COLORADO SPRINGS — One sport that is making its Olympic debut this summer is karate. Caroline Peters spent Friday morning learning about this ancient sport at the U.S. Karate Academy.
U.S. Karate Academy senior instructor, Irene Okuyama Andreassen, and athletes, Ramon Concepcion and Antwaan Hines demonstrated the fundamentals of karate and taught Caroline how to kick and punch properly. Andreassen said a lot of these moves can be used in self-defense so karate is a good skill to have.
The debut of karate is an exciting time for Team USA athlete, Sakura Kokumai. She will be representing Team USA and she hopes to bring home a medal. When the athletes go to compete, starting on August 4 in Tokyo, they will be judged on a point system.
Those competing in sparring at the Olympics will be able to score points through “Ippon,” which is three points and given when the athlete executes a hit to the head or neck, or takedown or follow through.
“Waza-ari” awards two points when a kick is applied to the belly, side, or torso of the opponent. Lastly, one point is awarded for executing a punch with a closed hand to the head, neck, belly, side, or back of the opponent.
You can watch karate at the Olympics right here on NBC starting on August 4.