October 25th is Karate Day. This year James Pankiewicz, owner of the Dojo Bar, organized the first 100 Kata for Karate Day challenge.
Kata are the set forms which train the mind and body in the various techniques of karate. When done properly they are also hard work, and doing 100 in a row is a martial arts marathon.
The mayor of Yomitan Village allowed the event to take place inside Zakimi Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I had imagined that this would be bureaucratic nightmare to pull off, but James managed it.
The event took place at dawn on the 25th with James’s own master, 10th-dan Toshimitsu Arakaki opening proceedings.
Teams from numerous dojos came to the castle to perform their 100 kata. Even more amazing was that there were hundreds of other dojos across the world that got involved and were also performing their own 100 Kata for Karate Day.
It was a real pleasure to photograph the event, and I expect to be there next year as the 100 Kata Challenge goes from strength to strength.