This year European Championship was without a doubt a great success. And in several ways did this EC manage to be good. The part of organizing was good, information, arena LIVE stream and all the work we not see at the day of the tournament. This year’s participation was also very good. Variety and number of countries / practitioners have rarely been better. Many struggle with the number of poor divisions, while WKO seems to increase. This also increases the standards of those participating in the tournament.
←Picture from PFKS see more here
In 2015 we have our biggest tournament, the World Championship in Japan. Held every 4th year with an open weight class. The activity each world tournament year appear to be lifted in order to prepare athletes towards the WT.
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Maybe this is one factor, maybe not. But this EC has too be one of the strongest in a long time. Non of the EC`s er easy to enter, the level is sky high but as said this year it looks like some more was put in to it.
Some new very well merited fighters from other arenas was also to see in this tournament, And the sowed great class ad skills. Two of them fought in the same division, the middleweight division. From Switzerland ←Sacha Décosterd (click name for link and scroll down for merits) He fought very good, and ended at the third place. Lost to the very strong Georgian fighter Tengiz Bastoiani. Bastoiani really pushing Dècosterd to his limit, and the Swiss fighter using all his skills and heart to stay the time out.
Many predicted that this was the year that the first Polish medal in the middleweight would come. That said, many also had a special fighter in their mind, Gerard Will. The young polish fighter is one of the best middleweight fighter in Europe, and he has great records to prove it. 2013 IKO1 EC 1st. That alone is a great win. Winning the EC 2013 & 2014 for the KWF, and also winning the KWF World Championship in 2014, and many of his fight are ended before full time. Walk Over in the first round, and winning his two first fights against Bulgarian and Azerbaijan. Defeating last year third place winner, Hasanov Salahat in his second fight. Third fight, the test. Marius Ilas, Romania. Will and Ilas have fought one time before – victory Ilas. This time?
Marius Ilas, unorthodox fighting style. he does so you begin to guess when the next attack comes, not to mention how the attack will be. Always stressing you, always changing the “picture” before your eyes. Breaking your rhythm, what appears to be a technique, just a feint .. something which only looks like a movement – is an attack. From a safe distance we can watch, but we can not feel. To understand what the fighters feel, you have to be there, on the tatemi, in the heat. Gerard Will, once again looses to Ilas, but it is a close fight. Both great fighters in their own way – and in this kind of settings no one looses.
Marius Ilas advances to the finals, and once again he is ready for the EC final. Georgian fighter Tengiz Bastoiani can not stop him, and only one could stop Bastoiani this day he reaches higher than he has done before, runner up EC 2015. Winner Marius Ilas Romania. Tengiz Bastoiani also in the line up to the European Championship KyokushinKan / Royama (fighters here)
Men lightweight with 28 fighters is an solid category to enter. Many of the fighters have great records and experience, and the category have only become harder and harder. Georgian fighters have been a factor in this weight class for years, and the have including this year been on the podium with one or two fighters the last seven years. This year they not only had two fighters on the podium, they had the two on the top. Last year winner, Andrei Zinchenko reaching the final after a grueling battle with top Hungarian class fighter Gábor Rózsa.
Winner this year,Lasha Khachapuridze, Georgia. He is a well known fighter. He reached the final in the EC already in 2004, and became runner up only loosing to legendary Dimitar Popov /Bulgaria. This is not the only time Lasha has reached the final, also in 2013 EC he was able to capture the silver. But this year he beat his fellow country man in the final and became after five hard fights European Champion. Third places to Gábor Rózsa / Hungary,and a historic 3.place to George Suciu / Romania.
Light heavyweight has been dominated by Bulgarian Elite fighter Valeri Dimitrov. This year he fought in the category above, and the question was who would step up to take this weight class. One of the favorites, Vasil Vangelov /Bulgaria. Runner up for the last years. Strong fighter and also this year he make in to the final! But on the other side on the tatemi : Valdemaras Gudauskas / Lithuania. This is a young very good fighter, and he entered the podium last year with a third place. This year he was completely unstoppable! Last step before the final he completely broke down polish top fighter Marek Wolny, and that with a great knee to the head after hard bodywork with punches. In the final he also became to strong and aggressive for the Bulgarian fighter, and his first EC title was a fact! -and we point out “his first” (note Gudauskas is U22 EC winner from earlier).. Marek Wony / Poland and Zsolt Balogh / Hungary.
Men heavy weight. Much attention was directed to this class this year, and the big question was : could Valeri Dimitrov once again reach the top? All know that Dimitrov has the skills to meet heavier fighters. Proven several times in the World Tournament and World Cup. Also in the Open Weight EC of course – and as he did in 2009 when he also competed in the heaviest division. And in the same division top fighter as Lukas Kubilius / Lithuania, Brian Jakobsen / Denmark, Dorin Margarint / Romania, Maciej Mazur / Poland to name a few. Also new in the field Guzauskas Eventas / Lithuanian U22 EC Champion 2014 All of these has been at the top of the European Championship several times, ans as for Kubilius and Jakobsen both among the top five in the World Championship in 2011…
First eye opener in the category Guzauskas Eventas pulls out a win against Margarint. With a last 30 seconds higher pace Eventas manage to convince the judges, and he advance in to a meeting with Kyokushin icon Bulgarian Dimitar Trampov. Trampov still going strong in his mature fighting age (win against Polish homefighter Patryk Woynar), and the respect for this in the Shinkyokushin family are enormous. Lithuanian U22 champion advances and are now up against ←Maciej Mazur. This task is to big for the Lithuanian, and Mazur on his side shows that he has developed greatly. Also he has been fighting in the -90 class, and reach the podium two times. Mazur wins, and does it clear. Mazur has at this stage beaten Bogdan /Ukraine, Swedens Pålsson, and Denmark`s Breindal. This means that Mazur are ready for the final.
Valeri Dimitrov moves through the two first fights as we are used to see him. The third fight will be against Kubilius. Kubilius on his side has among others beaten Jakobsen, and and seem like he has very good control over those he fights against. Kubilius and Dimitrov met in the World Cup 2013, and Dimitrov ended the fight with punches. All fans are on their edge on their seats when these two enters the tatemi. Kubilius starts with some very strong lowkick, and Dimitrov answer with strong body punches and they seems to find the target, because Kubilius strong kicks are getting fewer. After a roll kick “death-roll” that Dimitrov neutralizes, Kubilius seems to have some problem standing up.
Up on their feet both throws punches, and suddenly Kubilius have to pull out! one of Dimitrov punches must have hit, and inflicted damage. Kubilius with strong spirit trying to continue but must give up. He ends nevertheless at a respectable 3rd place. Mazur and Dimitrov in the final. These two also met in the EC 2012, and Mazur showed strong heart and stood the time out…
Once again Valeri Dimitrov wins the European Championship. Nobody is going to be greater than this, we realize this slowly. Valeri Dimitrov – European Champion of the World. We can only thank for the inspiration he gives, the roll model he are and the true Budo person he is. He is a person with a personality that would give him the same respect without any title.
European Championship Shinkyokushinkai – Poland 2015.