Zahari Damyanov UK seminar

On the 23rd February 2019, Sensei Zahari Damyanov, the current absolute World Champion was in London to lead an open seminar hosted by the BKK’s Sensei Hristo Lyubenov at his Ichi Geki dojo in Bounds Green, alongside BKK Chairman and IFK Secretary General, Shihan Liam Keaveney.

The seminar was attended by a number of Kyokushin groups (BKK, IFK, Kyokushin-kan, Shinkyokushin,IKO1, KWU, EMAR) all with a common goal of knowledge sharing, developing Kyokushinkai, and building strong friendships old and new.

(L-R) Shihan Liam Keaveney, Sensei Zahari Damyanov, Sensei Hristo Lyubenov

(L-R) Shihan Liam Keaveney, Sensei Zahari Damyanov, Sensei Hristo Lyubenov

Sensei Zarahi Damyanov with BKK National Coaches Sensei Kenny Jarvis, and Sensei Wai Cheung

Sensei Zarahi Damyanov with BKK National Coaches Sensei Kenny Jarvis, and Sensei Wai Cheung

3rd KWU World Tournament, held in Ekaterinburg, Russia

WHAT A SHOW!

As the IFK reflect on the success of the 3rd KWU World Championships in Ekaterinburg we can only marvel at the work of the organisers.

This event has set the bar as to where we would aim to be if we achieved Olympic status and it shows we are more than capable of doing it. The opening ceremony was an extravaganza of colour and sound that brought the stadium to life and we thank both the organisers and the creative directors for their vision.

This 3rd edition of the championships showed the KWU is learning from their mistakes in the past.  Competitor check-in procedures were slicker, judging seminars focused on the main issues and as in so many events we didn't witness lots of long speeches by the dignitaries. The athletes were the stars and they rightly took centre stage.

242 competitors from 48 countries meant the majority of the weight categories had solid participation.

Of course the KWU could achieve much higher numbers by allowing more than one participant from a country in each division but this would defeat their aim. We all hold our own championships with our own rules, weights and participation levels. This must be different, the five kilogram categories are suitable for an Olympic programme and as with the other combat sports we follow the example of one athlete per country.

It is interesting to note that for Karate in the 2020 Olympics it is scheduled for each of the six weight categories to have a maximum of 10 athletes only. At the KWU Championships thirteen of fifteen categories achieved more than that number.

Focusing on the performance of the IFK once again we must be proud to have played a major role in its success. We had 52 fighters from 17 countries and topped the medal table with 6 different countries achieving prizes.

Of course our major contributor was the top team in the championships Russia, but we also gained medals from Great Britain, Ireland, Iran, Belarus and an amazing gold from Greece!

Emma Markwell - Silver medal winner

Emma Markwell - Silver medal winner

Maria Papadopoulou - Gold medal winner

Maria Papadopoulou - Gold medal winner

Time to be United!