The 14th Funakoshi Gichin Cup - Limerick, Ireland

The 14th Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Karate-Do Championships (JKA World Championships) took place in Limerick, Ireland from 18 to 20 August 2017. Prior to the Championships, two days of training was conducted by JKA Japan WF Head Office instructors and Dan grading and qualification examinations were held. Congratulations to the following karate-ka on passing their Dan gradings: Paul Lishman (5th Dan),  Marco Fracchiolla (4th Dan), James Pretorius (4th Dan) and Frank Thompson (4th Dan). The qualification examination results are as follows: Karin Prinsloo - "B" Examiner, Karyn Smith - "C" Examiner and Leonardo Ciutto "C" Instructor.

58 countries participated in the Championships and the emphasis was on the essence of JKA karate being the original style of "shobu ippon" based on "kime" or a single decisive blow, which is considered an essential element of Japanese "budo". The "Juniors" (9 to 20 years old) competed on the Friday and the results were excellent. Many competitors progressed through some qualifying rounds, and a large number made the top 8. A fantastic achievement for Drew Townley from Pinetown becoming the World Champion in the 14 year old girls kumite division by beating Japan in the finals.

Also Monique Van Der Merwe from Harrismith won a silver medal in the girls 13 year old kumite.

And PW Pentz from Pretoria won a bronze medal in the boys 12 year old kumite.

Congratulations to our medal winners and all the competitors. A special mention to Sandile Makwali on reaching the quarter finals in the Senior Mens Kumite division where there were 124 entries. Also a special word of thanks to all the managers and coaches for their hard work, the supporters accompanying the team as well as the judges/referees. History was made with SA JKA having ten referees/judges officiating at this tournament. You all did SA JKA proud. OSS!

A very special award was made to our President, Sensei Johan Roets from JKA Japan WF Head Quarters for "long time service to JKA". The award was presented by Mr Katshide Kusahara (Chairman JKA) and Ueki Shuseki Shihan (JKA Chief Instructor).

The 15th Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Karate-Do Championships will be held in Japan in October 2020. In 2018 we look forward to hosting the "JKA AFRICA CUP" in Johannesburg. To all karate-ka and instructors keep up the good work and prepare for these exciting international events.