8 Participants, 10 Medals, 3 Cups: Armenian Team Returns with Victory from European Cup Championship


The 5-th Traditional Karate-Do European Children’s Cup took place in Lublin, Poland. This is one of the most prestigious and large-scale championships of martial arts, and this year about 1200 athletes took part in it from Europe. As it was expected, Armenian team with the team coach, world champion Narek Iskandaryan, has shown serious results: the number of cups and medals exceeds the number of the team members. The aim was to bring as many medals and cups from Poland as possible, and it was a success, their number exceeded the number of participants. So, Elen Sargsyan – Cup of Europe (personal coach Arpi Safaryan) Benik Minasyan – silver: individual kata, and bronze: enbu (personal coach Avetis Sahakyan) David Israelyan – bronze: enbu (personal coach Gor Avagyan) Narek Badalyan – silver: individual kata (personal coach Suren Matevosyan) Arsen Mkhitaryan – double bronze: individual and team kata (personal coach Narek Iskandaryan) Marat Harutyunyan – double bronze: individual and team kata (personal coach Suren Matevosyan) Robert Budaghyan – bronze: team kata (personal coach Suren Matevosyan) The head of the team was the president of “Centre” National Traditional Karate-Do Federation of Armenia, Suren Matevosyan, 5 Dan. Judge of international class Gor Avagyan was one of the judges at the Championship from Armenia.


Traditional Karate World Championship


Traditional Karate World Championship is going to start on October 14-15 in Krakow, Poland. The Championship takes place once in every 2 years. In this Championship, Armenia will be represented in the competitions of both, between cadets, under the age of 14, and seniors. Sport.slaq.am had an interview with the president of “Centre” National Traditional Karate-Do Federation of Armenia Suren Matevosyan about the upcoming competition and the issues and reality of traditional karate in Armenia. - The Armenian delegation will leave for Krakow with 25 people, 15 of whom represent the Armenian federation and 10 the federation of Nagorno Karabakh. 6 athletes from us will take part in the competition of cadets, under the age of 14 and 6 in the championship of seniors, and there are 7 athletes from Nagorno Karabakh (1 of the age before 14, and 6 are seniors). Moreover, Gor Hakobyan and Narek Iskandaryan (black belt, 3 Dan) – the latter takes part in the seniors competition – will be judging the competition of cadets, under the age of 14. - Mr. Matevosyan, in what competition types will our athletes take part? - In general, there are 7 competition types in traditional karate. Cadets, under the age of 14, take part in kata, team kata, en-bu, and the older athletes in kumite as well. Obviously, one athlete cannot take part on all the 7 types, so we try to organize it so that each athlete takes part in 3 types of competition. - In recent years, “Centre” National Traditional Karate-Do Federation had regular success in international arena. What expectations do you have now from the upcoming championship, taking into account the team you are going with? - I have high expectations, especially from the younger participants. I have serious hopes about Narek Iskandaryan for the seniors’ competition, who, by the way, is the coach of cadets’ team. Time will show what real pretensions do we have, but even now I can state with confidence that our athletes are very well prepared. Now we need sports luck. We had 2 Europe champions last year, in the juniors' team. Together with Sensei Narek, we hope that this year we will have 2 more. Obviously, the world championship is a bit more difficult, because the Japanese, Brazilians etc. are going to be present there. - Traditionally, which countries are considered as powerful in traditional karate? - All the participant countries of the championship are powerful. I can emphasize the Polish, the Italians and would also state that Armenia is not any weaker. By the way, every year the president of the World Traditional Karate-Do Federation, Wlodzimierz Kwiecinski travels around the world and conducts seminars. Every time he emphasizes that traditional karate is very well developed in Armenia. He always says that we have very good athletes in Armenia. - Mr. Matevosyan, could you present the history and establishment of traditional karate in Armenia? - Traditional karate functions in Armenia since 90s, but was officially established as a federation in 2004. Our federation is the only one in RA that is recognized by International traditional karate federation (ITKF) (now it is WTKF), and only after three years since it was officially established. Moreover, we are members of Association of Youth Organizations of the World Armenian Congress. The success of the athletes of the federation are mainly registered in the recent years, however this is the result of years' hard work. The entry of traditional karate to Armenia was in the form of Fudokan School, which was brought to us by Dmitry Ohanyan from Georgia. At the times, in the 90s, karate was very a general notion for everyone, starting from Wushu and finishing with Taekwondo. In course of time, the ‘curtain’ was raised, there was more information and people understood what Wushu is, what Karate is and what Taekwondo is… In a word, the martial arts were differentiated. There was also a clear distinction of understanding the different karate types and schools. In this way we developed our school, our direction and, in course of time, we registered the federation. I would like to mention that in RA any person has a right to register his/her NGO, federation or organization using the phrase “traditional karate” and adding one word to it. However, the real traditional karate founded by Sensei Nishiyama and accepted by him in Armenia, is our karate. - Mr. Matevosyan, there are too many of the mentioned self-proclaimed and alleged federations and types of karate, and for relatively unaware people it is quite difficult to understand and differentiate between schools and directions from the philosophical point of view. What is the philosophical base of traditional karate? - The axis of traditional karate is in keeping its initial direction. During time, our karate has had very few changes. People, who founded karate, separated into different branches, and each of them chose their own way. The basis of traditional karate is budo (budo means ‘the warrior’s way’). Traditional karate specifically has one way, which has no deviations and changes. - How many athletes are there in “Centre” National Traditional Karate-Do Federation? - There are not few of us in Armenia, we have more than 1000 athletes and proceed with confidence. However, the number only is not important. With our athletes we can represent ourselves at international competitions. I want also to mention that apart from competitions on international arena our athletes take part in various competitions and club championships here in Armenia, thus gaining experience. Each coach has a right to organize a championship once a year, and even if there are not many participants, an athlete gets experienced. I would like to add that once a year the president of the World Traditional Karate-Do Federation, Sensei Wlodzimierz Kwiecinski conducts seminar-training. He also conducts separate seminar for coaches. - You have talked about taking part in competitions together with Nagorno Karabakh. What kind of partnership is there between the federations of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, and how are the competitions for the athletes from Nagorno Karabakh? - Athletes from Nagorno Karabakh come to us and train, I also go there and conduct seminars and take examinations. We have very good coaches in Nagorno Karabakh, but the team trainings are conducted by me. They come to our meetings and take part in team trainings. - It is not a secret that the development of athletes mainly depends on coaches. What kind of coach school do we have in traditional karate? - It is mandatory for our coaches to have monthly meeting for experience exchange. In general, any of our coaches who take part in any seminar passes on the information he obtained there to others. The same can be said about judges. In reference to our athletes, we certainly have very good ones. However, giving them all an opportunity to take part in international events is a difficult process, as long as the federation does not have financial supporters. The main supporter of our athletes is the federation, represented by me and our honorary president Hovhannes Piloyan. However, this is not enough. It is very important for karate to have supporters, so that is can develop. We have very qualified athletes, while we are forced to choose only the best of the best, because there are not many opportunities to give a chance to everyone. P.S. The delegation of the “Centre” National Traditional Karate-Do Federation of Armenia will leave for Krakow with the following members. Aged before 14: 1. Hayk Astvatsatryan 2. Hovhannes Piloyan 3. Erik Harutyunyan 4. Marat Harutyunyan 5. Robert Budaghyan 6. Eduard Mesropyan 7. Manvel Ghalayan (Nagorno Karabakh) The seniors’ team (14 years old and older) 1. Vardan Ghalayan (Nagorno Karabakh) 2. Mikhayil Mkhitarjan (Nagorno Karabakh) 3. Tigran Gevorgyan (Nagorno Karabakh) 4. Erik Avanesyan (Nagorno Karabakh) 5. Tigran Hakobyan (Nagorno Karabakh) 6. Sergey Amiryan (Nagorno Karabakh) 7. Narek Mamikonyan 8. Narek Movsisyan 9. Hovhannes Hakobyan 10. Mikayel Matosyan 11. Geghaznik Mailyan 12. Narek Iskandaryan




There was a seminar from June 11-13 which was organized by “Centre” National Traditional Karate-Do Federation. It was led by black belt 8th dan sensei Vladimir Kwiecinski. Various karate federations of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh took part in the seminar.




The 7th Traditional Karate European Cup 2016 was held on May 26 – 29, 2016 in the Japanese Martial Arts and Sports Centre Dojo – Stara Wies in Poland where Armenia was represented by Centre National International Karade-do Fereration headed by the chairman Suren Matevosyan, who was one of the judges in the tournament. Black belt 3rd Dan, longtime champion of Armenia Narek Iskandaryan who is the student of the Fereration took part in the Cup. He won all the athletes in Kata and Kumite competitions and reached the final where he lost the first place to a Polish athlete. This year, our athletes are preparing for the World Traditional Karate Tournament in Krakow, Poland.




The 7th Traditional Karate European Cup 2016 will be held on May 26 – 29, 2016 in the Japanese Martial Arts and Sports Centre Dojo – Stara Wies in Poland. Black belt 3rd Dan, longtime champion of Armenia, silver medalist of Europe Narek Iskandaryan who is the student of Centre National International Karade-do Fereration of Armenia will take part in the Cup.


Winter Gasshuku Seminar in Poland


The winter edition of the Traditional Karate Seminar Gasshuku 2016 took place on February 17 to 21, 2016 at the Japanese Martial Arts and Sports Centre Dojo – Stara Wies in Poland. The seminar gathered 150 participants from 10 countries: Armenia, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom and Uruguay. The trainings were conducted by the very special instructor from Japan – MASARU KAMINO Sensei, who is a Shihankai Member of JKA (Japan Karate Association). He is 78 years old, but he is still in excellent physical shape, promotes methods of extending the physical and mental activity and he is still practicing karate actively. He has continuously been a champion in kata and kumite JKA for the last 30 years. The president of National Karate Do Federation of Armenia Suren Matevosyan and the pupil Michael Mkhitaryan took place in the event. The latter was included in the team of Europe.


31st European Championship


On 7 8 of December in 2013 in the capital city of Czech Republic Praha, the 31st European Championship was held. The team of Centre National Traditional Karate do Federation of Armenia also took part in it. We are proud to announce that our flag didn't remain in shadow: among the 28 participating countries we had 10 3rd places and 1 2nd place.


6th European Championship 2014


On June 12-15, 2014 the 6th European Championship of Traditional karate was held in Poland, Stara Wies. Only 8 best athletes were selected to participate in the Championship. Among them was selected our athlete, black belt 3rd dan Narek Iskandaryan. Our athlete took the 4th place in this championship.


International Seminar, 2014


On May 22, 23 and 24 of 2014 the annual international seminars were held in Armenia, which are held by the president of ITKF- Sensei Kwiecinski. After the seminars, on May 23, Sensei Kwiecinski took examinations for 1st, 2nd and 3rd dan ranks in NTKF of Armenia.


Children's European Cup, England, 2013


On 19 of October in 2013 in Peterborough city of England Children's 3rd European Cup was held, where our team took part with 17 participants: The team included participants from Nagorno Kharabagh, too. About 200 athletes from 8 countries of the world were participating in the championship, where due to our team Armenian flag waved once again. We had 1 first place, 1 2nd place and 8 3rd places.


International Seminar, 2013


On June 22, 23 and 24 of 2013 the annual international seminars were held in Armenia, which are held by the president of ITKF- Sensei Kwiecinski. After the seminars, on June 23, Sensei Kwiecinski took examinations for 1st, 2nd and 3rd dan ranks in NTKF of Armenia.


Armenian Championship, 2013


On April 27,2013 the opening ceremony of the Armenian championship of cadets under the age of 14 took place in Dinamo Sport centre. The next day- on April 28, the Championship was held.