12th World Karate Championship

Closing in to the greatest event,keeping the full contact Karate tradition alive: A World Tournament in Open Weight – the excitement raises and the expectations have never been higher. It would be hard to tell how such a great championship will turn out – but we will at least take a little closer look at the fighters, the draw and maybe also get to “know” some new fighters as well.. Men D block. Remember: it is only speculation – based on previous records and fight.. We appreciate and warmly welcome when fighters disprove our speculation 🙂

The last block – D block, 41 fighters in a very high level – contains reign World Champions among others. But we start from the top, Japanese fighter Yuto Eguchi. Fought his way into the 4th round, where he was stopped by Nasirov after a fresh start.His spirit and timing can bring him further in the tournament. He will be up against various fighters. Hungary with Andreas David – that for sure will bring the fight to him – if he can pass home-fighter Tomohito Yukawa, very good kicking abilities. And that fight will depend on if David can be active enough to make it trough – or the opposite.

Rasid Samedov / Russia (KWF/KWU) will take on the winner of David vs Yukawa. If Samedov can get by his opponent, the technical Sacha Decosterd /Switzerland. The matches are still early in the tournament, we assume quick decisions will be made from referee teams – which will mean intense matches at high pace.

Maxim Smolyakov / Russia, showed top international class two years ago,entering the final in the 6th World Championship in weight categories. Ending 2nd in a very tough category in a world championship creates some expectations. And it could end up facing a strong competitor from Lithuania, Vytautas Cepla, who is capable “to hang” with the best, and for several years has proven to be a good tournament fighter. And if Cepla stays in the tournament, he might face another Russian fighter.. Photo: @pufasfoto.lt

World Champion Salahat Hasanov / Azerbaijan, have been successful in Japan in earlier occasions. 4th place last year in the 1st WFKO prove his skills. Up against Atsushi Kawase / Japan (likely) in his first fight, the Japanese lightweight. Kawase will be challenged by the size difference, and of course the pace will be a topic – but we believe that Hasanov will be able to match the pace. If this happen, a big challenge will meet in the next, Russian top fighter Artem Lyalikov IFK/KWU. Being frequently on the podium in major tournaments, reign KWU EC champion just mention. The winner could move towards Cepla or Smolyakov – another great set up.

The lower part of the D block, Vladimir Artyushin / Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan top fighters – as always, and Artyushin are one of the best. 3rd place World Championship weight in 2017,loosing to Nasirov, follow each others to extension. We think into the 2nd round – and here we will find a really interesting match up: Artyushin vs George Suciu / Romania. This could be a final in a EC tournament – if Kazakhstan had been in the European region. Suciu, very stylish and great technical fighter – but gives away almost 10 kg – and Artyushin can keep a high pace in his game.

The winner of Artyushin vs Suciu will face Takashi Torihara / Japan. Torihara do not have top results, but is a very competent fighter. And it could be that he will appear less damaged, that the winner of Artyushin vs Suciu. When that it said, both, Artyushin and Suciu have mote than enough experience to fight at a high level trough several fights in a row. And the one who pulls trough can face very strong fighters i the next – probably from Russia or Ukraine.

Russia reign heavy weight champion Vyacheslav Solovyev can and will probably advance trough first round, but the 2nd round can be way more harder. Anatoliy Zhuravel / Ukraine will have a word in the “discussion”. Very strong merits from the U-22 category, and managed the transition into the senior division smooth. Into the podium as a “fresh senior” 3rd place at first, and so 2nd made a very strong impression in the 11th World Championship in 2015, when he made it to the second day beating Japanese top fighter Kazuya Yamamoto among others. And if he moves trough the tournament, he will cross Suciu / Artyushin. And with weight and power he could be a very tough challenge to get rid of..

Jonas Rosin / Sweden KWU/IFK, will be natural to point out as a heavy contender. World Cup winner, EC winner, and multiply top 3 placed in World Championships and EC’s (KWU/IFK/RENGOKAI/WKB) According the the remarkable strong record, he could be expected to reach higher in the tournament than the most of the competitors. Very strong style, and a lot of experience – and he is conditioned very good.

A interesting match up in the 2nd round, when it probably are set for a Sweden vs Lithuania, Jonas Rosin vs Justinas Kvietka. The shared 3rd place in the KWU EC last year, but as mention, Rosin’s record are far more stronger that Kvietka. But the Lithuanian fighter are not easy to go trough. He has all the qualities that a good fighter should have, in addition he is unorthodox in his style, which makes him very demanding to meet. If you can pass him okay, but how much did it take?

The bottom section of the D block World Champion from four years back, Yuji Shimamoto. And right to the question: can he do it again? Well, there are so many strong fighters – but if we compare him with last time, and take a look at what he has been doing since last World Tournament in 2015. he manage to win the world championship in 2017 weight categories, same year he took 49th All Japan Open throne – did it again in 2018 – the 50th All Japan Open. Came on 2nd place same year 1st WFKO International Tournament – 2018 – it seems that he is ready..