Israel’s Idan Levi won a gold medal at the 2021 worldwide inclusive karate championship for disabled athletes that was held online on April 25 when the I-Karate Global Inclusive Karate Federation hosted 304 athletes from 24 countries.
Competitors submitted a video clip documenting their Karate expertise and their abilities alongside an image of themselves and a description of their disability, federation head Eric Bortels explained. The competitors were separated into 41 categories based on their abilities.
Despite the pandemic Bortels was determined to create a space for the athletes to continue their Karate practices. “All the disabled athletes can participate in this championship,” Bortels said in the opening ceremony.
“I had an idea to do something for our disabled athletes because they couldn’t do any competitions anymore,” he added.
The outcome was a championship where special needs individuals could compete free of the challenges of special transportation and other difficulties disabled participants may face and this allowed athletes from many more countries than usual to participate.
Among them was Levi, from Ramat Gan, who performed a kata, a karate form that resembles an elegant, yet powerful dance perfecting the movement of the martial art. He presented the Heian Nidan Kata, a 26-movement display, half of which is performed in a back-stance. The form includes a knife-hand block and kicks in a precise and symmetric fashion.
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