The 2021 worldwide inclusive karate championship invited disabled athletes to compete in an online forum for the first time on April 25. Altogether, the I-Karate Global Inclusive Karate Federation hosted 304 athletes from 24 countries, with the representative from Israel, Idan Levi, winning a gold medal.
Competitors in the championship submitted a video performance of their Karate expertise, as well as an image of themselves, and a description of their disability, explained the head of the federation, Eric Bortels. They were then separated into 41 categories based on their capabilities, so all athletes could participate equally, regardless of their condition.
“All the disabled athletes can participate in this championship,” Bortels said in the opening ceremony. Despite the pandemic Bortels was determined to create a space for the athletes to continue their Karate practices.
“I had an idea to do something for our disabled athletes because they couldn’t do any competitions anymore,” he added, so he decided to “do something online so more people could participate.”
The outcome was a championship where special needs individuals could compete without the challenges of wheel-chair transportation and other difficulties disabled participants may face in travel, opening the stage for many more countries and athletes to join.
Among them, Idan Levi, from Ramat Gan, performed a kata, a karate form that resembles an elegant, yet powerful dance perfecting the martial arts movements. He presented the Heian Nidan Kata, a 26 movement piece, half of which is performed in a back-stance; the form includes a knife-hand block, as well as kicks in a precise and symmetric fashion.
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Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
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