Through a jungle of tournaments and championships, it becomes natural to separate some from each other. With such a diversity – but still with the same titles – one needs some insight. And one must admit that it is a bit special to see athletes attend in 3-4 World Championships in one and the same session. But there has never been so many European Championships/cup, World Championships/cups as now. As a result of this many tournaments struggle to fill their categories. Some many skilled athletes and competitors with unbelievable hard work.
The year 2019 gave us two big World Open Karate Championship. The conditions for organizing championships on such a large scale indicate great solidity. Tradition can hardly be stronger with one open weight class – one champion. In addition to these, several World Championships, World Grand Prix,World Cups etc. have been held in various formats and sizes.
We have just picked some of the larger tournaments, and even so you will see that it is way to many to give the total overview. But we have tried to mix it a little up.
The first clip will be the final of the -90 kg category, in the 6th World Cup Kyokushin Union. The Championship was held in Russia 6th October. The tournament had junior and veterans categories as well. The final we picked was between Oleg Tokarev / Russia and Shigematsu Sho / Japan. Last one reign champion from 2 yeas back. It seems that the tournament had a stronger (and wider) line up this time. Several organizations attended, but in the end mainly Japan and Russia ended up in the finals.
Next clip we bring in from a European Championship: the final IKO open weight. Patryk Sypien / Poland vs Dzmitiry Varabei / Belarus. Sypien won this tittle in 2014, and been top 8th 2015/16/17. Varabei was the runner up in 2018. The met this spring in the weight category EC, in the quarter final, at that point did Sypien win, ending up 4th in total. Best tameshiwari: Patryk Sypien. Best spirit: Dzmitry Vorobei also made recently a very strong world tournament – loosing the 2nd day a hard decision on boards – being in the lead trough the fight.
We goes to Japan in the next one. The 5th All Japan Open – JFKO championship. A very strong tournament, with level and numbers of fighter that easily can match several World Championships around. A two days tournament, we step into the quarter final Middleweight category. The category had 82 fighters in the line up. Atsushi Kawase / Shinkyokushinkai – was the runner up 1st WFKO International Tournament – 2018, Hiraki Kaede / Byakuren-Kaikan. Both really technical fighters, and a very entertaining match up this is.
This time we take the final in the European Championship Kyokushin Rengokai. This championship was held in Hungary, 24-26 of May. The tournament had different organizations in the line up, and they also had an impact at the results in total. As we have noticed other EC’s, also nations outside Europe attended. The final we are looking into will be the -90 kg final between Lukas Prem /Austria (Aka) Kyokushin-Kan vs Adam Kovacs / Hungary. A tough demanding final coming right up..
We will keep it in the European region, and another EC. The Shinkyokushin EC was held in Lithuania, Vilnius 13-14 April. The level in total are very high, and proven several times – the top Europe fighters here can go toe to toe with the best in the world. -75 kg category final: Mikheil Tsiklauri / Georgia vs Justinas Kvietka / Lithuania. The veteran Tsiklauri took his first EC tittle in 09, the second in 2011 (Lithuania) Kvietka have EC and World tournament medals from KWU,, but never been on the Shin podium. On his way up, but how far wil tiem show.
In October World Kyokushin Budokai had their World Cup in Santiago, Chile. WKB with Ukraine and Spain heavily dominating in their tournaments, naturally since those countries are the base. Earlier, 23th March, 2019 in Lorca, Spain, was the 3rd EC held. As mention Spain and Ukraine – Nikita Peshenko / Ukraine vs Adrian Rojo Mula / Spain. Looking into the semi final, Peshenko as the reign champion. The tournament had reduced number of categories down to 4 from 6 in 2018.
Japan next! In a single match fight between two top fighters from different organizations. “4th All Japan Real Championship Special Match” And we take the heaviest category. Syota Yamaguchi / Byakuren-Kaikan vs Jo Miyahara / Kwf. Both highly merited in several tournaments, perhaps with Yamaguchi as the favorite in this case with victories as JFKO All Japan Weight Tournament in 2017/19. Both are champion in Kwf Grand Prix, Yamaguchi in 2017 beating multiply world champion Vitaly Ishakhneli Russia. Miyahara champion in 2019.
We will stay with the concept one man fight WFKO GRAND-PRIX IRAN 2019. Russian based WFKO are trying to take Kyokushin fighting in to a professional setting, as we know from styles as boxing, MMA and more. Single matches, 5 rounds, title belts and high media focus. One have the impression that it is mainly IFK Russian fighters that are involved, matched up against fighters around the world. Maybe we will see the two above in 2020. Viktor Belyaev /Russia sky high favorite world champion and tons of tittles. Rahim Kamali /Iran little less known, but not unknown.
At the very end of the year 4th Kwu world championships were held in Kazakhstan. It is time to see into the lighter weight categories, final of men -65 kg. Ivan Tumashev / IFK Russia, World Champion KWU – highly skilled fighter vs Andrei Zinchenko /Georgia WKO, European Champion. Zinchenko known for his incredible strong pressure, and strong finish – Tumsahev with k.o. technics, and in this case more reach, possible dangerous knees.
The 12th IKO World Championship, held in Japan. As before, the interest of how the “new” rules developed the style – or not, will be a topic – either way, it is interesting! In this tournament it is all between two nations: Russia vs Japan. Top 32 – only 5 fighters from other nations. Top 16 – 1 fighter outside, top 8 – 4 Russian 2 Japanese and all the special awards included. The final between to giants: Mikio Ueda / Japan vs Alexander Yeremenko / Russia – really even, long and hard final – ending a very tough World tournament. 21 vs 17 will also be a number for some to remember after this tournament final.
The 12th World Open Karate Championship Shinkyokushinkai was as always held in Japan. The level in total are incredible high. The line up are so highly skilled and merited, plus the young up and coming fighters are so well prepared. The European region continues to challenge and equalize the World Tournament top level. With good help from Kazakhstan and Russia…as we speak of these two nations, the fight we picked: Ilya Yakovlev (ended at 8th) vs Nazar Nasirov. (Technical Award)