Karate

Why top Philippine bet Junna Tsukii quit karate for MMA

Rappler.com

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Why top Philippine bet Junna Tsukii quit karate for MMA

TOP FORM. Philippine karateka Junna Tsukii in action in the international circuit.

JUNNA TSUKII FACEBOOK PAGE

‘The stage will change, but I will try my best to make it exciting with all of you,’ says Junna Tsukii, the Philippines’ top karateka who surprisingly announced her jump to mixed martial arts

MANILA, Philippines – When in fighting form, Junna Tsukii had shown no quit in her.

But this time, the Philippine team standout surprisingly decided to bow out of karate, saying she’s “out for a new challenge.”

Tsukii, who made history when she became the first Filipina to win a gold in the World Games in 2022, bid her colorful karate career goodbye in a social media post on Wednesday, June 12.

In a separate post, the Filipino-Japanese also shared a digital poster announcing her mixed martial arts (MMA) debut on August 31 against Japanese Ruka Sakamoto in Odaiba, Japan.

“The stage will change, but I will try my best to make it exciting with all of you, so I would appreciate your continued warm support,” said Tsukii.

Even at 32, Tsukii said her “body is much, much stronger than before,” and hopes to duplicate her karate success in the MMA.

Since deciding to represent the Philippines almost a decade ago after a stellar career in Japan, Tsukii climbed to world No. 3 in the female kumite -50kg last year.

But her run also had its share of controversy, including sounding off on several controversial judges’ decisions and clapping back at detractors questioning her heritage.

Aside from her historic 2022 World Games triumph, Tsukii also won a gold (2019) and a silver (2023) in the Southeast Asian Games, a silver (2021) in the Asian Championships, and a bronze (2018) in the Asian Games.

“I just want to fly around the world and go crazy to death and apply more to my life,” she said. “Excited to do more with everyone.”

And Tsukii looks more than ready to start her new chapter.

“Of course I have a lot of pain,” she added, “but I want to keep pushing forward believing that there is a story that only I can draw.” – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Loading
Download the Rappler App!