The Unified World Championships, in Italian “Campionati Mondiali Unificati” is unquestionably the greatest and most unique championship for Martial Arts and Combat Sports. Involving over 28 world federations, the mission of this mega event, which is held annually, is to unify the various World Federations and bringing them all together under one roof. This tournament saw about 5000 athletes from over 107 countries participate.
Hosted in Italy by the WTKA Italia, the 7th edition of this tournament took place at the Carrarafiere Sports Hall in Marina di Carrara, Tuscany. It was held between 30th October and 3rd November 2019. It involved disciplines like Kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo and Kyokushin.
Seishinkai players, part of the Indian Karate team under the guidance and leadership of Hanshi Premjit Sen did very well at this tournament. Players from across the country came together and showed the world that Karate is taken very seriously, at all levels, in India. The team had a good mix of young adults with the youngest being an eight-year-old boy from Kolkata.
The medal tally for the girls was 7 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 bronze. Pragya Dutta alone got three gold medals and one silver for team India. Viddhi Patel got two gold and two silver medals. Vanshika Chaturvedi got two golds, one silver and one bronze.
The boys were not too far behind. They brought home 4 Gold and 3 bronze medals. Aditya Bisht, Prince Jha and Raghav Khawtra got a bronze medal each while Sresthadeep Biswas, Mayukh Mukerjee, MD Nadeem and Ethan Dsouza, got Gold medals. The events the team participated in included Individual Kata, Team Kata and Kumite. However, to understand what this team participated in, one must first know what a Kata is and what Kumite is. Kata is a Japanese word meaning literally “form” referring to a detailed choreographed pattern of movements. It is practised in Japanese martial arts as a way to memorize and perfect the movements being executed. This is done individually and also as a team of three. Kumite, on the other hand, is where a person fights against an adversary, using the techniques learned from the kata. The team trained on Kata’s that are performed by First Dan Black Belts and higher. This requires moves and stances that are incredibly tough and done with great speed and force.
Under the inspired leadership of Hanshi Premjit Sen, this team went through months of intense practice spending hours on the Tatami. Participating at this level requires not only physical fitness but also mental fitness. This team had “No Excuses”. Their mission was to excel and the results speak for themselves. They competed against countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Ireland, Poland, Russia and Italy to mention a few. It was a knockout tournament, which meant one loss and you were out. But every member was trained to deal with the pressure and give their best while the world around watched them.