Karate is a Martial Art originally developed in Okinawa Japan, and involves systematic training of the bare hands and feet to respond to the threat of an attack. Today, Karate as trained within the World Karate Federation (WKF) as well as the Malta Karate Federation (MKF), is wider than this and emphasises the positive qualities of self-discipline, respect for others, character building, positive moral attitudes and physical development, as well as self-defence. Karate is practiced by an array of people. Anyone aged 6 onwards can start practicing Karate. It is an undoubtedly beneficial discipline, both from a physical as well as a mental perspective.
Karate in Malta officially commenced way back in 1972 under the patronage of the 41st Commando Group stationed on the island. The style practised was Wado Ryu and the first instructer was Edge Carter. In 1979, the style of Karate practiced in Malta was changed to Shotokan and subsequently, the Malta Karate Association was formed. The first foreign technical instructor was Sensei Takahashi (7th Dan), who was later replaced by Sensei Colin Williams (7 th Dan). In 1998, the association was transformed into a Federation and since 1999 the MKF’s Foreign Technical Consultant has been Sensei Santo Torre (7th Dan), who is also the Italian National Coach in Kata for Juniors.
As a result of the International Olympic Committee’s recognition of the World Karate Federation, the MKF became a full affiliated member of the Malta Olympic Committee (MOC). Presently, the Malta Karate Federation has 9 clubs, which are located in Birkirkara, Mgarr, Rabat, Paola, Pembroke, San Gwann, Birgu, Balzan and Zebbug. The MKF now has its own local instructors, examiners and referees and is affiliated to the largest Karate body in the world, namely the World Karate Federation. The world governing body with its 172 member countries, and an estimated 20 million participating member athletes, renders the WKF as probably the strongest and most accepted Martial Arts Organisation in the world.
The WKF is currently in strong negotiations with the International Olympic Committee to include Karate as an Olympic Sport.