Guyana Karate College seeking assistance to complete headquarters


Construction work on the Guyana Karate College at Liliendaal is now 85% complete, and the College is open to donations to ensure a dream of legendary Guyanese, Shuseki Shihan or World Chief Master Frank Woon-A-Tai, is realised.

The facility, which has been under construction since 2010 on land made by available by the then President Bharrat Jagdeo, was expected to be fully functional by March 2023.

However, this was not possible owing to some challenges outlined by Master Woon-A-Tai during a guided media tour of the facility on Wednesday.

Master Frank Woon-A-Tai (centre) and some Directors and Trustees of the College engaging the media on Wednesday (Photo: News Room/April 26, 2023)

When completed, the sprawling facility will serve as the headquarters of the International Karate Daigaku, which was formed by Master Woon-A-Tai, and has a presence in 58 countries.

The building will comprise four training halls- a massive one measuring 42’x105’, a medium one and two smaller spaces.

It will also comprise a viewing area for spectators, administrative offices, instructors lounge and storage area. Windows are currently being installed, while plumbling and electrical works are ongoing.

The building will comprise four training halls. This is the space for the largest one, measuring 42’x105′ (Photo: News Room/April 26, 2023)

Importantly, Master Woon-A-Tai highlighted that they will have to secure a transformer in the vicinity of G$5 million, an item that was not initially budgeted for.

And while the College has been given commitment of a wooden floor by a donor, there are also expenses related to furnishing the building and offices.

To this end, Master Woon-A-Tai said the Guyana Karate College is open to anyone who might be willing to assist in helping to complete the facility.

The concrete flooring on the second floor is one of the major aspects of the project remaining (Photo: News Room/April 26, 2023)

To date, the Directors and Trustees of the College have raised in excess of G$40 million, while also receiving financial support from the government and business community.

“I think we’re looking at another $10 million to finish it (and) be operational,” Master Woon-A-Tai told media operatives.

One of the major expenses is the concrete flooring for the second floor, an aspect of the project that has been hit by some challenges brought on by the construction boom in the country.

Government support

Last October during the College’s first Gala and Awards ceremony, which doubled as a fundraiser, President Irfaan Ali committed G$10 million towards the project.

And Master Woon-A-Tai, speaking at that event, said his goal for the College aligns with President Ali’s ‘1000 men’ programme that aims to eradicate violence and other ills in communities all across the country.

Master Woon-A-Tai, who began his karate career 58 years ago at the age of 14, had lauded the government for its continued investment in the College, and the creation of avenues to expand and promote the discipline.

Master Frank Woon-A-Tai displays the medal presented to President Irfaan Ali, who was also made an Honourary 8th Dan Black Belt (Photo: Office of the President)

“I further thank your excellency for requesting my help teaching karate to women in every State House compound in Guyana,” the Sensei highlighted.

“I’m confident that within five years, 1,000 students and adults will benefit from the discipline of karate, as a means of empowering men through physical education, fitness and self defence, and as an international sport in which GKC (Guyana Karate College) promotes Sport Tourism, as we have done in the past.”

“I’m very close to achieving my dream of not only building a national karate headquarters, but an international karate university.”

Notably, the International Karate Daigaku World Championship will be hosted in Guyana in 2024.

The Guyana Karate College has 12 affiliate dojos (clubs) in Guyana with an approximate membership of 400.

Students range from beginners (white belts) to advanced (black belts), the highest being Deputy Shihans Josef Woon-A-Tai, 8th Dan and Dr. Guy Low, 7th Dan.

1 Comment
  1. XAI says

    This is amazing!!!!!

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