|Muripo braces for Karate WC|
|Saturday, 21 July 2012 00:00|
MEMORIES of last year’s World Kyokushin Karate Tournament in Kazakhstan bring tremors of fear in Sensei Samson Muripo’s mind. Muripo, who has proved a force to reckon with on the international scene, suffered from Necrotizing Fasciitis in what was suspected to be poisoning from opposite camps, leaving a bad scar on his face.
Necrotizing soft tissue infection is a rare but very severe type of bacterial infection.
It can destroy the muscles, skin, and underlying tissue. The word “necrotizing” refers to something that causes body tissue to die.
The fourth dan black belt karateka is currently going through some vigorous training in preparation for the 3rd Kyokushin Union World Open Karate Tournament to be held on November 10-11, in Toyama, Japan.
Muripo says the series of unfortunate events that saw him settle for a silver medal in the Asian country in 2011 will not pull him down ahead of the global showdown in Japan.
“I am not scared at all. Challenges in life make real men strong. I am actually flying higher than before in terms of my personal determination and aspiration,” he said.
“Whatever happened last year showed me that I am considered a force to reckon with.
“The other fighters do not take me for granted and they know I am capable of winning the big prize they all wish for.”
The Zimbabwean emerged the first African fighter to win the world title in 2009 when he outshone world fighters, including favourites from the sport’s motherland, Japan.
He will be competing at this year’s edition of the global showpiece for the first time after missing the previous competition four years ago due to lack of sponsorship.
His participation in Japan’s city of Toyama this year will see him as the first African to have participated in all three major tournaments.
The World Cup is held in Japan every four years with the International tournament he won in 2009 scheduled every two years while the next global showcase that follows Kazakhstan explodes into life in Chile next year.
“This one will be an Open Weight Tournament, just one men category, which makes it tough.
“It will be my first time taking part in such. I want to put up a good fight and make the whole world learn something and respect this awesome karate talent.
“I am trying to put up some kilos though it seems a great task as well as undergoing vigorous squad sessions every week and my personal inspirational sessions every day at the Dojo, in gym and road work outs.”
Muripo was not raised as a karateka by his parents.
He grew up a quiet boy in Chimanimani and his fascination of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee movies at the age of 14 inspired him to join the martial arts club at his Ndima High school.
His parents were frightened when he came back home from tournaments with swollen legs and feet.
They later got used to being entertained by the disciplined “Chuck Norris” in their son who was taught to unleash his talent only on the tatami (karate fighting mat).
Unlike famous karatekas and Shihans (masters) across the globe who have spent all their life training karate, Muripo was introduced to the sport later in life and emerged a world champion.
“Just like David as a shepherd looking after sheep of his father in the jungle, God trained him thoroughly and created a more than a lion in him to kill a lion.
“It really took the amazing grace of God the Almighty for me to be one of a kind, very small indeed, but when this great inspiration comes; there is no mountain too big to climb.
“Training with focus, fear of God, aspiration, association with correct people, sponsorship and discipline pays a lot,” said Muripo.
He was awarded with his brown belt in 2000 before qualifying for the 1st Dan black belt in 2004 and 2nd Dan the following year.
He acquired his 3rd Dan black belt together with the title sensei (teacher) in 2007, in Japan, during a gruesome 30men fight.
“It was really torture!” he recalled. “But we know what Kyokushin means, the ultimate truth.
“I had to be tested for my endurance and I am happy that I managed to prove myself. I lost six kilograms in one day. I weighed 76kgs before the fight and it went down to 70 when I was through.”
Muripo, who is now a 4th dan black belt fighter, just a rung below the title Shihan (master), will be expecting his next grading in about five years time.
The lightweight man, who is ever-smiling with a great sense of humour, admits he has never used karate outside the dojo (training hall).
“I have not been pushed to that edge. I don’t know what kind of a fighter I am in the street and I don’t want to know.
“I am just someone who believes there is more power in talking things through than fighting. People need to understand karate as a sport that promotes discipline.
“When karatekas finish fighting they shake hands or hug as a sign of respect for each other.
“In the past we have had some people coming to train to boast about it back in the streets but these days we are happy the crop of fighters we have underst and martial arts as a sport and they have great ambitions of flying the country’s flag at high profile tournaments,” he said.
“Besides being a sport though, karate and all martial arts is a great form of empowerment to men and women.
“It can be used as a form of self defence when under attack. The interest has increased in high-density suburbs and it has promoted a great deal of discipline in youngsters.”
Full names: Samson Muripo
Date of birth: 05/05/1978
Place of birth: Chimanimani
Dojos: Mas Oyama Dojo (Headquarters), Hillside, Kuwadzana,
Glen View, : Highfield, Budiriro, Chitungwiza.
Belt: 4th Dan Black