Fights of the year 2020 – Men

This year compare to last year, has been really a big contrast. due to the pandemic that has – and still are, a huge challenge for us all – and looking back at 2019, with several major tournaments, 12th World Championship(s) to top it all. Championships of any kind are not more important than life itself, and it has to come in that order. Well some great tournaments did go trough in 2020 – and we will take a closer look at some of them,and maybe some new faces to see..

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpg

First one out will be from a less promoted championship in Japan, held in February: The 4th Shidokan Hamamatsu international Karaté Championship. We pick up the final between Mathieu Camous (France) and 山田貴市 Yamada (Japan) Camous will, we guess, be tho one of them some will recognize, since his Kyokushin history has crossed more familiar tournaments – in France among others. Anyway, some really good action to come..

Video from フルコンタクトKARATEマガジン

Back in Europe and as you guess, European Championship in Belgium, 18 & 19 January. Organized by The EFKOEuropean Fullcontact Karate Organization. The -75 kg category had 28 fighters in the line up, and the contenders was very strong merited. But we are pretty sure that it was few who could predict that Hungarian young fighter Milán Móczó reached the final. An on his way to the final he manage to beat veteran Domas Sutkus (Lithuania) among others. Sutkus coming of a 2nd place in the KWU World Championship just a couple of month before this tournament. And it is the Sutkus vs Móczó fight we have picked.

Milán Móczó , Hungary
Video from proKyokushin

2020 KWF World Grand Prix, 1 March, Chiba, Japan, 2020. As we did in the women’s selection we will pick a fight from this championship as well. Japan did a clean sweep, and took all the 1st prices – for the second year a row. We picked the same weight category as we did above – and for sure, one do have to compare the two fights. Atsuki Ono (Aka) vs Kengo Oba. Ono make his transition from last years lightweight victory – into the middleweight this year with success.

Atsuki Ono , Japan – did also win the 12th JKJO.
Video from フルコンタクトKARATEマガジン

In the women’s selection, we did go to the Russian nationals, but in the men’s selection we well stay in Europe, and in Poland. The 21st Polish Open (weight) was held in November (Full results you can find HERE) The tournament attract fighters from different kind of organizations. The results from earlier edition of the tournament, will give us relatively few name that have been winners. Last six years two name only: Maciej Mazur and Patryk Sypien. Mazur was not attending this year, but the well merited Stypien was. He has been on the EC IKO1 podium 6 time in the last 7 years, switching between the -90 and the +90 category. And winning the Open Weight in 2019 (that we chose for last years selection) And being the reign champion in this particular tournament. This years final became a replay, because the other finalist was Marek Wolny. Some of the recent best results could be that Wolny have 3rd place, two times in the KWU World Championship, and not to forget he took the 1st place this year in the Polish Championship in weight-categories, +90 kg.

Patryk Sypien,Poland
Video from Roman Dymek

The 52nd All Japan Open IKO1 has been a championship where Russia have been leaving a mark. Konstantin Kovalenko Russian top fighter have trough some time gathered many strong tittles. European Champion +90 kg, European Champion Open-weight. 5th Place in the 12th World Open Championship last year. Came into 6th place in the All Japan Open some years back, and we assume you know the result for the 52nd version, and as so he went all the way this time. Instead for one fight, you can watch all his matches up to and including the final match. If you just want to settle for the finals, then it starts at 8:00

Konstantin Kovalenko, Russia
Video from ЕГФК / EGFK

Back in Europe, and in matter of fact back in Poland. Kokoro Cup – international fights, and we go for the fight between Jakub Tęcza vs Jean Paul Jacquot. The fight, from our angle, had some factors that was very interesting. In this fight we have to different kind of fighters – not only in style, but also in experience and the physical aspect. Jean-Paul Jacquot (France) become the EFKO EC champion earlier this year, the runner up in the KWU World Championship i 2019. Due to the Covid-19 regulations, the fights could not be decided by the judges – if there was no scoring/warnings. And with one round only, 5 minutes, was there any tactics regarding to that? Further on, when both know that it will be only one fight, and non of the fighters are marked from previous fights, this in total separates the fight from an ordinary tournament. And for us personally, could Tęcza take on the powerful Jean Paul Jacquot? So as said, for us it was several interesting factors – that could be answered trough this fight!

Not official poster. Official website

Japan have so many fighters that appears from different kind of organizations. The most of us see them maybe for the first time when they enter more profiled championships as All Japan Open in a major organization, or some kind of World Championship. If one do have some deeper interest, you will spot them a little earlier. Specially if you are living in Europe, and got that as the main focus.

Yuta Goto (Japan) has been in the top class in many tournaments. This year putting on the pressure in the 52nd All Japan Open Shinkyokushin – ending 3rd, and a month later winning the 12th JKJO championship in the heaviest division. Goto have a long reach – and possesses technic and power to end fight before full time. This was the case in both mention tournaments above. We will take a look at the last one, the final in The 12th JKJO championship, held now in December. His opponent Fuyu Takahashi / Japan. Takahashi Aka/red belt.

Photo from 慶應大学 筋肉図鑑 @Keio_muscle
Video from JKJO official channel

As previous mention. The 52nd All Japan Open Shinkyokushin was held this year. The support from all over Japan, made the tournament very strong – and also highly interesting. The results are known, and the most of the fights have been shared and seen by the most of us. We pick the first fight from an early stage, between Isshin Nomura facing 2019 KWF World Grand Prix champion Jo Miyahara. We predicted that Minamihara would face top favorite Iriki later on in the tournament. We can reveal that none of these came among the top 8 this time, but the match and its result gives us once again a reminder that all matches must be fought.

Picture from

We can not miss this years All Japan Open Shinkyokushin champion, Kembu Iriki. A specialist when it comes to set the devastating lowkicks at the very right time. With variation on how he enters, he almost always get the best out of the attack – and one do not “need” many of those before things begin to slow down – or hurt. He also moves very good, and ends up in a possession where he can attack – again. Facing some real stiff competition in this version of the All Japan Open, but brings the pace down, and systematically wears down his opponents. Taking less damage earlier on in the tournament will of course help! Into the top 8, and the fight between Yuya Tanaka , who was awarded the Technical Award and Kembu Iriki. Yuya Tanaka from Yamada Dojo will be a hard nut to crack in the possible third fight. Tanaka, proven to be capable to reach into the top – being the runner up in JFKO All Japan Open last year. Although that was in the middleweight division.

Kembu Iriki, Japan