Member of the executive board of the International Federation of Traditional Karate highlighted the historical trajectory of his family in the sport
November 9, 2020
By PAULO PINTO
Curitiba – PR
In this exclusive interview with Dejan Nedev, general secretary of the Macedonian Traditional Karate Federation (MTKF), the magazine Budô was able to calculate the dimensions of the country’s traditional karate, whose capital, Skopje, is known for the historic buildings that have become museums. Located in the Balkan Peninsula, in Southeast Europe, North Macedonia is one of the states that integrated former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991.
Born on January 28, 1980 in Skopje, Dejan Nedev is a black belt roku-dan (6th dan) and a doctor in physical education and sports. The renowned professor started this interview by revealing details about the foundation of the Macedonian Traditional Karate Federation (MTKF).
“MTKF was founded in October 1991 by shihan Vencislav Nedev, a pioneer teacher of karate in our country and president of the entity. We have been members of the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) and Europe Traditional Karate Federation (ETKF) since 1992.”
MTKF participated for the first time in ETKF championships in Lódz, Poland in 1992 and in ITKF world championships in the same year in Montreal, Canada. “Since 1992, our main objective has been to make ITKF karate recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In 2001 MTKF was recognized by the Macedonian government and sports authorities after ten years of struggle, proving that traditional karate is a sport entirely different from that practiced in the World Karate Federation (WKF). During that period we won several lawsuits against WKF and today we have the same rights as it has in Macedonia. This status is the result of the great persistence of our president and founder, sensei Vencislav Nedev ”, detailed the leader.
Dejan Sensei revealed that Professor Vencislav’s personal relationship with Master Hidetaka Nishiyama was always very close and solid.
“Between 1992 and 2008, our relationship with sensei Nishiyama was very intense. We followed all the seminars he conducted in Europe and I was proud to help him on several occasions and to have been his assistant. I was privileged and fortunate to be his direct student, learning a lot of karate-do, for which I am very grateful. Shihan Nishiyama came to our dojo on two occasions, the first in 1999, during the Balkan championship, and the second in 2004, during the European championship in Skopje. We also participate in several ITKF summer camps in San Diego, California.”
Dejan Nedev emphasized that the great love of his father and trainer for traditional karate inserted him in the world of sport. “Since I was a child, I saw my father conducting classes in our dojo and that made me want to practice karate, as did my brother and sister. Since then we have been active, either as competitors, coaches or referees. Due to our involvement, we received the title of the most sporting family in Macedonia.”
Recalling the most important event held to date in his country, the leader highlighted MTKF’s 50th anniversary. “MTKF’s most important event took place in 2017, when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of karate in Macedonia. The event received the greatest leaders, athletes, coaches and sports professionals in our country. The sport is considered to be number one in our country, due to the expressive international results. ”
Nedev emphasized that MTKF has ambitious plans and projects for 2021, such as the organization of a major competition and an international seminar, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation by Vencislav Nedev of Clube Rabotnicki, the first karate in Macedonia. “Unfortunately, this year we were prevented from celebrating this great jubilee due to the pandemic.”
Currently, the Macedonian Traditional Karate Federation has about 30 affiliated dojos, clubs and schools and gathers around 600 practitioners of all ages, with a greater presence of children between 6 and 14 years old. The Macedonian national team registers around 60 competitors in the senior, junior and youth categories, but the renewal of the international management of the sport has led managers to project significant growth in the coming years.
“After the death of our founding leader, sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama, ITKF and traditional karate faced many problems and internal and external attacks, but in recent years traditional karate has come together again, becoming stronger and stronger. Some members who were not active are coming forward and many new countries are joining us, thanks to the unification policy developed by the current ITKF leadership. We believe that the current unification policy will make the ITKF as strong as before, ”predicted the leader.
The general secretary of the Federation of Traditional Karate in Europe concluded by anticipating everything that must be done to consolidate the territorial expansion of ITKF in the world.
“I believe that the ITKF should be more active than ever, organizing events on a global and continental level, such as tournaments, seminars and lectures given by prominent karatekas, coaches and referees. This will engage new generations in our ranks and thanks to the knowledge and experience of the best karatekas in the world. Only in this way will we develop, popularize and raise the level of the ITKF worldwide, ”concluded the ITKF executive director.
Macedonian base team at the European championship held in Slovenia in 2016