footage contains identifiable children: users must ensure that they comply with local laws and regulations governing the publishing of this material.