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Wadokai Open International Tournament 2023


Levelling Up Brunei’s Karate Game

Shihan Hj Malai Jeffery Dean, the President of the Brunei Wadokai Karate Club, wished to host Wadokai’s first international karate tournament for two main reasons: professionally, he wanted to encourage karate students to improve their skills and learn new strategies by exposing them to international standards of karate. And personally, he wanted to pay tribute to his late father, Hj Malai Mohammed, who was the first President of the Wadokai Karate Club, and who also carried the same wish. Thus, the Wadokai Karate Open Championship was hosted in August 2023, bringing karate clubs from across Southeast Asia to Brunei to compete against, as well as learn from one another.

AICREATIVV was approached to lead the Design and Marketing team for the event. We were tasked with designing a refreshing new look for Wadokai Karate Club’s first international tournament, while video production company, Canvaes, produced media coverage material across the tournament’s three days. As this was our first project working on a sports brand, a lot of effort was put into the work, from research to execution, in order to create a brand that mirrored the ethos of the karate community of discipline, perseverance, and camaraderie.

"Unleash the warrior within"

Swift Strokes for Sharp Strikes

Knowing how much this event meant to the Shihan (meaning ‘master instructor’ in Japanese) of Wadokai Karate Club, we felt a lot of pressure to meet his expectations. Before we began designing the visuals, it was crucial to clarify and align the expectations of everyone in the working committee. When so many people are involved, with differing opinions and preferences, it can be almost impossible to create something that meets everyone’s goals. Therefore, having this initial conversation can help to narrow down the artistic direction.

To aid in the decision-making process, we created three stylescapes for the committee to choose from, which varied in multiple assets, including the colour palette, recurring themes or patterns, and the overall feel of the visual brand. The chosen stylescape took inspiration from the swift and sharp movements common in many karate moves as demonstrated in their ‘Kata’ and ‘Basic Demo’ performances. We used this stylescape to guide the decisions behind every design, from printed to digital collaterals, including merchandise, medals, and the tokens of appreciation.

Pride of the Home Team

The colour palette of the visual brand was created to acknowledge the countries participating in the Wadokai Karate Open Championship. We incorporated colours from the flags of Sabah, Labuan, and Sarawak, towns and states from Malaysia that participated in the tournament. We chose red as the main colour of the brand, not only because it is present in all flags of the nations involved, but also because it signified the fiery passion and energy that emanated from the karate students that came to represent their nation.

And although we were excited to invite international teams to participate, we were equally as excited and proud to take part in the development of a large-scale event that our own home country, Brunei, is hosting. We celebrated this achievement by incorporating iconic Brunei landmarks in the designs of larger collaterals, such as banners, posters, and backdrops, to represent the Bruneian culture and our regional karate clubs.

A Gold Medal for a Gold Future

The Wadokai Karate Open Championship 2023 was a resounding success, bringing teams from across the border to witness the power and passion of Brunei’s karate community. Coincidentally, the colours of the visual brand that we created for the tournament matched the interior of the venue, the Youth Centre, which further amplified a sense of cohesion and immersion between the visuals and the event. By encapsulating the essence of the karate spirit in our design work, we not only provided the Wadokai Karate Club with a striking design for their first international tournament; we gave them a visual brand that they can carry forward in their future events, a visual identity that cements their brand, strengthens their ‘kiai’ (the term for a spirited shout in karate), and unites the team.


Branding and designs by AICREATIVV
Photography and videography by Canvaes

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