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Will WKF invite other Karate Federations to try out for Tokyo 2020

Now that the IOC Decision is behaind us and we are all confused about who can and can’t take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Karate program, we thought it was important to give some background and the staements and promised made for karate to be included in the olympic Program in 2020.

According to the prominent IOC newsfeed the following was stated by the WKF and its President:-

“Every karateka across the globe will be able to compete in the Olympic qualification process should the sport get the nod for inclusion at Tokyo 2020, the World Karate Federation (WKF) has announced.”

Now that Karate has got the nod from the IOC to be included with 5 other sports i.e. climbing, surfing, skateboarding, softball and baseball and obviously karate, these sports are ONLY included for the Tokyo 2020 games, and there is no guarantee that they will be in the future games after Tokyo. What is surprising   taking into consideration that a lot of karate organizations are outside the WKF and they are now illegible to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Games? It will ONLY be possible if organizations following the WKF rules and are part of the ranking this will exclude all Kyokushinkai groups because knockdown rules are not included, this will also exclude traditional karate as practiced under the UWKF and the ITKF, this will also exclude Koshiki which is in existence in WKF and the WKKF, besides a number of organization still use the shobu sambon rules, so all these groups will be excluded in kumite competition as the WKF rules have chnaged a lot in the last 5 years. what seems to be possible in kata competition. As this 2020 Tokyo program is only for individual events the  events will be staged during these games:

The Process

It is important to understand the process, after much debate about inclusivity and unversality the New IOC Executive Board were forced to re-lok at the Summer Olympic program. It was felt that there were sports that were in the games that excludively only allowed a few to qualify without taking the majority into consideration. The issue of the gender equality question was also a very important agwnda. the follwing was some of the issues:-

Following the unanimous approvalof Olympic Agenda 2020 in December2014, a new opportunity arose forOrganising Committees for the OlympicGames (OCOGs) to propose additionalevents in new sports to be added fortheir edition of the Olympic Games.

This has been reflected in Rule 45 ofthe Olympic Charter concerning theProgramme of the Olympic Games. TheTokyo 2020 Organising Committee is thefirst to have the chance to exercise thisopportunity. On 28 September 2015,it submitted a proposal to the IOC for

18 events in 5 sports to be added tothe programme of the Games of theXXXII Olympiad in Tokyo.Following the Olympic ProgrammeCommission’s analysis and review, a recommendation was made tothe IOC Executive Board (EB). Thisrecommendation included the fullpackage of sports, events and athletesfor the consideration of the IOC EB.

On 1 June 2016, the IOC EB reviewedthe recommendation and subsequentlyproposed the full package for the IOCSession’s decision.If approved at the IOC Session in Rio de

Janeiro, the change would be the mostcomprehensive evolution of the Olympic

programme in modern history.

Thorugh this new processs the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, Olympic Agenda 2020 enabled the creation of a newprocess for an OCOG to propose additional events fortheir edition of the Olympic Games.

The OCOG proposal process

Key Principles

1      Additional events and athletes in new sports wil lbe considered on top of the quota outlined by the Olympic Charter for the existing Olympic programme(i.e. no impact on Olympic International Federations).

2   The OCOG proposal is separate and independent to the Olympic IF event programme review process.

3.   IFs from new sports will not receive Olympic Games revenue distribution attributed to Olympic IFs.

4.  As stipulated by the Olympic Charter (Paragraph1.2 of Rule 28), all national federations affiliated to the IFs governing the new sports included in the programme of the Olympic Games, must be included as members of their respective National Olympic Committees.

5. The introduction of the OCOG Proposal by Olympic Agenda 2020 is an opportunity that any host city may take on should they wish. As such, the costs associated with the proposal and the inclusion of the package of sports proposed by Tokyo 2020 will be borne by the Organising Committee.

6. Any new sports should reflect the Tokyo 2020 vision and add a positive legacy for Tokyo, Japan and the wider Olympic Games and Olympic Movement.

7.The process for the 2024 OCOG proposal is completely separate from the Tokyo 2020 proposal, and in no way should the Tokyo 2020 proposal betake as a precedent for future host cities, who are free to choose sports most relevant to them from any IOC-Recognised IFs.

Observation and our comments

  1. So to unpack this The included sport is paid for my the Local Organizing Committee so Tokyo Government or Japanese Government is paying all cost.

  2. Non of the included sports will receive any financial benefit from the profits of the olympics massive TV revenue or any other of its various benefits, so it is just a “demonstration sport”, we are not sure whether the medals will be counted as official medlas in these games. So really a side show to the main event.

  3. It is interested that the National Federation of the WKF must be a member of the National Olympic Federation of their irrespective country

  4. Another interesting issue is the vision of the games and the positive legacy. It is imperative that UNITY must be affected for all karate and all karate inclusion should be part of this vision, otherwide it will be a games with Japan and fe other countries.

  5. The most interesting is that once a sport is included in the Tokyo 2020 it si not automatically included in the future games and it is up to the next Organizing Committee to decide what sport they want in the 2024 Games. and the recognised IF’s will be illegible.

So now that we know the issues regarding the inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games lets examine karate in some detail:=


 Program Days  2 Days ONLY

Number of Events 8

Events Male

1 x Event for Individual Kata

3 x Events for Individual Kumite in weight divisions

Events Female

1 x Event for Individual Kata

3 x Events for Individual Kumite  in weight divisions

Competition Format

Ten athletes per event: Two pools of five athletes each,to compete in a round robin system. Then the first of the pool versus the second of the other pool to dispute the Semi-Finals. Winners compete in the Final.

So ONLY the diest threee places are medals winners there is no repercharge.

No. of Officials

32 Official from throughout the world will be individed to officiate, ONLY if qualified.

No. of National Officials

15 National Officials so it is clear their will be 15 countries out of 180 countries that will be allowed to participate in these Games, so if there is an estimated 100 million members in World Karate as Mr. Espinos stated them then there is a 1 in 6.666 million chance in taking part, so we are slightly more realistic then lets say there are 20 million possible illegible person to be selected then the chance is 1 in 1,3 million. Taking into consideration that ther are 190 countries affilaited then there is a 1 in 12 countries will be able to try to get in. This is like playing the lottery.

Taking into consideration the records from the World Championships then the follwing will be easy to determine:-

Number of NFs per continentthat medalled in the lastWorld Championships

1 Africa

3 Asia

2 America

13 Europe

0 Oceania

So Only betwen 15 and 20 countries win medals at the World championships – this is Gold medals which are the ONLY ones that can participate in these games.


Karate is one of five sports which will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, they will receive no revenue from these games so in fact is not part of the Olympoic expenses oe planning vut rather is host of the Organizing Commitee of Tokyo not the IOC. They only take part in Tokyo 2020 and then they are to do the same lobbying the IOC and the Organizing Committee evenry 4 years to be included as a demonstration sport. It is mpt sure whether the medals will be recognised in the officuial program and whether it will be counted as Olympic medals. So the prestige is in question, the numbers are limited to 80 athletes in 8  events  which will include equal male and female competitors. In both 3 kumite weight events and 1  kata individual event. Jpan is guaranteed 2 meadals in the kata event so there is 6 up for grabs taking into consideration the World Championships Japan will win 50% of the female kumite which is anothe 2 medals and another 25% in male kumite another 1 medla so they will take 5 mealds so there is 3 medals left for the rest. So one can say this will be the Japan Karate Olympic Games.

We have to be realistic and understand what is on offer before we make sweeping statements of going to the Olympics of 2020 in Tokyo, yes you will be going to be a spectator, and I guess you need to save to buy your ticket of between $300.00 to $500.00 dollar per ticket, so if there is 20 000 tickets and there is 190 copuntries the quota will be if everything is wqual 11 tickets per country. If Japan is hosting them at least 50% of the tickets will be sold to Japanese spectators so again a Japan Karate Olympic Games, if has to be if Japan is paying for everything.

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