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Is there room for all styles to compete at the same tournament?

 

Traditionally, in the USA, there has been a long history of “open” tournaments where Karate, Kung Fu, Hapkido, Kyokushin, Tae Kwon Do, and others have competed in both kata and kumite.

 

However, as time moves us all along, we see a tightening of the rules for each distinctive branch of the martial arts. While Tae Kwon Do focusses mainly on kicks, Kung Fu presents many circular motions and presents a lot of technique considered to be dangerous, and Karate presents more blocking and countering. This separation of techniques has led to a proliferation of tournaments specifically aligned with each particular branch.

 

There are still open competitions but for players who desire a chance at Olympic play, they must follow either WKF karate (currently on hold for future Olympics) or the long-recognized Tae Kwan Do branch. The open tournaments offer a much higher level of integration between competitors and often lead to great friendships. On the negative side, rules are set individually for each tournament and pose a difficulty for certain practitioners to adjust to.

 

There are argument to be made for both sides of the equation. The bottom line is to enjoy the open tournaments for what they present and if you desire the international competition, find yourself at the WKF karate, Kyokushin karate,  or Tae Kwon Do events.

 


The Question

Episode 005 The Question

Question: Is it possible for all styles of martial arts to compete in the same tournament

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