Karate Night Reception Held at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Japan

On Friday, Oct. 7, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, the World Karate Federation (WKF), and Koyamada International Foundation (KIF) co-hosted a reception to celebrate Karate’s remarkable presence in the United States. The reception also showcased a new initiative called Guardian Girls Global Karate Project that aims to empower women and girls by providing them with Karate instruction and techniques.
The Japanese traditional martial art of Karate has flourished in the U.S. thanks to the hard work of senseis and practitioners over many years who championed its growth while elevating their own skills. Before the Karate Night Reception, Consul General Kenko Sone spoke with esteemed Karate practitioners, many of whom were pivotal to the growth of the martial art across the United States and the world. In addition, WKF officials also spoke at the meeting about the importance of the Karate.

Meeting with Karate senseis, WKF, KIF

The Karate Night Reception kicked off with remarks by Consul General Kenko Sone, followed by greetings from the Honorable Monica Rodriguez, Los Angeles City Councilwoman, District 7, who noted the mental and physical benefits offered by Karate, and welcomed the martial art’s potential to help empower girls and women in Los Angeles and beyond. Mr. Antonio Espinós, WKF President; Mr. Shin Koyamada, KIF Global Co-Founder, and Ms. Mariarosa Cutillo, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Chief Strategic Partnership also offered greetings.

The program also featured a presentation by Ms. Nia Lyte, KIF Global Co-Founder, President & CEO about the Guardian Girls project, which seeks to promote gender equality and empower women through Karate training so they are able to defend themselves from all forms of gender-based violence. The program concluded with a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between WKF, KIF and the UNFPA to officially launch the Guardian Girls Karate project. After the program, attendees headed to the outdoor garden to enjoy a reception featuring sushi and yakitori.

Consul General Kenko Sone          Hon. Monica Rodriguez, Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 7
Ms. Nia Lyte presents on Guardian Girls Signing Ceremony for Memorandum of Understanding
Reception Reception

On Saturday, Oct. 8, Consul General Sone visited the Guardian Girls Karate Seminar at Terasaki Budokan, a community-driven project of LTSC in Little Tokyo. He noted how the study of Karate, which originated in Japan as a traditional martial art, is not only a way to develop oneself physically, but also mentally because it can help build character through discipline and perseverance. Furthermore, the Guardian Girls karate seminar is a great example of how one simple act, such as learning karate techniques, can build confidence and make one feel more empowered, he added. Participants had the opportunity to train with top athletes Sakura Kokumai, U.S. Olympian in Karate who competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Elisa Au, a 3x world Karate Champion.


Consul General Sone

Lessons from Elisa Au Training with Sakura Kokumai