Karate Champ Atsuko Wakai posted by Karate Fan
Born September 12, 1971, Atsuko Wakai is a fifth dan black belt karate practitioner, who has won numerous honors and awards in kata competitions. She has won many titles consecutively in All Japan Karatedo and World Karate Federation championships. She trains is Seigokan Goju-ryu karate, which she started when she was six years old. Her parents enrolled her into karate training at that age because they felt it would help her regain her coordination and strength from the serious injuries she suffered in an automobile accident when she was four years old.
Even though she trained in karate throughout her school, she took up competing seriously when she was in university. Initially she took part in sparring (kumite) and pattern (kata) competitions, but when she was ranked third in kata at the All Japan championships, she began to focus mainly on this aspect of karate. However, Wakai was selected into the national karate team of Japan only after she had graduated. Wakai was highly inspired by Suzuko Hamasaki, who was the first woman who won the World Kata Championships in 1980. Wakai's coaches include Yoshimi Inoue and Akira Shiomi.
Wakai won her first international title in 1997 at the Ladies' International Karate Cup tournament. From that year, she won the All Japan Karatedo Championships for eight years consecutively, up to 2004. Apart from that, she also won the WKF World Karate Championships consecutively for four years from 1998 to 2004. Additionally, she has won the women's kata World Games Championships three times in 1997, 2001, and 2005. In 1998 and 2002, she won Asian Games titles, and won the gold medal in individual kata competition at the sixth World Games held in Akita in 2001. After her last kata victory in 2005 at the World Games, Wakai no longer takes part in competitions. However, in 2006, she was honored with the Award of Excellence by the Japanese Olympics Committee.Continue reading "Karate Champ Atsuko Wakai"