Karate is not a favourite sport for most people in the country but that has not stopped Lilongwe based, Andrew Mwampita, from his mission of promoting the Japanese martial art.
The seasoned martial artist is particularly passionate about promoting a type of karate called Shotokan through a karate school he wants to open.
“I want to make the sport very popular in Malawi, and after finishing my course, I want to open a karate school,” said Mwampita, who is a first Kyu (brown belt holder).
“I am now able to train juniors as well as senior students of Shotokan karate.”
Drawing inspiration from well-known Hollywood actors, Bruce Lee and Jean Claude van Dame, Mwampita ventured into martial arts in 1998.
In 2000, he started learning Shotokan Karate at Don Bosco Youth Centre in Lilongwe under the tutorship of Sensei (teacher) Tito.
“Every day, when I wake up, I train Karate. Thereafter, I start my job as a driver,” Mwampita said.
“When I travel to places where there is no space fortraining, I train in my truck. In my free time, I watch Karate movies and read Karate books. This helps me to master my karate skill.”
His dream is to compete in international karate tournaments and fly Malawi’sflag high.
“My challenge is lack of financial support as it takes a lot of money to graduate in Sho Dan, and is only offered in South Africa,” he said.
Not even lack of enough money can stop this man from achieving his mission. After all, they say where there is the will, there is a way.
Recently, the Embassy of Japan and Malawi-Japan Karate Association announced that they would host a tournament meant to select athletes for the 2020 Olympic Games to take place in Japan
What is karate?
* Karate is a Japanese martial art whose physical aspects seek the development of defensive and counter-attacking body movements.
* The themes of traditional karate training are fighting and self-defence, although its mental and moral aspects target the overall improvement of the individual.
* Shotokan Karate is a way for an individual to realise greater potential and expand the limits of physical and mental capabilities.
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