The beginning of Karate in Estonia can be dated back to 1969. The 1970s were a complicated time for practising karate, because karate was declared as an unwanted sport. Karate was legally accepted only in 1979.
The first high time of Estonian karate was the period from 1979 to 1983. After legalizing karate Estonia was one of the former Soviet Union’s karate centres and many medals from all-country competitions were won at that time. Tallinn was also one of those cities where all-country competitions were held in 1979.
When karate was banned again in 1983, the big break began and the practitioners hid themselves underground. In 1989, when karate as allowed again, it took several years before the split Estonian karate was united under the same roof again.
Estonian Karate Federation (EKF) was founded on February 15th 1992. It is a member of European Karate Federation since May 6th 1993. 1993 was also the first year Estonia’s karatekas were participating in European Championships in Prague. At the same time first steps were taken towards getting membership in the World Karate Federation – WKF, and a temporary status was received in 1992. Full membership was received on December 7th 1994. The first Estonians to participate in World Championships were Aleksandr Zõkov and Marko Luhamaa in 1996 in South African Republic in Sun City.
Currently the Federation includes 22 clubs or style organizations. The styles practised in Estonia are: Shotokan, Wadoryu, Shitoryu, Jyoshinmon Shorin Ryu, Shukokai and Kyokushinkai.