Pittsburgh Hosts 2016 Adidas Karate USA National Championships & Team Trials

PITTSBURGH – The 2016 Adidas Karate USA National Championships and Team Trials is taking place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, July 14-17.

Nearly 1,600 competitors of all ages and skill levels from 50 states will be competing in hundreds of divisions throughout the weekend.

This multi-generational competition selects the Junior and Senior USA Karate Teams that will represent Team USA in international competitions. Matches from numerous division levels will take place simultaneously on 10 different mats, including individual Kata Divisions, Disabled Divisions, Long & Short Weapons Divisions, Team Kata Divisions, Kumite (sparring) and more.

"We're delighted to be hosting this prestigious Karate event in Pittsburgh," said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of Sports development for SportsPITTSBURGH. "This high-profile competition will attract 4,000 people to our city and demonstrate that Pittsburgh is indeed an ideal destination in which to host sports events." SportsPITTSBURGH estimates that the direct spending to the Pittsburgh area as a result of the 2016 Adidas USA Karate National Championships and Team Trials is $3.5 million.

"We're looking forward to our first experience in Pittsburgh and are really excited about it. The ability for our members to easily travel to Pittsburgh along with Pittsburgh’s amazing downtown, the beautiful David L. Lawrence Convention Center and rich history make it an ideal location for our event," said Phil Hampel, CEO of USA National Karate-do Federation, which is the country’s largest Karate organization and serves as the National Governing Body for the sport of Karate in the United States under the U.S. Olympic Committee.

"Over the course of this weekend in Pittsburgh, you will see some of the best Karate athletes in the world using techniques that have been used for hundreds of years," said Hampel. While the competition will identify the athletes who will compete for the US National Team, Hampel also noted that some of the athletes are likely contenders for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 should the IOC vote to include Karate in the Olympics this August.

This is a great opportunity to see traditional Karate that originated in Japan and Okinawa, which was passed down through the ages. For the Long & Short Weapons Divisions, different implements, such as farmer and fishing tools, are used. The Athletes with Disabilities Division opens up the sport to all. The Elite Kata Divisions demonstrate the absolute best in pre-choreographed moves that exemplify the Karate tradition. The best in the U.S.A. will also compete in sparring bouts that will demonstrate amazing skills with blinding speed and accuracy.

$25 day or $60 weekend passes to the Karate competition are available for purchase at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Note: The Elite Division Finals take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, and are free and open to the public.

As the sports development division of VisitPITTSBURGH, SportsPITTSBURGH's primary goal is to attract and host a wide variety of sporting events in the region, providing the experience and expertise to reinforce Pittsburgh’s reputation as a legendary sports town. In 2015, SportsPITTSBURGH booked 52 events for 2016 and beyond that will contribute more than $49.4 million in direct spending to the local economy.