European karate champion moves to Fenland and considers defending his title
By ADAM LAZZARI MANY people will have noticed a new face running through the streets of Chatteris in the last couple of weeks, but few will realise that he is a three-times European karate champion. Nato Ficarra won his first European title in 1992. He wo
By ADAM LAZZARI
MANY people will have noticed a new face running through the streets of Chatteris in the last couple of weeks, but few will realise that he is a three-times European karate champion.
Nato Ficarra won his first European title in 1992.
He won it again in 2008, successfully defended it last year and is considering defending it again in Milan in July.
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He said: "My daughters Daniella, who is 13, and Victoria, 11, want me to retire. I came back last year with a tooth missing, a severely battered black eye and bruises all over my body. They don't want to see their dad get hurt.
"I'm 42 years old and I don't feel that I don't have anything else to prove. Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through it, but I've always wanted to achieve all that I can.
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"I'm training harder than I did last year and I feel absolutely great - I might just give it one more shot. I'll make a decision in the next six weeks."
He added: "I was obsessed with Bruce Lee films as a child. I used to always stop and rewind the videos and try to copy his moves.
"Karate has helped me in all areas of my life. It's taught me discipline, focus and to stand my ground when the chips are down. I want to make sure karate can help others in the same way that it has helped me."
Ficarra, who has Italian parents, was born and brought up in Cambridge and has moved to Chatteris from the Ely area at the end of last month.
He runs karate clubs in Sutton, St Ives, and is considering opening one in Chatteris.
He has also helped to raise money for the Harbour School, Wilburton, Witchford Village College, the East Anglian Air Ambulance and recently East Anglia's Children's Hospices in Milton by attending an event at The Maltings, Ely with Chatteris boxing legend Dave "Boy" Green and former England cricket star Graham Gooch.
Ficarra said: "I've been friends with Dave "Boy" Green for a while and I know he does a lot for charity.
"I plan to meet with him soon to see what we can do in Fenland. I love living in Chatteris and if Dave and I can use our profiles to help people who need it, that's great.