Karate made it’s debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Debuting appropriately in Japan, the birthplace of karate, the sport caught the attention of many fans, combat sports fans and sporting fans alike. In The Games, Jordan’s Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa captured the bronze medal in the inaugural karate event at the Olympics. In talking to Al-Masatfa, he was incredibly grateful to represent his county, be a part of karate history, and to take home the bronze medal.
Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa started karate simply due to the location of the dojo to his house. “I started at the karate club near my house,” says Al-Masatfa.
Outside of karate, Al-Masatfa enjoys taking his free time to do things he enjoys. “I love reading poetry, playing chess and watching football.”
Many martial artists like to dabble in other arts. Judo and Jiu Jitsu are often practiced together. In Russia it’s freestyle wrestling and Sambo. But for Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa, he sticks with the sport he loves saying, “I only do Karate.” Which makes sense. To compete at a level to bring home bronze in the Olympic Games, you have to be completely focused on being your best because you can bet on it that your opponent is doing just that.
Al-Masatfa is also a sixth year med student. Being able to balance the amount of work it takes to be a med student in general and an Olympian is an Olympian level feat in itself. Al-Masatfa has an incredible desire to succeed and it’s that mentality that he carries into being a student in both the medical field and as a karateka.
“I split myself by distributing effort and time between them, in addition to my desire to succeed in both.”
Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa and The Olympic Games
Representing your country in the Olympics is the epitome of sporting for many. It’s the highest profile event across many sports and the chance to bear your flag on your uniform as you do the sport that brought you there is the ultimate honor.
“It was a special moment, any athlete would be happy and proud to represent his country.”
Even bigger than only representing your country, medaling in the Olympics. Al-Masatfa immortalized himself among his fellow Jordanian karateka. While he went to win the gold medal as he did in the Asian Karate Championships.
“It was a beautiful moment. My goal was to get the gold medal, but winning the bronze medal was satisfying for me.”
That goal hasn’t been lost on Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa. With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing bout the Tokyo Games a year, the 2024 Games in Paris is only three years away. While karate isn’t assured to return, Al-Masatfa surely hopes so. He plans to be there in Paris to get the shot at Olympic gold again.
“Yes of course, I hope to be in the 2024 Olympics. And I hope that Karate will return in the 2024 Paris Olympics.”
Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa will continue his already legendary karate career going forward. Even if karate doesn’t return to the Olympics in 2024, the fact that he was part of the inaugural karate Olympic event is an accomplishment in itself. Going forward, Al-Masatfa will always have that to hang around his neck as a once in a lifetime accomplishment.
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