By Gary Anderson

The WKF Premier League series is set to visit Okinawa in Japan ©AFP/Getty ImagesSome of the best karate exponents in the world will be in the spiritual home of the sport this weekend as Okinawa Island, Japan, hosts its inaugural World Karate Federation (WKF) Premier League event.

The fifth of eight Premier League tournaments this year, just under 350 participants from 65 nations are set to do battle at the Okinawa Prefectural Hall of Martial Arts tomorrow and Sunday (August 31), making it the biggest to date.

Competition in Okinawa will feature individual and team events in kata, as well as male and female individual competitions in kumite over the two days.

A special one-day seminar will be held on Monday (September 1), the day after the tournament,
to showcase the tradition of karate on the Okinawa Island, which lies around 640 kilometres off the southern coast of Japan.

Around 350 competitors are set to take part over two days of action in Okinawa ©WKFAround 350 competitors are set to take part over two days of action in Okinawa ©WKF

The WKF Premier League series was launched earlier this year in order to increase the number of karate events around the world and promote the sport.

Winners at each event are awarded prize money and the competitions are open to all athletes of all abilities to enter.

The first Premier League tournament took in place in Paris back in January followed by events in Almere, The Netherlands; Lasko, Slovenia; and Jakarta in Indonesia.

Following Okinawa, further events are planned for Istanbul, Turkey, and Hanau, Germany, in September, with the final event in Salzburg, Austria, in October.

The Karate Senior World Championships are scheduled to take place in Bremen, Germany from November 5 to 9.

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