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Karate in Latvia


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Beginnings of Karate in Latvia

For various reasons, the beginnings of karate in Latvia have not been documented, but it is known that during the times of USSR occupation there were various kinds of interest groups where enthusiasts practiced East-Asian martial arts. Most of these groups were considered illegal (with exceptions of military and state-defence organisations). These people practiced various styles that were not connected with any internationally recognised organisation or belong to any particular style of martial arts. Karate practiced in Latvia, at the time, was not "pure" in any way, and mostly was a mix of techniques belonging to a various schools of eastern martial arts.  

 After the fall of iron-curtain, when it became possible to visit countries outside the former Soviet Union, people from other countries started to come to Latvia and it became possible to communicate with internationally recognised organisations of martial arts. Representatives of certain styles, schools and clubs started to come here and, since the newly established Republic of Latvia did not limit such connections in any way, existing groups started to seek their respective counterparts outside of Latvia and tried to gain recognition under international organisations. This way, it became more evident which groups belonged to what schools and the respective sports federations were formed, encompassing clubs of the same or similar styles. Cooperation with international organisations was strengthened and instructors from the corresponding karate schools started to hold seminars and examinations according to the necessary requirements and grades for the specific martial arts school.

 


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