KARATE IN MALTA
Karate classes were officially available to the public in 1972. The 41st Commando Group stationed at St. Andrews were the first instructors to offer Karate tuition with the first classes occurring at St. Andrew’s Barracks and inside the once ‘Prince Cinema’ in B’Kara.
By the end of the British military base in 1978, Karate classes were taken over by a Maltese black belt who had emigrated back from the U.K.. Eventually, with a more direct need for a better organised entity, the MALTA KARATE ASSOCIATION was created in 1979.
II. MALTA KARATE ASSOCIATION (M.K.A.)
The first lessons under the newly formed association were held inside the Mtarfa gymnasium and under the technical guidance of Takahashi Sensei and later Sensei Colin Williams. Slowly and strongly, Malta was honoured with its first black belts who, eventually took care of fellow students during the absence of the foreign technical instructor.
During the next ten years, Malta kept back from competitions and concentrated mostly on bettering technical levels and increasing the number of higher belts. Seeking national and international recognition soon become a priority and negotiations were made to become the national governing Maltese karate body under the auspices of the MALTA OLYMPIC COMMITTEE, the EUROPEAN KARATE FEDERATION and eventually the WORLD UNION OF KARATE-DO ORGANISATIONS (W.U.K.O.)
During this period, the M.K.A. enjoyed many seminars with the Italian organisation C.S.E.N. and the first Malta open was held in 1989 at Ta’ Qali Pavillion.
III. MALTA KARATE FEDERATION (M.K.F.)
In 1998, and with the assistance of the present technical foreign consultant, Santo Torre, the MALTA KARATE FEDERATION was formed. Together with the previous karate association and other clubs, the new Maltese Federation paved a new road leading to the present success in structure, competitions and affiliations.
The Malta Olympic Committee immediately accepted the Maltese federation as a full member. This decision came after the I.O.C. recognised the WORLD KARATE FEDERATION (ex. W.U.K.O) as the world governing karate body.
Malta began to step onto the competition world and started to participate in international events firstly in Sicily and in 2000; the Maltese karate squad entered the World Karate championships for the first time in Munich.
IV. THE M.K.F AT PRESENT
Fourteen years have passed since the birth of the federation and many students experienced Karate success. Besides the yearly national championships, Malta now participates in many international events besides the prestigious World Karate Championships. Successful results are becoming more frequent with many gold medals won by our eager and hard training athletes and coaches. The latest gold winning event was in the U.K. with the Maltese squad bringing back home 16 medals.
In 2004, Malta hosted the MEDITERRANEAN KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS during which eight countries participated.
In 2005, after a series of international examinations, the first Maltese graduated as a World-level Karate Referee under the World Karate Federation. Today, the Federation’s local instructors have matured strongly as technical advisors with the highest Maltese rank arriving to 6th Degree Black Belt. To date, the Federation has seven clubs under its wings.
The latest event that highlights the efforts of the Malta Karate Federation is the YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAMME that is the result of hard working committee members, coaches and students subsequently.
The WORLD KARATE FEDERATION is, to-date, continuing its never ending battle to include Karate as an Olympic Sport.