The Nikkei Games Karate group was created to help preserve traditional Karate for future generations. As stated on the website, the goal of this group headed by Southern California Sensei is to “To preserve and promote traditional Japanese karate in the spirit of Budo (way of the warrior) within the community and to do that free from politics.”
This is a difficult endeavor, being that within Karate, there are many different styles as opposed to Kendo or Judo. However, with the help and cooperation of many of the leading Sensei, this goal has been achieved. The Nikkei Karate group now holds the Karate portion of the Nikkei Games usually during the Nisei Week festivities.
Karate, Kendo and Judo are all represented in a tournament based purely on good will and community support. As opposed to the newer “sport” related Karate tournaments, the entry fee is kept low at $30, so that everyone has a chance to participate. This cost is in contrast to the more expensive sanctioned tournaments.
The Nikkei Karate group has also started a Scholarship fund that is able to sponsor some selected children’s registration fees for the tournament. They hope to make this program grow so that younger people remain involved in learning the traditions of Japanese Karate.
The group also holds seminars for the public as well as for the competitors. This year, the theme of the seminars is “The Samurai Spirit of the Nikkei.”
The first seminar will show and discuss the ancient Samurai culture of Budo. There will also be a display of authentic Japanese swords by the group who usually have a display for Nisei Week. Jidai Arts is a non-profit group that supports Japanese Culture through samurai art. They have curated exhibitions at several major museums and have done lectures all around the country.
This group is headed by Darin Furukawa (Yoroi specialist) and Mike Yamasaki (History Channel’s Pawn Stars and All Japan Kantei Champion). Both are practitioner of Japanese Karate and Swordsmanship.
This group offers free appraisals of Japanese swords for the Japanese community and can be reached at email@example.com
The second seminar is being taught by Olympian Sakura Kokumai, who was the first female US Olympic Karate team member. She is also a US National champion, winning Pan American Gold eight times, USA National Champion, Worlds Bronze and holds a 4th degree Black Belt.
She supports the Karate community with her seminars. She represents the newer generation that has the Budo spirit that Karate cultivates for one’s life.
Seminars are held August 20, at the Terasaki Budokan in Little Tokyo, starting at noon. The sword seminar and lecture is held from 12-2 pm, the Sakura Kokumai seminar is held from 2-4 pm.
A donation of $15 would be greatly appreciated, pre-tournament registered competitors are free. The tournament will be held on Sunday, August 21 from 9:30 a.m. at Cypress College. There is no admission fee. These events are promoted for the good intention of preserving the art of Japanese Karate.