Q&A with World Karate Federation President Mr. Espinos
Fight Network Staff / December 14, 2012 - 2:21pm
How do you evaluate the organization of World Cup in Paris? What was the level of athletes?
It has been great. Another strong sign that the WKF and Karate are ready for the Olympic challenge. The level of the athletes has also been outstanding. We have seen in Paris the best Karate one can see today on earth.
In the World Cup there was a commission of the International Olympic committee. Do you think the level of competitions impressed these ICO representatives?
They have seen the best of us. I was in London during the Olympic Games and comparing what one could see there and what has been seen in Paris, makes us believe that they have appreciated that karate and the WKF are meeting the highest standards.
What are the chances of inclusion of karate in the Olympic Games? (After the level at the World Cup in Paris).
It is not to us to answer this question. We can only say that we have been working very hard for more than a decade to make from our Federation and from our sport a model of organization and operation. We trust that we will finally get the reward of becoming a sport inside the Olympic program. In 2005 we were about to reach the goal, and the same in 2009; 2013 shall be the successful one.
How do you consider the rules of karate at this moment?
We have recently revised the Kumite rules and the results are outstanding. We can say that now the rules are working quite well and, what is more important, the WKF community - athletes, NFs, coaches, referees, etc.- are very satisfied with them. The revised Kata Rules will be applied as from the next 1st of January. However, we recognize that this is a dynamic issue and therefore we have created in Paris a permanent commission in charge to deal with a continuous rule upgrade.
In October the worldwide karate community celebrated the Day of karate. Who had the idea of this festivity? How did this global action affect karate as a sport?
The K day was celebrated the last 7th October, as one of the key actions for the Olympic campaign decided by the WKF leadership. The success has been outstanding, and more than 500 cities in 80 countries from the 5 continents celebrated open karate activities that date, mobilizing an aggregate of 1 million people. This also served to join and unite the karate community worldwide around the Olympic goal and to see our great popularity and strength. The K is really on the way.
How did you begin in karate? How did you arrive to this kind of sport?
I started practicing in Spain when I was at University; then I became member of the Spanish team, referee, teacher, coach, etc. In 1984 I became President of the Spanish Karate Federation, until 1996. Karate has been and is an important part of my life.
What do you do in life apart from karate?
I am a Civil Engineer since 1973 and dedicate a very important part of my life working as such, mainly in the heavy civil infrastructure.
You travel all around the world. What country made the brightest impression on you? What person left a trace in your heart?
We are very close in time to the Paris World Championships, and the French Karate Federation has worked for making from it a big success and a big contribution to all the 116 NFs from the 5 Continents that gathered in Paris. The French Federation has paid a huge contribution to the sport and to the WKF, and this is for sure my brightest impression now.
Who gave you the most valuable advice? Would you like to share it with others at this moment?
Everywhere I travel, I have the opportunity to learn and take valuable advices that help me to improve the leadership of the WKF. The secret is to be convinced, as I am, that there is always much more to be learnt than to be taught, and that is the right spirit that makes things move in the correct direction. The Karate spirit.
What could you wish to all those connected to karate? And also to those who only find it in their way?
I could wish them to be ambassadors of the social, physical and educational values derived from Karate practice, and to promote everywhere Karate as a way of life