Miki Suetsugu – Women of Shotokan PDF Imprimare Email
Luni, 16 Martie 2020 19:27

                     The picture shows Miki Suetsugu doing a Shuto Uke.

   Miki Suetsugu is a real powerhouse. As karateka she prefers kumite and has won the kumite title at the All Japan Championship 2001. She likes shobu Ippon because it comes close to self-defense. On the other hand, Miki-san has an incredible intellectual and academic record. She holds a position as associate professor at the sports and health department at Komazawa University.

   However, although her successes suggest that she never faced any difficulties in her life, Miki Suetsugu experienced challenges. As a child she was “introvert and never succeed[ed]”. She first had to learn to “not give up, good things would come.” Later in her karate career and after she became a mother she suffered an injury. The outlook to never practice karate like before caused a mental depression. But she overcome all setbacks and has grown stronger than before.


Today, she fights for equal rights of men and women in karate. To do so she uses her academic skills to conduct a survey about the “Current Situation of Women Involved in Karate”. The results shall shed light on the difficulties women face who practice karate during different life-stages. Miki Suetsugu is currently looking for international participants in the survey. The Shotokan Times supports the study.

We invite you to let yourself become inspired by this very personal and enriching portrait of Miki Suetsugu. She is not just a champion and great academic, she is also a very humble, thoughtful, and dedicated role model for karate men and women alike.

Portrait of Miki Suetsugu

The picture shows a portrait of Miki Suetsugu.Miki Suetsugu
  • Name: Miki SUETSUGU (Miki INOKOSHI) 
  • Age: 40
  • Karate since: 1985
  • Origin and residence: Saga/Japan
  • (Kyu/Dan) Rank: 
  • 6th Dan certified by JAPAN KARATEDO FEDERATION
  • Dojo: KOMAZAWA UNIVERSITY & SEIKUJUKU (My husband’s dojo)

The picture shows Miku Suetsugu and her husband Yusuke Inokoshi.Miki Suetsugu and her husband Yusuke Inokoshi.

Additional information (member of a national team, coach, board member of a Dojo, highest achievements, etc.):

  • Associate Professor, Department of Sport and Health Science of KOMAZAWA UNIVERSITY 
  • A member of Japan Society of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences
  • Member of Japanese Academy of Budo
  • Member of Japan Society for Sport and Gender Studies
  • Representative of JAPAN KARATE ASSOCIATION (Representative of a head office direct control group) 
  • KOMAZAWA UNIVERSITY Karate Do Club Coach
  • Triple 1st  place Kumite Women, Team Kata, and Team Kumite at the 44th National Championship Tournament 2001 
  • 5th place Kumite Women, 45th National Championship Tournament 2002 
  • 7th place Kata Women, 45th National Championship Tournament 2002
  • 2nd place Team Kumite, 47th National Championship Tournament 2007 

What was the reason that you started Shotokan Karate?

Miki Suetsugu: When I was six years old, a friend of my mother visited our home with her child. They wore dogi uniforms and showed me Heian Shodan. This was the impetus through which my older sister and I began karate at a nearby dojo. The dojo was of a high caliber, with many national champions among its members. For this reason, I was able to start my life as a karate practitioner in an excellent environment. The sensei of the dojo emphasized kihon. The fact that I was taught the kihon at that time still serves me well today.

The picture shows Miki Suetsugu at the 44th All Japan Championship 2001.Miki Suetsugu at the 44th All Japan Championship 2001

What do you like about Shotokan Karate?

Miki Suetsugu: I like the emphasis on shobu ippon in kumite matches. The rules at the WKF were amended when karate-do was adopted as an Olympic sport. Together with this, the concept of ippon was greatly altered. Within the present kumite match rules at the WKF, points are added based on the variety of the waza instead of the strength of the waza:

  • jodan geri, etc. are three points – ippon,
  • chudan geri, etc. are two points – waza ari, and a
  • tsuki waza is one point – yuko.

As the Olympics take into account the interest of the audience, it might be said that these rules were devised to be understood more easily by amateurs (easy in terms of determining the basis for superiority and inferiority). But for me as an experienced practitioner of karate, the current WKF matches are not very interesting. I feel that the ippon concept that emerged from budo has changed, and the strength and maneuvering of the waza, the zanshin, the beauty of the form, etc., has weakened. The rules of judo have changed in a number of ways, but not in the same way as karate-do where the points change based on the type of waza.


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