Since the 1960s, English karate has seen endless governing bodies come and go, and 2016 sees yet another body emerging from the Japanese sunset.
Sport England has identified three English karate bodies that they feel represent and govern the majority of English karate. These being, NAKMAS, EKC (English Karate Council) and the EKF (English Karate Federation).
All three bodies were approached late in 2015 to see if one umbrella body could be created to encompass all three bodies. Each body would govern their own activities but under an umbrella body provisionally called the English Karate Alliance. Meetings took place, separately, with each body and NAKMAS, in principle, agreed to enter into negotiations to form one unified body for English karate.
NAKMAS was asked to provide its expertise in helping create policies and procedures, including Equality Standards and Quality Kitemark standards as well as a welfare policy. It was generally felt that NAKMAS excelled in these key areas of governance.
The EKC would assist in creating a technical board and the EKF provide access to the Olympic participation via the world body, the WKF (World Karate Federation). However, it soon became apparent that both NAKMAS and the EKC would be denied access to Olympics via the new body. Only members of the EKF would have access due to the WKF 21.9 rule (see below) and EKF members could not train, compete or have a relationship to anyone within NAKMAS or the EKC.
The NAKMAS National Management Committee discussed the proposals at length. NAKMAS has subsequently declined to help create a single unified body and it was felt that the new body mirrored the old EKGB (English Karate Governing Body) and would, in effect, operate as a private members club, with access limited to a small chosen elite group.
NAKMAS takes the view that karate, and indeed all martial arts, should be for all, adults, children, abled and disabled; they cannot support any body which prevents people being treated unfairly or unequal. Equality and diversity must be a central tenet to any governing body regardless of the martial art being practised. Indeed the new governing body for English karate would hinder karateka rather then genuinely help their progress.
NAKMAS will continue to operate as a multi styled National Governing Body and will not allow any member or affiliate to be treated unfairly. They will challenge, legally if need be, any person or body that places restrictions upon NAKMAS members. NAKMAS is not a business; it is a not-for-profit body which exists entirely for its members rather than to seek political supremacy or glorification.
23 March 2016