Gabriel Operanta Bio

Gabriel began karate in 1973 with Merthyr Wado Ryu Karate Club but moved shortly after to Merthyr Shotokan Karate Club under Sensei Lyn Powell in 1974.

He gained his black belt in 1977 under Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda who was renowned as one of the most famous Shotokan Karate Masters in the world.

In 1978 he became an international member of the Welsh Karate Union of Great Britain Karate Team and the following year he went on to become Captain of that team.

In 1979 he became a member of the Welsh National Karate Team and also went on to be the Captain of that team. He also gained bronze medal at the European Karate Championships held in Malmo, Sweden.

Gabriel Moved to Cardiff in 1979 and joined Cardiff Karate Club under Sensei Mike Obrien and indeed won the first Karate Union of Wales Championships in 1980 at Kata, Kumite and Team event.

In the senior individual Kumite final he defeated his great friend and rival Paul Watson in a very close fight.

Gabriel has won many Welsh Championships at both Kata and Kumite and has also won the Welsh Open Championships at both Kata and Kumite.

In 1985 he found his own organisation called The Welsh Shotokan Karate Association which went on to become one of Wales premier association with over a hundred Welsh Champions.

Gabriel was for many years a Welsh National Referee and he also represented the Karate Union of Great Britain International Karate Team along side some of the great names of Shotokan Karate such as Terry O'Neill, Frank Brennan, Steve Cattle, Bob Poynton and Billy Higgins.

One of Gabriel's students has gone on to become the most prolific winner of Karate Tournaments Wales has ever known, Yasmin Johnson has won 27 Welsh Championships at Kata and Kumite and is a ten times British Champion at both Kata and Kumite.

Gabriel Operanta was awarded his 7th Degree black belt in 2006 by the Welsh Karate Governing Body. He also has gone on to become manager and coach of the Welsh Karate Union of Great Britain Team and manager and coach of Welsh National Karate Team. He also was co-founder of the Welsh Karate League and a founder member of Karate Wales where he is currently the team manager.

Gabriel is currently the Assistant Chief Referee to the Welsh Karate League.

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