13th World Championship A-block – Men’s Division

132 fighters from all over the world, one champion – the tradition stays alive! Photo by Pi-photo.pl

Men’s Division – Block A

There is no doubt that the WKO Shinkyokushinkai World Championship stands as one of, most likely, the heaviest world championships held in these times. The men’s division contains 132 fighters from all over the world. Compared to the women’s division, we will (unfortunately) not be able to go so deep in the line-up – it is too much to cover. A quick look at the top seeded in block A: Eventas Gužauskas / Lithuania, Yuta Goto / Japan, Daiki Kato / Japan, Valeri Dimitrov / Bulgaria. Photo by Pi-photo.pl

Like in the women’s division, the one with number 1 on the back is from Lithuania. Reign World Champion in Weight categories – Eventas Gužauskas. Reaching 6th. in the 12th World Championship so nothing less to expect this time. Through the preliminary rounds, the opponents looks to be European fighters, possible Japanese – but none of them highly merited. Holding a decent level no doubt, but measured up against Gužauskas – not yet. Photo by Pi-photo.pl

A factor will as always be (for a favorite) that he will bear the pressure, and must balance the fights from the start. Win yes, but without risk of receiving damage (less as possible) or worse injuries. Facing a top seeded fighter means that you can be in an “everything to win” position – and fight whit “no tomorrow” attitude. Photo by Pi-photo.pl

Eventas Gužauskas possesses incredible strength, and his famous drive last part of his fights are more than the most can stand. However, there is of course more when it comes to a World Champion of a highly respected organization. Gužauskas will attack his opponent with strong well-timed low kicks, and the body with strong, deep punches. A short lack of focus, and he will land a high knee to the head Photo by Pi-photo.pl

– or execute the death roll* (Do Mawashi Kaiten Geri) *we like to compare it to the “Death roll” of a crocodile, perform a spinning manoeuvre to subdue and dismember prey. The spinning manoeuvre, which is referred to as the death roll)Photo By pufasfoto.lt

In the line-up, we have fighters as Yurii Duma / Ukraine, Sacha Décosterd / Switzerland, Yuki Okada / Japan – all have a decent level, but will be tested to the limit when/if they goes up against Gužauskas. In Décosterd and Okada’s case, they will probably face each other before that. Décosterd is quite good merited, and a very technical fighter. Have not fought in WKO tournaments lately as EC etc.

EC this year Duma showed very strong spirit winning his first fight, stood against a hard pressure, before turning the fight in his favour. Lost the nest, but against Marek Wolny who became champion later that day. Have some nice merits in his carrier, like the victory in Hungary European Open Szolnok Cup

The first one who can match the merits and record of Gužauskas would be Yuta Goto / Japan. If it happen, both have to win three fight before this is a reality. We see the possibility for this to happen, even so that there will be some “obstacle” in the way. It is quite possible that Yuta Goto can match more than merits and record of Gužauskas.

Rustam Avzalov / Kazakhstan – who did qualify to the World Championship I weight categories, reminds us of Ilya Yakovlev style-vice. 125 kg, but explosive and movable. World Champion IFK 2022 (U-21) defeated by other Davit Mskhaladze. The 18th Asia Shinkyokushinkai Championship champion. Have to pass by Stefan Mos / Romania in the first fight – Mos who advanced in the EC, showing great spirit and have experience from earlier years.

The winner will most likely face Eiji Kanbara / Japan – young technical fighter, stepping into the tournament being a reserve. If not mistaken, Kanbara, fighting out from the Tsukamoto Dojo.

Yuta Goto has already challenged to top elite of Japan, being 24 years old. Top 4 since he started participate in JFKO All Japan Open / WFKO 2018, two times finalist in the All Japan Open-weight WKO. Since Goto represent Karate do MAC, does he also have a strong record from other top Japanese championships, as JKJO All Japan Open, and KWF World Grand Prix.

Can Goto neutralize the strong finish of Gužauskas; by slow him down from the start? Alternatively, will Gužauskas tame Goto’s attacks and unleash all his wildness and power in the end to secure the victory?

The lower half of block A contains some high profiles. Daiki Kato / Japan will most likely move on, and take on the winner of David Adam / Hungary vs Data Putkaradze / Georgia. Putkaradze fought in the 7th World Championship weight category, he competed in the -65 kg category, now weighing 80. Still a significant difference up to Adam at 106. David Adam – solid fighter Different strategy would be logic – who will pull this one off?

Antanas Klibavicius / Lithuania will be a force to recon. He will probably end up in fight vs Kato/Adam/ Putkaradze. Klibavicius have great strength and facing him will cost you – win or lose. Experienced with many tournament in his bag.

Takashi Torihara / Japan and last but not least Valeri Dimitrov / Bulgaria seems to end up facing each other in a possible 3rd fight of the day. Torihara has been steady at a respectable level. Represented Japan last time (12th World Championship) Made his best performance last year, 54th All Japan Open – reached 3rd place, only losing to Kembu Iriki, winning 3rd place final vs Yusaku Watanabe. It seems that Torihara have never been better..

Valeri Dimitrov enters his 6th World Open Championship. Single-handed through his carrier he has been victorious over national teams from the strongest nations. Several generation in matter of fact! It should be interesting to watch Dimitrov – again, enter the tatami. Photo by Pi-photo.pl

A couple of young fighters, Shoki Furumoto / Japan and Chingizkhan Ibrayev / Kazakhstan will fight their first fight, and the winner will most likely face Dimitrov. Chingizkhan Ibrayev coming up as an interesting fighter did participate in the 7th World Championship in weight categories. Relaxed, technical fighter with a very good reach. That said, he seems to have shrieked sins last time, registered height was 205 (in 2022), now it is set to 196cm – funny for nerds!

As said, we got the feeling that Dimitrov will face Torihara in fight 3, if so it will be a level up for both – and highly interesting for everybody else to follow. If Torihara can, reach top three in All Japan Open–and if Dimitrov just being himself – it’s on! Photo by Pi-photo.pl

After that, who knows!?