Longest-Running Karate Championships Returns To Township

The longest-running sport Karate tournament in the nation returned to Franklin Township April 17, although in a different venue.

The 51st International Association of Martial Artists’ Karate, Kung-Fu and Tae Kwon Do Championship was held at the Holiday Inn on Davidson Road. In prior years the event, hosted by Gary Alexander, a 10th-Degree Black Belt in Isshin-Ryu Karate, was held at the Ukranian Cultural Center, also on Davidson Road.

Competitors from around the region traveled to the township for the event. Competitions were held in kaka, or forms, both with weapons and empty handed.

There was also a competition in kumite, or fighting, for different age groups and belt ranks.

Alexander actually took a break from running the competition last year, but, he said, he “felt a little of the wanderlust” and decided to do it again this year.

“This is the 53rd year of sport Karate inAmerica,” he said. “Not to be bombastic, but it started with me when I fought in Madison Square Garden.”

In 1962, Alexander emerged as the champion in the first Canadian full-contact Karate championship, a feat he repeated one week later in Madison Square Garden in the first North American full-contact championship.

Following are some scenes from the event.

2016 IAMA Championships



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