Junna Tsukii retires from karate, makes move to MMA

Junna Tsukii retires from karate, makes move to MMA

/ 07:44 PM June 13, 2024

Junna Tsukii karate

Filipino karate bet Junna Tsukii.

MANILA, Philippines — Junna Tsukii has kissed her karate career goodbye, embarking on a new journey to the world of mixed martial arts.

The Filipino-Japanese karateka on Wednesday announced that she is calling it quits in karate after a storied 26-year career.

“Thank you for your warm support. I have decided to graduate from an active karate player for 26 years and move on to MMA,” Tsukii wrote. “The stage will change, but I will try my best to make it exciting with all of you, so I would appreciate your continued warm support.”


The 32-year-old Tsukii made history winning the country’s first-ever gold medal in the 2022 World Games. She also won gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games but settled for silver last year marred with controversy.

READ: Junna Tsukii wins PH’s first gold in 2022 World Games

She fell in the round of 16 in the 19th Asian Games, yielding to Srey Phea Chonn of Cambodia,  3-2, in the women’s 51kg kumite event.

Tsukii recalled her journey in karate before taking on a new challenge in the MMA stage where she faces Ruka Sakamoto on August 31.

“’You better get married already.’ ‘You’ve worked hard. It’s time to settle down.’ I’ve heard these a lot since turning 30. But my body is much, much stronger than before,” Tsukii said. “I want to put what I learned so desperately while traveling around the world to better use in my life. I want to have more fun with everyone.”

“More than anything, I don’t think it’s right to give up on the challenges of my life just because of my age or what society thinks. Of course, there are many conflicts, but I believe there is a story that only I can write, so I will continue to forge ahead,” she added.

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