Japan Karate Association legend to hit town for national black belt championships

Halls Head will play host to one of the Japan Karate Association’s (JKA) most legendary figures when Imura Takenori hits town for the Karate-Do Australia National Black Belt Championships in March.

An eighth Dan master, Takenori is one of the most accomplished karate champions on the planet having won several Shoto World Cups and All Japan Karate Championships.

He will be on deck at Mandurah as a mentor and judge for the Australian championship titles, a tournament spearheaded by our own local karate legend Jim Wood MBE.

Chief instructor of the JKA’s Australian affiliation, Wood said it was an honour to be welcoming Takenori to the city.

“Imura to karate is what Roger Federer is to tennis, or what Tiger Woods is to golf,” he said.

“For us to have him here in Mandurah, attending our event, is just such a privilege.”

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The national championships will take on the form of a four-day karate extravaganza, kicking off on Thursday, March 1.

Takenori will spend the first two days inside Wood’s JKA dojo in Greenfields, giving world-class training and techniques to young aspiring martial artists.

“I pride myself on bringing the best to my students and it doesn’t get any better than this,” Wood said.

“It’s going to be a treat for them to be able to learn off one of the world’s absolute finest.”

Competition will kick off on the Saturday with the judging of the Kyu Grade National Championships preceding the elimination black belt events.

A grand opening ceremony for the official black belt titles will be held at 12pm on Sunday, with the event under way by 12.45pm.

Sensei Jim Wood is bringing the JKA Karate-Do Australia National Black Belt Championships to town in March. Photo: Richard Polden.

Sensei Jim Wood is bringing the JKA Karate-Do Australia National Black Belt Championships to town in March. Photo: Richard Polden.

More than 100 participants will take part in the competition, coming to Mandurah from all over the country.

Among them will be members of the national JKA squad.

“This is the largest tournament of its kind in Australia and it’s going to draw a big crowd of people into our city,” Wood said.

“This is a massive event in the karate world and it’s huge for us to be able to hold it locally.”

The championships will be held at the Halls Head Recreation Centre.

For more information about the event email jimwoodmbe@bigpond.com