Ellina Mhlanga, Harare Bureau
RENOWNED karateka, Samson Muripo, will next month return to the world stage at the sixth Kyokushin Karate World Cup in Moscow, Russia, on October 6.
This is the same event that saw him making a name for himself a decade ago after he was crowned world champion in the middleweight category in Japan.
He returned to the competition in 2011 when it was held in Kazakhstan and came second in the same weight division.
“It was like a stepping stone, a springboard of my life. I conquered the world, it’s something that came out of, maybe, the predestined path by the Lord and through hardworking.
“My spirit rejoices going to such events because that’s where I get revived.
‘‘Sosai Mas Oyama said the best teacher is your opponent, he teaches you things that you may not want, so you improve on the fighting mat.
‘‘Because of fear of defeat it keeps me training,” Muripo said.
However, the fifth dan black belt holder is aware his next assignment is not an easy one.
‘‘Such a category carries very experienced fighters that have like, over 24 years, of training.
‘‘They are either Shihans or fourth dans, so it’s a very tough category. But, as I said, I am not scared of fighting, it improves my inner person.’’
Muripo will lead a team of three from So-Kyokushin style.
The team includes Naison Chituwa, who is going to fight in the men’s Open, and Grace Chirumanzu in the women’s Under-65kg.
“I expect them to learn a lot from such events. It’s important that we send as many other fighters as we can to create a continuous bridge for the future.
‘‘I expect them to do their best,” said Muripo.
They will be joined by Tinashe Chingwaru from Kyokushin Union and he is expected to compete in the lightweight category.
Muripo is scheduled to leave for Russia next Tuesday as he is also set to attend the International Karate Organisation Kyokushinkaykan World So Kyokushin seminar starting on October 4 before proceeding to the World Cup.