2018 Asian Games medalist in karate (kumite) Junna Tsukii continues her quest to compete in the 2019 Tokyo Olympics.
Last week, she went to Belgium to train at Junior Lefevre Sensei, made a stopover at Dusseldorf, Germany before proceeding to Morocco to compete in the Premier League Rabat to earn points that will qualify her to the Tokyo Olympics.
“This week, I practiced under the Junior Lefevre Sensei in Belgium. I'm glad to learn karate here and I had been able to live a fruitful time in this week. Thank you so much for everything for Junior Sensei, and Champions dojo,” said Junna.
And by her side during her travels is her favorite coffee drink Kaffea.
“I really love your Kaffea! I love coffee but I am refraining from taking sugar. This coffee is coconut sugar. I am very happy because I can drink delicious Kaffea. Even an athlete like me can drink Kaffea,” said Junna.
Junna grabbed an Asiad bronze last year and is on course to compete in the next Olympics. Unable to get a budget from the PSC to fund her quest for an Olympic berth she has used her prize money from her Asian Games as well as contributions from her loyal sponsors like Kaffea.
Born in Pasay City to a Filipina mother and Japanese father, Junna moved to Japan with her family when was about to enter Kindergarten. She was brought up in Japan where she absorbed the culture and values of the country.
Junna was introduced to Karate at age 7 and became very proficient in the sport. She started winning tournaments regularly and eventually became a five-time champion in Japan National Games.
She returned to the Philippines wanting to help develop Karate in the country to the point of joining the national team last year.
“I chose to be a national player of the Philippines despite being brought up in Japan because I wanted to help the Philippines through what I have learned in Japan. The environment and system of the Philippines are not yet developed compared to Japan and other advanced countries. But I still practice hard every day with the teammates to be able to participate in the Olympic Games,” said Junna.
Karate originated from Okinawa, Japan. Today there are about 65 million practitioners all over the world. Karate is one of the most popular martial art in the world.
“Through the practice of Karate, you can learn many attacking techniques such as punches, kicks, blocks and sweeps to protect yourself. Karate is not just a sport. It is a Martial Art,” said Junna.
Karate is not just about combat and competition. Karate is imbued with the Martial Art spirit called “Bushido” or the samurai spirit of spiritual seekers according to Junna.
“First thing we learn when we start Karate is not techniques but how to bow. In Karate bowing to your opponent is a sign of respect. In Bushido you always have to strive for the correct way, just and courage to push through. Never forget thoughtful consideration even towards opponents,” said Junna.
Respect towards your peers, teachers and even rivals is an integral part of Karate.
Junna said competitors and opponents help in developing and shaping what you are. That’s why it’s important to respect your opponents. This is the Bushido spirit that Karatekas are proud of according to Junna.
Kaffea is available nationwide at Shopwise, Rustan’s, SM Hypermarket Bazaar, SM Market Street, SM Kultura, CityMall GoLokal stores, and online at lazada.com.ph and beautymnl.com. Or call telephone number 477-9920.
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