vsevolod lebedev, ak masters, ashihara, ashihara karate, letonia, iaka, international association of karate ashiharakyokai
Foto: Vsevolod Lebedev

Vsevolod Lebedev is the International Association of Karate Ashiharakyokai (IAKA) organization Branch Chief in Latvia. He started practicing karate in 2008, being an active athlete until 2016. During this time he was member of NIKO and Josui-Karate organizations. He participated five times (2011-2015) in Sabaki Challenge Spirit international championship (Denmark). Also, he was the winner of Eurasian and European competitions (Turkey and Latvia) and of many Kyokushin, Ashihara-Karate and Josui-Karate local tournaments. In 2010, he opened his own dojo, where he’s working as a coach with almost 50 sportsmen.

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“I have met shihan Yuri Egorov (for the interview, click here) at the 18th edition of Sabaki Challenge Spirit, in 2012. In that time I hadn’t had thoughts to change the organization I was part of, because only in 2011 I had left NIKO and joined Josui-Karate Association. I can’t explain why this changing was made at that moment, but all our athletes followed our general coach without any question. This fact proves once again that people don’t go to one organization; they go to one specific person. In time, some disagreements arose between me and my shihan about general philosophy of organization and, in January 2017, I left Josui-Karate. Further followed the contact with shihan Yuri Egorov (from Russia), who supported my vision about karate and I decided to collaborate with him. On winter camp 2017, in Saint Petersburg, I became Branch Chief of IAKA in Latvia”, says Vsevolod Lebedev.

The Latvia Ashihara-Karate movement has the same problems as in many other countries, with reference to the government support and the financial issues, being in competition with Boxing, Kickboxing, K-1 and Olympic contact sports. ”My philosophy of karate includes the constant self-improvement and self-knowledge. That leads to studying all the aspects of different styles, not only Ashihara (the protection of peace in the world through friendship and collaboration of different clubs, the strict adherence of subordination and the discipline in dojos, the respectful attitude for the opponent on tatami). But as to technical aspects, I can say that if you have learned the general techniques of Ashihara-Karate, then you can try any other martial art and very soon you will be one of the best. The main advantage of Ashihara-Karate is the unique method of Sabaki, where the fighter goes off the line of attack and that allows him to use all his skills as a result in that moment when the opponent expects less”, added Vsevolod Lebedev.

The IAKA Branch Chief doesn’t see perspectives of development for Ashihara-Karate movement worldwide because ”on this moment there are lots of organizations and most of them have different visions of financial issues and general politics, that obstruct them to unite their interests. The development of our organization depends on how people could collaborate and find consensus and I’m glad that we have a very good relation with shihan Yuri Egorov. In my opinion, Ashihara-Karate could be improved by new specific rules of fight which includes all striking methods and working with partner. In our region, children practice karate mostly until 14 years-old; because they want to develop their skills in striking techniques, very often they claim pity that Ashihara-Karate does’t have strikes to the head by hands. So, my point of view is that we must give people more extended capabilities within the confines of traditional kihon, ido, kata and bunkai”. Additionally, Vsevolod Lebedev says that all persons are different and the main thing is to find yourself in this life, to admire the things you do and to remember that everybody has come to this planet to learn and to make this world kinder.