Jamaican karate body hosts high-performance seminar, aims to produce world-beaters
Brian Fisher (foreground) and other participants listen to instructions from a coach during a practical session at RTW Shotokan Karate Association of Jamaica' high-performance seminar at St Andrew Prep on Sunday. (Photos: Jason Morrison)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Local karate organisations benefited from a high-performance sport karate seminar at the St Andrew Preparatory School on Sunday as stakeholders look to develop world class Jamaican athletes in the martial art.

Organised by RTW Shotokan Karate Association of Jamaica, the event was the brainchild of the association’s chairman, Sensei Rasthaddaeus Wright, and featured internationally-certified trainers conducting an awareness session on high-performance karate training while also sensitising participants on the new Kata and Kumite World Karate Federation (WKF) rules which come into effect in January 2023.

“We want to get the karate organisations in Jamaica up to WKF standard, rules and regulations, which is why we brought down Master Dexter Shim who is a WKF certified coach and Sensei Cameron King who is a Pan American Federation certified coach,” Steven Lynch, interim president of the RTW Shotokan Karate Association of Jamaica, told OBSERVER ONLINE.

Lynch said the seminar was also aimed at providing insight on how Jamaica should go about developing athletes in the sport to a level where they are achieving podium spots in international competitions.

“(The coaches) are here to present to us how we can get our sport’s athletes from where they are now to the podium…. we received information on the science behind getting us there,” he said, noting that stakeholders were looking to emulate the development of Jamaica’s highly successful track and field programme.

WKF Certified Coach/Instructor, Master Dexter Shim, 9th Dan, who introduced his high-performance programme to participants, said it was “very important in bringing understanding to what karate is and what it could be in terms of high level athlete performance.

“We know that (Jamaica) has good athletes who can reach high levels in karate, but they need to have the programme to go with it… talent is one thing, but you need the programme,” Shim, who is the technical director for the national sport organisation in Trinidad & Tobago, said.

The seminar attracted some 30 participants across a number of karate organisations in Jamaica and Anguilla.

A representative of the Anguilla Karate Association, Paul Trim said the seminar was very valuable.

“We wanted to get some exposure and understand the WKF rules and competition (and) we wanted to learn about the teaching that goes on here and what we can take back to implement in our dojo to build and prepare our athletes for international and regional competitions,” Trim said.

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