Former karate world champion Abdu Shaher claims the sport "has a right" to be included on the sports programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
At the start of this month, karate was recommended for Tokyo 2020 inclusion by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board along with baseball and softball, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing.
A total of 60 karatekas now appear set compete in six kumite sparring and two kata demonstration categories at the Olympics in the Japanese capital.
Approval must still be given by the IOC membership during the Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, although this is widely expected to be a formality.
Britain’s Shaher, who won over 60 kilograms kumite gold at the 1988 World Championship in Egypt’s capital Cairo, believes karate’s worldwide appeal makes it the ideal sport to add to the leading international sporting event.
"Karate has a right to be in there," he told South West Londoner.
"It has massive participation in every continent and it preaches the right values for young people in the world today; sportsmanship, respect and hard work."
Shaher, a two-time European silver medallist in the kumite under 60kg category, argues that karate is the most popular martial art in the world with estimates for the number of practitioners ranging from 50 million up to 100 million.
"The sport has diversified and gone global since my day," added the 59-year-old, who is the current head coach of the Karate England national squad.
"A lot of Eastern bloc countries are strong now, a lot of the emerging nations like Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey are producing top teams so it has become a lot more difficult.
"Meanwhile the old school countries like ourselves, Germany, France, Italy and Japan the inventors of the sport are still there."
Earlier this month, Spain’s Damian Quintero hailed the IOC Executive Board’s recommendation to include karate as an Olympic sport at Tokyo 2020 as a "big step".
The karateka is considered one of the sport’s star names as he currently boasts the world title in the men’s kata team event, while he secured his seventh European title earlier this season.
Quintero, who has enjoyed multiple successes during this year’s World Karate Federation Karate1-Premier League season, was one of several athletes to speak out in support of the IOC decision.