Karate instructor and karate champion Tara Givens says she was shocked when she found herself at the centre of a media storm after claiming that she was the world’s first female champion.
In an interview with Irish broadcaster RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme on Saturday, Ms Givans described the sport as “a boy’s sport” and said she had not been invited to compete at the 2012 London Olympics.
But she later said she was “not invited” to the Olympics in London because she is a woman.
She told RTÉ that she had made a “mistake” in saying that she would be the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal, but she was now a “top contender” for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Ms Givins, who has worked with some of the sport’s biggest names including the world number one, Maria Sharapova, said she believes that the sport was built on “equality and fairness” and that she wanted to “change that”.
“When I was a kid, when I started my karate, it was called karate,” she said.
“And it was a boy’s game.
Now it is a girls’ game.
And we’ve got a female champion, so what am I doing?”
It is not a question of what is best for me.
It is a question about equality and fairness.
If you’re not a woman, you are not equal.
If I have the same opportunity as a man, I want to have the opportunity.
“Ms Giverts comments come after a woman in the US was reported to have said that the “sport is a boy sport” in an interview to Fox News, prompting her to withdraw her name from the programme.
In the same interview, she said that she felt she had “been unfairly targeted” by the media, who she said had made the sport a “boy’s sport”.”
I felt really uncomfortable about it.
I had a lot of problems with it growing up,” Ms Giverbs said.”
My karaoke teacher used of course to say, ‘This sport is a man’s sport, it’s a boy, it is what it is’.
“Ms Givers said she felt “shocked” when she first came across the term, but that she eventually realised it was not “appropriate”.”
The karate kata is very much about submission.
And if you want to do it properly you have to go for it, you have have to hit the target and you have had to go through the motions.
And so that’s what you’ve got to do.
It’s a lot about submission, submission, submit,” she added.
Ms Gillis said she thought the sport “really needed” to be more inclusive.”
Ms Gillies’ comments come just days after Irish media reported that American Kendra Davis had said that female competitors in karate were “slightly less aggressive” than their male counterparts.”
Because if we were to be inclusive of all women, it would be very, very hard for women to be successful.”
Ms Gillies’ comments come just days after Irish media reported that American Kendra Davis had said that female competitors in karate were “slightly less aggressive” than their male counterparts.
The 33-year-old was speaking in the context of the recent controversy over an incident in which US women were accused of punching and kicking a man in the face during a competition.