The 3rd KWU World Championship is coming up, once again held in Russia. As before the setting is very professional, the hype is big and the event is well covered. It is assumed there will be 55 nations, divided among nine men’s classes and six women’s classes. Everything is done for an unforgettable championship…
Everything is done for an unforgettable championship,but there is some less interest in the championship this time than before. Most addresses this to that the KWU World Tournament, KWU European Tournament, IFK World Tournament, British Open – are very similar regarded to the line up and results. That together with little time in between the big tournaments, makes it more “regular” that it should be. But we also know for sure that it will be many very good fights, between some of the finest Kyokushin athletes there is!
- Many nations – different level
- Middle East and Africa
- North and South America together with Oceania
- Professional or not?
- “yes please both”
- It`s time to get excited
One thing that has been fuzzing around do to the presentations of the fighters. Last World Championship KWU in 2015 several athletes was caught use of illegal substances. Six athletes was convicted an lost their medal, and according to the official KWU document, they was disqualified for 2 years from January 2016. There is athletes taken,convicted and disqualified in the document who not only are in the line up, but as one of the favorites as well. A quick web search shows that the person have been active in several big tournament as the IFK WC, KWF EC, British Open to name some of them. It is also a fact that others who was taken,convicted and disqualified in the document also are active in major tournaments. If the persons for one reason are being free from the verdict, it should be communicated out to all.
Many nations – different level
Looking into the nations that are attending in this championship, it would be fair to say that it is a huge gap between the top and bottom level. That is not new perhaps, but it is notable that the “middle level” seems to have less amount than usual. In the heaviest categories for men, lies the average on 16 fighters, in the categories around the middleweight and lightweight the number will be mid 20.
In the women division, this year the lightest category -50 kg has been added, and in total the number of fighters raises with about ten. Last time some of the categories became poor, few fighters and “no show” at the tournament slimmed down some of the categories to 8 and 9 fighters. That is to poor to be a world championship of this format. Luckily it seems this time that the categories has a more solid number of fighters. The “No Show” factor will as always be there, it just depends on to what extent. That brings us to witch countries that are signed up.
⇐ Alexandr Drozd, Russia, sky high favorite.
Not only do they have a superb level, but they are also the one who puts most in to it. Russia is one of only two countries that have they full number of fighters. Shinkyokushin Lithuania being the other country, would be a good factor to level it out. This will give us the picture that would be in the direction of the KWU EC tournament in 2016. One could add that the draw will be a factor, but in the total picture we believe that “the top 4”, they are already are set – more or less. Russian fighters will be more or less podium favorites in every category, and also in some of the categories they will be a clear favorite to win.
EUROPE with their leading nations will have a central roll in the total picture. Countries as Lithuania, Poland and Bulgaria do have the combination of merited fighters as well as the number of fighters representing are also high. The Lithuanian team are only represented from WKO, as the Bulgarian team are only represented by Kyokushin-Kan, but the Polish team have a mix from several organisations. It is natural to add Spain, large group also them from several organisations. We believe that it is in the women category that it will be most impact, with fighters as Alexandra Lesniewska, Agata (Kalicak) Winiarska, Alexandra Karpuk from Poland,Inga Mikštaitė and Rita Pivoriunaitė from Lithuania. Iya Kostova and Mihaela Ivanova from Bulgaria. Teona Gazdeliani from Spain.
Lithuania, one of the strongest Kyokushin nations.
From the men`s side, there is of course many very strong fighters, and there is also some of them than can challenge the top. Daniel Redondo and Jonathan Tineo from Spain. Ivan and Aleksandar Komanov and Georgi Doychev from Bulgaria, Vytautas Cepla and Edgard Sečinski from Lithuania.
Strong countries as Hungary, Azerbaijan, Ukraine are represented, and we know the level are high in these countries, but as mention the interest are not so high that one could believe. This is countries that would easy fill their number of fighters if they wanted. But we would say that some strong profiles are notable. Emin Ismayilli and Valeh Jafarov from Azerbaijan. Gabor Rozsa, Lilla Herczeg, Veronika Nemeth from Hungary. Volodymyr Serhelev from Ukraine.
⇐Gabor Rozsa,one of the top fighter in Europe for many years, the podium could be reality this time.
Taking it one step further in the same direction we can see that Georgia and Romania are not represented (one fighter) nations that have absolute top fighters. One could wish that the European region could be stronger represented, but this seems to be a little reflection where the KWU stands. There is so that we have good fighters from other countries than we have listed up above, Jonas Rosin, Sweden ⇒, Artur Arushanyan, Armenia,Jean-Paul Jacquot, France and Emma Markwell GB would be good examples of that. But we try make the picture a little bigger than single persons, and try to see regions and teams.
When we move in to the ASIA region, we really are going to see some exciting fighters. Japan would naturally be the first name for many, but we also believe that Shinkyokushin Kazakhstan have many interesting fighters. Yekaterina Gurova and Lyudmila Ustyugova – women`s division. Vladimir Artyushin, Dmitriy Moiseyev and Merey Suyunov – men`s division. Kazakhstan have proven to be among the best fighters in several occasions, also manage to penetrate the Russian elite. Maybe not all the way to the top,but we believe that they will be an factor.
On regular basis Japan will be among the top nation, and with fighters as ⇐Erika Sato, Ito Honami and Miyahara Jo, it might be podiums spots. But we think overall that Japan will have a big challenge going through the Russian and the Eastern Europe countries. However one can never underestimate the the Japanese fighting spirit.
Countries from the Middle East and Africa are also represented, last time Iran had strong fighters moving in to the podium, non of them are in the team this time. Africa are represented with several nations, historically seen these do not have big impact in the total picture. It it also many of these countries that have one representative, and it not a rear picture to see that they are only appear on the paper. We believe that it can be challenging regarding to the distance and that kind of matters.
North and South America together with Oceania are not being the strongest parts represented. Few fighters, and for many of us also a little “unknown territory” But one name pops up, must say that it is a little while since last time we notice, Julie Lamarre, Canada. Become the world champion in weight categories in 2013 (IKO1) not a bad result at all! But in total we do not believe that these regions will have impact.
Professional or not?
The pace of KWU and organizing tournaments are very high – maybe to high. We can see that the tournament are vulnerable, and it is so that in this format the KWU must have back up and help from others, if not will the categories and tournament be to poor. “The Time to get united” slogan do not actually seems quite descriptive, looking at fighters entering their 3rd World Championship in 8th month.(!) (and how many EC`s?!) And we are not blaming the fighters. The consequence of fighting at this top level will be that the nations and teams who can train on a fully professional basis will survive. Nations with smaller team half or non professional basis will burn out or quit. The bigger nations can also switch among their top fighters so others can rest. Smaller nations do not have so many fighters. They must choose not send, or it must be the same fighter each time. This will burn out the fighter, and the time to develop or to get full recovery will not be enough. A professional team do also often have economical benefits, and that will also count in of course.
“yes please both”
So looking to a World Championship. Do we want fewer nation and only top athletes on a professional basis, or do we want the diversity of the tournament? The answer is hard to tell, maybe like Winnie the pooh: “yes please both” -and there lies the challenge. When we see this contour (as we see now) the excitements also drops. That as an reaction to what the most of us known will happen. The professional nations/teams will go through the tournament leaving few surprises and lower the excitements. This is nothing new in the picture of top sports. The same has been a factor to others sports when the results are the same and predictable over a longer period of time.
It`s time to get excited!
But we have something that others sports do not have. The Kyokushin spirit and the will to never give up. Oh yeah every athlete in the world would say the same, in every sports there is. But we know that we have something special, and the nice thing about it: it belongs to all!
Some “dream fights” that we very much would like to see, one of them would be a rematch between:
Moisseyev Dmitriy and DanielRedondo. We would also like to see Jonas Rosin vs Vytautas Cepla. Marek Wolny vs Pablo Estensoro. Jonathan Tineo against Edgard Secinski..Yekaterina Gurova vs Emma Markwell would be a new one, Svetlana Tuchkova vs Agata (Kalicak) Winiarska!