The Algarve’s national karate competitor.jpg

The Algarve’s national karate competitor


[email protected]

SOUSA, 21, the Algarve’s only karate competitor, is taking part in the 19th World Karate championships in Tokyo, Japan this weekend.

Inês told The Resident: “I started learning karate at my local club in Loulé when I was 10 years old and loved it, so I have continued and have been with my current trainer, João Lima, for more than six years.”

She added: “Many people think that I must be a violent person for practising karate, but I am not. I enjoy the sport and the company of people I train and compete with, who are always friendly.”

Inês was selected to compete for Portugal’s national team around 18 months ago and  competes in Kumite karate, which is practised as a contact sport as opposed to Kata karate, which is a formalised sequence of movements including attack and defence postures.

Although Japan is a long way from her home in Loulé, Inês has already travelled to many different countries, such as Morocco, Estonia, Italy and Austria to compete in her chosen sport.

“I recently took part in a competition with the national women’s team in Austria and we came in second place in our category,” she said, adding: “In the last world championship I took part in, which involved more than 1,000 competitors, I came fifth in my category.”

Inês Sousa has been training with João Lima for more than six years
Inês Sousa has been training with João Lima for more than six years


Although there is not a lot of time to sightsee during her time abroad, because of the hours spent training and competing, Inês always makes lots of new friends from around the world.

“Many of us speak English to each other, but if another competitor doesn’t speak English or Portuguese, we still manage to communicate with gestures. It’s a lot of fun and we sometimes meet again at different competitions in other countries,” she said.

Inês is fortunate to never have suffered any fractures or serious injuries from practising karate and hopes to continue with the sport.

“After this championship, in Japan, I am hoping to take part in the European championship next year and continue competing and training in karate for the foreseeable future.”

Much of the cost of travelling for international championships is paid for by the national karate federation, however, despite daily training sessions, Inês works at a local primary school to help with the costs of competing.

“I love my sport and am very grateful to my family who have supported my choice of competing in karate and to those who have made it possible, including my club in Loulé, my trainer João Lima and the national karate federation,” said Inês.

For more information about the Loulé karate club or to offer sponsorship to regional karate competitors, please contact João Lima on 918 980 688 or email [email protected]