Interest in the unarmed combat sport of karate has spread throughout the world and the Soviet Union has proved no exception.
SV PULL BACK GV Leningrad Sports Complex, Leningrad, USSR
SCU PAN Flags (2 shots)
GV Nikolai Karpov (white belt) against Andrei Kapsin
SV Crowd watch as bout continues PAN TO Kapsin (2 shots)
SCU Soviet flag
GV Willie Mengel (white belt) against Andrei Frolov
SV AND GV Crowd and bout continues (2 shots)
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Background: Interest in the unarmed combat sport of karate has spread throughout the world and the Soviet Union has proved no exception. The second All-Union Karate Tournament, held in Leningrad from October 24-29, attracted on-hundred-and-fifty competitors.
SYNOPSIS: The Leningrad Sports and Concert complex, built to seat 25 thousand, was the venue for the tournament. The competitors, from all fifteen Soviet republics, were vying for an additional prize this year--all winners were to receive the title of 'Master of Sports'.
The All-Union Karate Federation was established only two years ago, but has already set up training schools and clubs in nearly fifty cities in the Soviet Union. Observers at the tournament said the level of technique had improved considerably in the last twelve months. IN this bout, Baltic Cup competition winner, Nikolai Karpov, with the white belt, proved too strong for Andrei Kapsin.
In the 80 kilogram class (176 pounds), Willie Mengel of Estonia, with the white belt, won a Master of Sports title when he defeated Andrei Frolov.
Karate experts expressed the opinion that in spite of their good physical fitness and rather good technique, Soviet athletes lacked skills in fast and accurate blows. However they believed participation by Soviet athletes in some international competitions next year (1981) would enable them to improve these areas.