Filipino-Japanese karateka Junna Tsukii has always wanted to help develop karate in the Philippines, so much so that despite being raised in Japan—the home of the said martial art—she joined the country’s 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,” said Tsukii.
She continued, “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.”
Things are looking great for the 26-year-old karateka as she bagged a bronze medal at the recent 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Tsukii won the Asiad bronze after beating Thailand’s Paweena Raksachart, 4-1, in the women’s 50kg bronze medal match.
She was delighted with the win, albeit she admitted to wanting to take home the gold.
Aside from regular practice and will to win Tsukii shared local coffee brand Kaffea helped power her way to the bronze medal.
She said she was able to indulge in her favorite coffee drink even during training for the Asian Games.
“I really love 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,” enthused Tsukii.
Prior to her recent win, Tsukii also won a bronze at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
Born in Pasay City to a Filipina mother and Japanese father, Tsukii moved to Japan with her family before she entered kindergarten.
She 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.
“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,” she said.
According to Tsukii, karate is not just about combat and competition, as it is imbued with the martial art spirit called “bushido” or the samurai spirit of spiritual seekers.
“First thing we learn when we start karate is not techniques but how to bow,” she related. “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 toward opponents.”
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. Call (02) 477-9920 for inquiries.
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