Karate as Sports

Gichin Funakoshi  (Father of modern Karate) said, “There are no contests in karate.” In pre–World War II Okinawa, kumite was not part of karate training. Shigeru Egami relates that, in 1940, some karateka were ousted from their dojo because they adopted sparring after having learned it in Tokyo.


The International Traditional Karate Federation (or ITKF; known in Japanese as Kokusai Dentō Karate Renmei ) is the international governing body for Traditional Karate. This organisation was founded by Hidetaka Nishiyama. Nishiyama was one of the last surviving students of Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate.). The ITKF is composed of Traditional Karate national federations from each member country. Each member national federation is the governing body for Traditional Karate in its respective country. Each member national federation, under ITKF rules and regulations, controls Traditional Karate activities in its country and has the right to send representatives to participate in ITKF official events.

Karate is divided into style organizations. These organizations sometimes cooperate in non-style specific sport karate organizations or federations. Examples of sport organizations include ITKF , WKF, WFF, WUKF and WPKC. Organizations hold competitions (tournaments) from local to international level. Tournaments are designed to match members of opposing schools or styles against one another in kata, sparring and weapons demonstration. They are often separated by age, rank and sex with potentially different rules or standards based on these factors. The tournament may be exclusively for members of a particular style (closed) or one in which any martial artist from any style may participate within the rules of the tournament (open).


The World Karate Federation (WKF) is the largest sport karate organization and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as being responsible for karate competition in the Olympic Games. The WKF has developed common rules governing all styles. The national WKF organizations coordinate with their respective National Olympic Committees.
WKF karate competition has two disciplines: sparring (kumite) and forms (kata). Competitors may enter either as individuals or as part of a team. Evaluation for kata and kobudō is performed by a panel of judges, whereas sparring is judged by a head referee, usually with assistant referees at the side of the sparring area. Sparring matches are typically divided by weight, age, gender, and experience.


The Traditional Fudokan Karate was founded in 1980 by Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga together with several similarly-minded people, forming the International Fudokan Karate do Renmei. Since 2012, the organization is known as the World Fudokan Federation.

The 3 ideograms connected in the word Fudokan signifies : basis(base), home and foundation. Therefore the word Fudokan means : “House on stabile, solid, granite foundation.” In the case when the word Fudokan would be split and set in the form of Fu Do Kan it literally means Home Solid Home. Bit if the word Fudokan represents and certainly it cans for example like Fudo Kan, the thought is totally different. Then it takes deep, almost philosophical and ethical meaning which could be translated like “ immobile(real) wisdom”.
7st WORLD FUDOKAN SPORTS KARATE CHAMPIONSHIP & “W.F.F. World Games Sports Karate”  Cluj-Napoca (Romania) 03 to 05 November 2017

WUKF (World Union of Karate-Do Organizations): In the early 1990s, Nishiyama’s refusal to align his ITKF organization with the World Union of Karate-Do Organizations (WUKO) caused the International Olympic Committee to suspend its recognition of WUKO as amateur karate’s international governing body. The ITKF and WUKO had been due to merge and form a unified karate organization, but this did not eventuate. The WUKO eventually became the World Union of Karate-Do Federations in late 2008.


WPKC (World Professional Karate Corporation) is the international governing body for Professional Karate. This organisation was founded by Dr. (Prof) Ilija Jorga (10th Dan, founder of Fudokan and WFF), Dr. (Prof) Vladimir Jorga (9th Dan, Dean of UN University of Peace ECPD, Director – IKTF) & Sensai Rajeev Sinha (8th Dan, Director of WFF & IPKC).
Professional Karate is defined as martial sport where athletes receive huge remuneration for their performance at tournaments.
Professional athleticism has come to the fore through a combination of developments. Mass Media and increased leisure have brought larger audiences, so that sports organizations or teams can command large incomes. As a result, more sportspeople can afford to make athleticism their primary career, devoting the training time necessary to increase skills, physical condition, and experience to modern levels of achievement. This proficiency shall also help boost the popularity of sports.

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