Retrospective: 1997 Okinawa Karate and Kobudō World Tournament 

On August 21st the Opening Ceremony of the “1997 Okinawa Karate and Kobudō World Tournament” was held to commemorate the completion of the Prefectural Budōkan Gymnasium at Ōnoyama park, Okinawa. The Budōkan was built to commemorate the martial heritage of the Ryūkyūs.

Fritz Nöpel Sensei, Hanshi, who learned his art from Kisaki Tomoharu Sensei – and some of his men from the Yuishinkan Gōjū Ryū Karate-dō were among those 1,645 martial artists representing 49 countries invited to participate.

The spokesman of the Ministry of Education, Hajime Amuro, said:

“I hope this meet will add to the improvement of your Karate skills. Furthermore, I hope you come closer to the real truth of Karate. We trust that all the national teams will develop good relations and learn from each other, and thereby build an international network.”

Nagamine Shōshin, a father figure among the coaches and already during his lifetime designated a prefectural living cultural property, said:

“I hope you will make a profound study of Karate during this meet and spread the art throughout the world.”

Among the Okinawans participating to make this exhibition an appropriate event were Nagamine Shōshin, Yagi Meitoku, Miyahira Katsuya, Miyazato Eiichi, Akamine Eisuke, Nakahodo Tsutomu, Uehara Seikichi, Takamine Chōboku, Nakazato Shūgorō, Matayoshi Shinpō, Nakazato Jōen, Uechi Kanmei and many others.

For many of these men, who all have contributed to the development and spread of Okinawan Karate and Kobudō for decades, it must have been a late proof for their lifelong work, and for a few of these giants it was the final last performance as one by one passed away into the Olymp of Karate.

During this 1997 tournament, full contact Kumite was one of the technical divisions. It is impossible to find the results on the web, but the full contact open weight class Kumite division was dominated by Westerners. In the following world tournaments the Kumite divisions were excluded.

Correction:

In the meantime Miguel d. L. has researched the archives, found a newspaper article that listed the results and posted it on Facebook. The following are the results from the article (division, country, and place only for now):

Results

Youth Male Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. OKI
  3. OKI
  4. VEN
  5. OKI
  6. USA
  7. USA
  8. SVK

Adult Male Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. OKI
  3. BRA
  4. OKI
  5. OKI
  6. USA
  7. BRA
  8. ITA

Junior Female Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. OKI
  3. OKI
  4. USA
  5. ESP
  6. USA
  7. FRA
  8. OKI

Youth Female Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. OKI
  3. OKI
  4. SVK
  5. USA
  6. BRA
  7. VEN
  8. RSA

Adult Female Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. ARG
  3. BRA
  4. OKI
  5. OKI
  6. OKI
  7. ITA
  8. SVK

Junior Female Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. OKI
  3. OKI
  4. AUS
  5. OKI
  6. USA
  7. USA
  8. USA

Adult Male Kobudō Bō Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. OKI
  3. ARG
  4. OKI
  5. OKI
  6. FRA
  7. ARG
  8. ITA

Adult Female Kobudō Bō Kata 

(My kobudō teacher 2000-2005 Kathy L. made first place here in bō kata. Funny thing: on her 1st place certificate they confused GRE to GER 😀 )

  1. GRE
  2. OKI
  3. FRA
  4. OKI
  5. OKI
  6. USA
  7. OKI
  8. USA

Adult Male Kobudō Sai Kata 

  1. OKI
  2. OKI
  3. OKI
  4. FRA
  5. OKI
  6. ITA
  7. ARG
  8. PER

Youth Male Kumite (open class) 

  1. BRA
  2. BRA
  3. SER

Adult Male Kumite (- 170cm) 

  1. OKI
  2. POR
  3. OKI
  4. FRA

Adult Male Kumite (+ 170cm) 

  1. VIE
  2. OKI
  3. SUI
  4. ARG

Adult Male Kumite (open class) 

(Our many times teacher and well known fighter Christian Winkler, a respected karate man from the Yuishinkan, made third place here in open class full contact kumite. In the semifinal he went against the later 1st place Ricardo Perez. Both went to the ground, overtime, but Perez won. His opponent in the finals was kicked out by Christian already earlier with ease, but won a repechage and thus made it to the finals. 😀 )

  1. VEN
  2. ITA
  3. GER
  4. OKI

Adult Female Kumite (open class) 

  1. BRA
  2. SUI
  3. OKI
  4. OKI

© 2015, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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