‘Tong Il Moo Do can transform Kenyan youth into hardworking citizens and great leaders’

MOMBASA, Kenya, December 17 – World Tong Il Moo Do Federation president Takamitsu Hoshiko believes the growth of the sport in the country will help transform millions of Kenyan youth into hardworking citizens and great leaders.

Hoshiko said the ideals of the sport are in tandem with that of the Kenyan government, which is to provide opportunities for young people to fulfill their potential.

“First of all, I would like to congratulate Kenya on the 60th anniversary of its independence…God bless you. The government is behind us, supporting this Tong Il Moo Do tournament. The theme of this year’s Jamhuri Day was centered on the youth so as the stakeholders of this sport, we are working with the government because youth are the future of Kenya,” Hoshiko said.

He added: “If we can educate and cultivate discipline in them (through Tong Il Moo Do), they can be great leaders. That is why we are here.”

The president said that this weekend’s Mombasa Open International Tong Il Moo Do Championships – which brings together close to 42 countries – is a great way for participants to sharpen one another into men and women of substance.

“We are going to have a tournament on Sunday…we have a lot of activities, including form and sparring. But, we are not going to fight against each other. We are friends with each other and have been training together for the past one week. We have become closer to each other day by day,” he said.

The president added: “Our fighting is a demonstration of the fight against the evil things in the world like injustice. It’s a demonstration of the fighting spirit against our own shortcomings, selfishness. We are fighting for the youth even as we fight for self-control.”

Hoshiko further sang praises of African youth for their unique physical specimen and quick learning abilities.

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“As an instructor, I have been watching the Africans and they have been doing very good. We have been doing linear motion and kicking…but now we have shifted to circular motion and they are learning so quickly. Am so impressed by them,” he explained.

The two-day tournament, which had been pushed forward from last Friday, will be held at the Aga Khan Multipurpose Hall.

Kenya – who have won 10 of the last 11 editions – will be hoping to maintain their winning trend that saw them clinch 46 gold, 54 silver and 18 bronze medals at last year’s edition.

Nonetheless, Kenya Tong Il Moo Do Federation (KTMDF) president Clarence Mwakio insists that there are no outright favourites, predicting that all the other countries will be angling to dethrone the hosts from the top.

He is optimistic a rapturous home crowd will spur on Team Jasiri to victory.

“We always get a lot of competition from the Philippines national team. However, we have the home support and we believe we can retain the title,” Mwakio said.

Other than the Philippines, other countries in contention include Zimbabwe, Thailand, Paraguay, India, South Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola, among others.  

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