Karate in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Salko  curic

The first karate demonstration on the territory of Ex Yugoslavia happened in 1955. The demonstrator was a Japanese master T. Nagaoka. A year later judo club Mladost Zagreb started to learn the basics of karate. After that karate is more and more practiced in these areas and a strong stimulant to its development was a seminar held by Japanese master Tetsui Murakami. Beside all these things, the key for karate development had a man from Mostar, Salko Ćurić. This is a part of his story:

“Before karate I was practicing judo for 8 years. One time, my father Ahmed was in America visiting my brother. When he came back he wanted to surprise me and bring me something. He bought the largest picture with many people in kimono. Watching those pictures I realized that’s not judo but something else…”


After that event Salko made contacts with people outside Bosnia and Herzegovina and started to learn this sport. He went to study in Sarajevo, collected some students and taught them. In May 1967 he became the founder of the fist karate club in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Karate Club “Bosna” Sarajevo.

Karate club “Student” 

18147 1322699263408 1108638066 978981 4011765 nKarate club “Student” was founded February 16, 1981 as a first University Club under the flag of Univerzitet “Džemal Bijedić.” Thanks to a good organization as well as enthusiasm of Suad Ćupina, long time karate competitor for Yugoslavia, and Faruk Ćupina, the Club managed to get to the highest rank of the karate federation in only 5 years since formation. From the very beginning, every success seemed to encourage “Student” to win more competitions. In a very short period they became the champions of the region, the Republic, and finally in December 1985 they became one of the top clubs among the best. Precisely 1985 was the crown of all previous successes since Karate club “Student” was not defeated even once at competitions. In 10 matches at the Republic karate-league they managed to win with a point difference 80:20 and so they became the champions of the Republic. After that year, at qualification matches one tie and two wins brought “Student” the title of first-league team, fourth in total from the city of Mostar. With that in mind, “Student” members were also champions of 17th karate-cup “Zrenjanin” and they were second at the International karate-turnir of friendship after tying with the senior representatives of Yugoslavia. At the 6th sport games of Student union of Yugoslavia, representing University “Džemal Bijedić,” “Student” became the University champion of Yugoslavia.

In 1987 at the championship of Yugoslavia held in Pristina, Enver Idrizi became the national champion in middleweight category, while Zdenko Klepić (welterweight), Senad Šator (feather weight), and Jasmin Šabanac (heavy weight) won silver medals. Jasmin Šabanac even beat the world champion on his journey to the finals. In 1989 at the national championship in Maribor, Senad Ramadanović (light weight) and Enver Idrizi (middleweight) won gold medals. We have to mention the women's team also had great results at the state and national level. The first national champions of Yugoslavia were Nina Acković, Senka Miloloža i Mladenka Jovanović.

Members of the Club who were in the National Team were: Suadin Šator, Emir Begić, Senka Miloloža, Nina Acković, Mladenka Jovanović, Zdenko Klepić, Enver Idrizi,  Suad Rožajac, Amra Arapović, Mladenka Jovanović, Zdenko Klepić, Nenad Marković, Senad Ramadanović, Mirnes Topić, Afan Čehajić, Željko Višnjić, Darko Manigoda, Marko Novčić, and Sanja Đermanović. Today's members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team are: Alem Zukić, Sabina Husić, Maida Elezović, and Tea Pendić.

Something very special about this sports club is its organization. “Student” took the initiative to help the development of karate sport in Herzegovina by encouraging formation of new clubs, Regional karate-union, and introducing karate to the “Herzegovina games” and “Student games of B&H.” The club has ties to different organizations and its coaches and members encourage education and training of youth.

Karate Club "Student" has been the best club in the city of Mostar in 1986, 1987, 1989, and 1990. Members of the Club were the best athletes of the city nine times (in 1981, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 2002.)

Karate Club “Student” currently has more than 100 members. Kadet, Junior, and Senior representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina act as coaches or competitors.


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