Fil-Japanese Tsukii leaves karate for MMA

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Fil-Japanese Tsukii leaves karate for MMA
Junna Tsukii.
Facebook / Junna Tsukii

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-Japanese karateka Junna Tsukii is moving on to mixed martial arts (MMA), the former world karate champion announced. 

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Tsukii said that she is retiring from karate and will be entering the MMA cage. 

“Thank you for your continued warm support. I have decided to retire from my 26 years of karate as an active athlete and switch to mixed martial arts,” she posted on her official page, as translated by Google. 

“The stage will change, but I will continue to challenge myself with all my might so that I can continue to excite everyone, so I hope you will continue to support me warmly,” she added. 

Aside from winning the Philippines’ first gold medal in the 2022 World Games, Tsukii also took home the gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. 

Last year, she settled for silver as she publicly voiced her disappointment. 

The 32-year-old karateka also looked back on her career as she is welcoming the opportunity to “start a new challenge.”

“‘You should get married soon.’ ‘You’ve worked so hard, it’s time for a settled life, right?’ I've heard these things a lot since I turned 30. But my body is much, much stronger than before,” she said.

“I want to put what I learned so desperately while traveling around the world to better use in my life. I want to have more fun with everyone,” she added. 

“More than anything, I don't think it's right to give up on the challenges of my life just because of my age or what society thinks. Of course, there are many conflicts, but I believe there is a story that only I can write, so I will continue to forge ahead.” 

Tsukii is expected to make her debut against fellow MMA newbie Ruka Sakamoto on August 31.

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