Okinawa team wins championship at Karate 1 Premier League
September 1, 2014 Taichi Hirayasu of Ryukyu Shimpo
The final competition of the Karate 1 Premier League was held on August 31 at the Okinawa Prefectural Budokan in Naha City. In the final of the Kata Team Division, Okinawa team, including Ryo Kyuna (Ryueiryu and Kobudo-ryuhokai), Arata Kinjo (Ryueiryu and Kobudo-ryuhokai) and Takuya Uemura (Okinawa International University), won the championship title, defeating the opponent by 4-1. Kyuna captured two crowns, with his title in the men’s Kata Individual Division. This is the third time they have captured the title in the Kata Team Division of the Premier League, which follows the 2013 tournament in Germany and the 2012 in Turkey.
Kyuna said, “We could perform well as a result of the training and this led to the victory.” This is the first time Okinawa has hosted the Karate 1 Premier League. Many Karate men and women from abroad took part in the tournament.
The three martial artists defeated strong opponents by focusing on a single purpose.
The biggest applause was roused by Ryo kyuna, Arata Kinjo and Takuya Uemura when they appeared on the tatami mat. They performed with their best efforts in the final challenge, creating a memorable scene for all the spectators at the tournament held in Okinawa. Despite aiming for the very top, they tried to just enjoy and do the performance as usual.
Their opponents in the final match were Japan’s representatives, who have always won the world championship. Kinjo said, “We have never won against them until now.” Kyuna recalled, “We have focused on our performance without being thrown by the play of the opponents.” The Okinawa team performed the Kata Annan employed by their sensei Tsuguo Sakumoto when he won the world title.
Uemura said, “‘We have done this with perfect teamwork.” They executed their movements in perfect order. With strong presentation, and technique in a continuous flow and high speed, their performance captivated the spectators. They also performed kata bunkai, in which they showed fighting techniques. The viewers that filled the venue were excited to see their powerful performance. “This was a victory that we won together with everyone who cheered for us,” Kinjo said with delighted satisfaction.
“I am a lot more glad to have won the title of the team division than that of the individual division because we have done so much together,” Kyuna said with smile.
“We have extended ourselves and done well. We thank Sakumoto sensei so much for his guidance,” Uemura said with a sense of accomplishment. They set to win the World Championship as the next goal. “We will continue our hard training to catch up with Sakumoto sensei,” they said.
(English translation by T&CT)
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