CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE) — Karate made its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 5, and many in the Central Valley are feeling inspired as the Olympics soon come to an end.
Mike Guido, the owner of Guido’s Martial Arts Academy in Clovis, and his assistant teacher, Danica Renobato, 13, speak on how karate is both a physical and mental sport for athletes to compete in.
“It’s mainly a mentality,” said Renobato. “Martial arts isn’t so much as, ‘Hey I am just going to learn how to just kick or how to punch,’ it’s more of a lifestyle that you just have and becomes second nature.”
Guido says there are two separate phases of karate competition in the Olympics, Kata and Kumite, which students at his academy have the opportunity to learn, along with much more.
“Kicking, punching, blocking, we are a full martial arts academy,” Guido says.
Guido describes Kata as choreographed patterns of movement done without a partner and Kumite as a competition in which opponents spar against one another. Renobato has mastered both techniques and is a junior black belt.
She says karate has helped her feel more confident in herself and her abilities as an athlete and as a student.
“When I was younger I was kind of shy, but I was also kind of all over the place,” Renobato says. “[Karate] gave me a little bit of a foundation to make myself more confident. It’s mainly just positive enforcement and life lessons.”
For those interested in learning more about karate, Guido’s Martial Arts Academy offers classes to all age groups which can be located on the academy’s website.
Karate will continue at the Olympics Friday at 11:30 a.m. for the men’s finals and at 10:00 p.m. for the women’s semifinals and the finals match.