Once again a very active year has been completed, and World Tournaments, European tournaments, open`s have been organized, and held all over the world. It is sad to confess that one can not see every tournament!! Some many skilled athletes and competitors with unbelievable hard work. We have tried to pick some of the fights that we will give some extra attention..The first session from men`s divisions. And the point is to pick fight from around the world and tournaments, mostly the biggest one.
First one out this time is from IKO1 and from the European Championship held in Romania, November 2017. The tournament is the 2nd EC in 2017, and then we know that this one is open weight. In the final Alejandro Navarro (Spain) reign champion and a fighting icon. We think that he has come to a point where he can not lose. With his huge participation at the top level for so many years, all likes to see him fight and it is more important than victory in tournaments. First time he won this tournament was in 2006..and in total 7 times EC Open Weight champion.
His opponent, Konstantin Kovalenko (Russia) do not have the same record – yet! Prior to this year he stood without any merits within the European Championships, and now he got two tittles. We like this final because of the “Old warrior” still going strong setting – but there is more into also. We must also see the adapting towards the new rules. Sweeps, pushing, grabbing – and ho the fights turn out due to this factors.
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World Grand Prix in Japan was organized by KWF. The top KWF tournaments are dominated by fighters from other organizations. Kyokushin-Kan and IFK, especially Bulgaria and Russia are normal “inventory” of the podium, but maybe it would be different i Japan? We picked out the super heavyweight final, between Syota Yamaguchi, Byakuren-Kaikan (Japan) vs European KWU Champion Vitaly Ishahneli Russia (IFK) (Now World Champion IFK) Ishahneli known for his devastating low-kicks, but what about Yamaguchi? Yamaguchi became the winner of the 4th JFKO All japan Open later (May)
Video from Shihan Noriyuki Tanaka
We enters the light heavyweight final, at this fight made two very strong names Nazar Nasirov (Russia) vs Syota Maeda (Japan) These two was among top 8 in the last World Championship – Nasirov at 6th and Maeda 4th place. And Maeda awarded the spirit award as Nasirov the technical Award! And since that time 2015, they`v only become better. The settings was ready, and one assumed that it would be a little battle of the styles, or height.
Picture from pufasfoto.lt
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One more from the same tournament, and this one do also have a historic result. This one, in the middleweight category, had Russia and Azerbaijan on the tatami. Maxim Smolyakov was the competitor from Russia, and Salahat Hasanov from Azerbaijan. Hasanov being the European Champion from 2016, that was his ticket into the tournament, as Smolyakov was been qualified through the Russian championship. Since Russia not are a part of the European region, and with that they was not used to fight each others, these two fighters would be a very interesting bout…
WC IFK, and the final between Igor Ryadnov (Russia) as the big favorite, against the young talented Jonas Rosin (Sweden Rengokai) The tournament was held in Romania,category under 90 kg. We really impresses with Rosin through the whole year. He has been in two World Championships finals, and two European Championships finals,and more. And it seems that there always will be a Russian challenge. And at this day his team mates was also taking top spots in the European Championship – Rengokai, also in Romania the same day..!
So, what with Igor Riadnov? Being the IFK Russian champion set things in perspective. Also being the world champion 2015 KWU.
So to Japan and the 4th All Japan Open, Japan Fullcontact Karate Organization JFKO. This tournament are getting more and more interesting for each time. we are being introduced to several Japanese fighters from many organizations, that really shows tremendous skills and styles/way to execute techniques. Men middleweight has been our choice and the fight between Yuto Fukuchi (Byakuren-Kaikan) vs Takeshi Midori (Shinkyokushinkai) are ready. Fukuchi is a very technical fighter, and did also win back in 2012 – and that made him represent Japan WKO in the World Cup 2013. Takeshi Midori, of course no coincident that he reaches the final to!
Video from official JFKO You tube channel, visit for more!
This one, from The Netherlands contains to fighters that has been fighting in many tournaments across several organizations. Both very dedicated and merited – so the setting is great for a good fight. The organizer, International Budokai, held this event,European Championship in March 2017. Zsolt Zsiga (Hungary) vs Sacha Décosterd (Switzerland) the fight between the two of them was about the world title. The format of the fight is a little different than we are use to see in Kyokushin, but well known if we look to Thai/Kick Boxing,in a ring, and with rounds 5 X 2 min
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49th All Japan Open Shinkyokushinkai is next stop. We are keeping it in “the finals” but we chose the quarterfinal instead of the final. The final however was between Iriki and Shimamoto, last one made once again to take the victory. The fight we chose is between this years EC Champion Maciej Mazur (Poland) and Daiki Kato (Japan) one can maybe say that Mazur`s record in the EC`s reflects Katos`s All Japan Open record. In the world championship Mazur came out best, in the world championship in weight cat. – Kato. In this All Japan Open Poland participated with several fighters, and give a signal that they will challenge the very best – at home court.
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In the last big tournament of the year, Artur Arushanyan (Armenia) met Farid Kasumov (Russia) in the final of KWU world Championship category under 60 kg. Arushanyan was the reign champion from 2015, but as the tournament was held in Russia, fighting the Russian favorite – the result was not given. Farid Kasumov on his side did win the tournament in 2013, in an very even battle with 2-2 on the flags, the main referee tipped it Kasumov way. It was also to be his last tournament this time, and for sure he would be prepared. the interesting part was also that they fought the EC final in 2016, then the Russian fighter got the title.
Video by vecherniigorod Youtube channel
The last one is from a smaller tournament in Japan. The 5th November The 34th Tohoku Karate Tournament was held, Organized by the Fukushima Branch. Making it three in a row, the 8th World Champion Kunihiro Suzuki once again takes the title – as Naoki Hashimoto also repeat his results from last year, being the runner up. Suzuki with his never giving up spirit gives us guidelines and a tough that you should never stop doing what that describes you and has been formed you. Maybe one must change a little in direction sometimes, but who you are is what you are.
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