|Ugyen Wangchuk receiving Gold Medal in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 5.|
Bhutanese youth will have an alternative to taekwondo as the formation of a karate federation is in the pipeline.
Ugyen Wangchuk, a student in Darjeeling, India, has applied to the Bhutan Olympic Committee for the formation of the federation and has received a green signal.
Karma Wangchuk, Secretary General of Bhutan Olympic Committee, said the committee did not have funds to accept karate as a federation but would definitely support it.
Ugyen Wangchuk said he would introduce Shito Ryu Seikokai karate recognised by World Karate Federation (WKF) in Bhutan.
He has a first Dan Black belt in Shito Ryu Seikokai and a first Dan black belt from All India Karate Federation (AIKF).
Once formed, he said he wished to affiliate the Bhutanese karate federation to the World Karate Federation which will cost about US$ 400.
In preparation for starting the federation by August, Ugyen said he would undergo training for second Dan international black belt as well as second dan Shito Ryu Seikokai. “It will be illegal to start the Federation without a second Dan instructor,” he said.
He has hopes that JICA would also help him in forming the federation. “Since karate is the Japanese art and the founder of the World Karate Federation based in Japan, I think JICA will help set up the federation,” he said, adding that he was happy with the response from the youths to participate in karate.
Ugyen said any one with interest could walk into the federation for practice, “There is no age limit for practising karate. It is not all about physical exercise but also about mukusu (yoga).”
Ugyen Wangchuk, who is pursuing BBA in BB Pradhan Management College in India, is the Acting General Secretary of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Karate – Do Association in India. He won Gold medal in the individual Sixth Annual Seikokai open Championship held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 5 this year and won Silver medal in the team championship along with his Indian team mates.
Bhutan Olympic Committee helped him with Nu 40,000 for representing the country in the championship.
He was selected for the World Championship to be held in Turkey on April 20, but due to lack of funds and because of his study routine he will not be participating in the championship.
Karate is the world’s shortest game with three minutes in each bout. It is a peaceful game without knockouts and much injury in the tournament.