By Pablo Marin (Canada)


Absolutely loved this documentary! There’s so much information about karate in this video that it really made me think twice about karate and its value to the community. This is a really solid, professional piece of work: it’s not just about kicking, fighting, sparring, and the entertainment side of karate; in this documentary the spotlight shines fair and square upon a sport that receives almost no media attention, certainly not the way tennis, golf, cricket, and football feature in mainstream media. It’s not surprising to learn that karate athletes feel very discouraged when it comes to their sport, and it did leave me wondering why karate is seemingly ignored by both Government and the media.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating interviews with Canadian coaches, as well as judges and elite athletes, because there’s so much about karate the sport that I didn’t know. It was very informative to watch so many karate experts being interviewed in one sharp and concise documentary.

Another aspect of this documentary that I really appreciated is its honesty. Unfortunately, many documentaries have a preaching nature, but not this one. This is an open and honest look at how karate as a sport is seen in this country and how we can all work together to achieve the best solutions for all karate students, regardless of whether they’re just starting out or working at Olympic level.

Congratulations must go to Maria Morgunova – she really is a great storyteller. Maria has thoroughly researched the intricacies of this long-lived sport, the challenges it presents to participants and their families, and ultimately its global impact.

Beyond the core subject matter of this video, the director has tapped into a universal theme here by showing how, when people within a community decide to work together, they can achieve their goals. In the past, existing stereotypes within the general public have forced karate to be perceived as simply a form of exercise involving defensive postures, but this video shows that karate is a whole lot more than that – it’s a sport so revered that it’s represented in the Olympic Games! And we know there are many athletes within the Ontario community in pursuit of just that quest; karate champions who have the talent and skills to put our athletes on the world’s stage. Through this documentary, we now see the ongoing struggles these elite athletes and their families have struggled with for so long in Ontario.

This informative, fast pace documentary shows how young people not only learn the self-defence and competitive aspects of karate, but how they also learn discipline, perseverance, and most importantly, patience. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the documentary for me was when one instructor said that some of his best students began as very weak athletes; however, over a period of time and with many disappointments along the way, they discovered what works for them in order to win competitions, and went on to become some of our finest athletes.

It was also interesting to learn that karate classes must be run like a business. While this documentary focuses on karate in Ontario, I assume this also applies to the States and other countries.

Overall, I highly recommend that everyone watch Karate In Ontario: The Uphill Battle. Even those who may think they’re not interested in karate should know that this is an earnest, extremely informative, and well-executed documentary that involves everyone in our community. Kudos to the director and her team for looking beyond the barriers and presenting information on karate in Ontario in such a way that not only educates us but endears us to its long-standing and nuanced history. Well done!

I bought my Blu-Ray here:

You can also watch it online:

Rating: 5/5