Currently, karate is experiencing a boom again on the Kurzeme side. If several dozen athletes took part in the Latvian championship several years ago, now there are already almost 300 participants in the first international competition in Sabile. Most directly from Latvia.
International competitions in Sabile gathered almost 300 athletes from Latvia, Georgia and Lithuania, most of them local athletes. The hall is divided into three areas, where children and young people in different age groups fought in full contact karate. “This means that you can hit the body with your hands. We children have a vest in front of us. You may kick your helmet. If you hit the helmet with your foot, then you have half the victory. If you kick the helmet twice, it’s a complete victory. If one of the children shows pain, then it is already half a point. If they do it for more than three seconds (it’s ten seconds in boxing, we have three), then it’s already a victory,” says Marek Lavrinovič, the organizer of the competition.
The coaches admit that their students have different luck, but it is important that the athletes overcame their fears and went to the field. Lavrinovičs, organizer of the competition: “You have to ask, isn’t a person afraid of being beaten? For another, the excitement is so great that he no longer understands what to do. The main thing is to overcome his anxiety – if he succeeds in this, then he has already conquered himself and become a little stronger than he was yesterday.”
That is why this sport is meant more for defeating the opponent, but oneself. Several confederates also participate in the competition, and Kristers Emil Sokolovskis admits that karate helps him with his thinking.
Sabile was chosen for the international competition not only because of the suitable infrastructure, but also to popularize karate in the regions and create interest in an active way of life among young people. “Participating in competitions, coming to “kill” three fights is extremely easy. Taking 20 people out is extremely difficult. I won’t be able to talk to my wife in the evening, I won’t have a voice. I am simply “sucked” completely empty. All this simply takes abnormal energy and is very difficult,” says Edgars Freimanis, coach, multiple Latvian champion.
For some athletes, this is the first competition. Also for Talsu karate club, which started its activity only at the end of last year. If the first competition experience is gained directly in international competitions, the excitement is even greater for the athletes. “Guests from Georgia have also arrived. Georgians have different training, they train more crazy there. For smaller ones, it’s more excitement, but for bigger ones who have already experienced, the opponent is the opponent. He also has stress. It’s not that one person is more afraid,” says Vladislavs Varibrus, coach of Talsi karate club.
Meanwhile, the Arnia Krauklis Memorial Cup is expected in Tukum in February, which will be an even more serious competition and will gather participants from several countries.