Every year, the Israel division of the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) holds its national championship. Recently, the annual event was held in Netanya. Rabbi Fishel Jacobs, from Kfar Chabad, was the guest of honor.
The event pitted schools and competitors of all ages and belt rankings and from the entire country, one against another. The action was fast paced, and lasted from morning till early evening.
The chairman of the Israeli section of ITKF is Iyal Nir, 5th degree black belt. He said, “It’s always an honor to have Fishel join us. His martial arts experience brings a professional atmosphere with him. His personality brings warmth.”
The head instructor of the national team, Moshe Rokach, owner of “Poleg Karate Institute” located in Netanya, said, “We are proud that our messages also fit our Jewish identity. When we opened our new gym, the first thing we did was a media publicized mezuzah placing ceremony. Things like that, and honoring all the holidays with some sort of celebration, brings a blessing into our gym.”
After the fighting, Rabbi Jacobs, who holds a black belt, spoke to the audience about some of his martial arts memories, and what it taught him to make him a better Jew.