Yemeni Karate Kid [Archives:1998/01/Sports]

January 5 1998

Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed Siyam, 18, is a budding kata champion on the Sanaa level. He participated in the military championship in 1997, achieving third position. The first position was achieved in the Police Association championship on Thursday December 25th. All the championships took place in the military hall in Sana’a. Mohammed is a secondary-school student. Our champ took some time of his training schedule to talk to Waheed Sami of Yemen Times who filed the following interview.
Q: When and where did you start training? A: I started training in mid-1996 in Al-Shaab club of Sana’a with captain Ibrahim Al-Walid.
Q: What does Kata mean? A: Kata is a stimulating fighting during which the player imagine that a group of persons are fighting him. Motions of this game are pre-arranged.
Q: What motivated you to learn this game? A: Karate is considered to be one of the best fighting games. I learnt karate out of self-defense.
Q: What are your ambitions? A: I aspire to participate in championships abroad.
Q: What are the problems that you face? A: The training halls are too small and not suitable for training. There are not enough sports equipment and also there are not well-qualified coaches.
Q: Is this game becoming more popular? A: It is still at its beginning. The number of kata players does not exceed 300 players in all Yemen, unlike Taekwondo and Judo.
Q: Do ports clubs provide facilities this game? A: No they do not. If all clubs exercise it, the number of players will not be low as it is now.