Rough Old Days! Kumite in the 90’s

Some people deem the old days always as good. However, they were just rough sometimes.

Yesterday, Sensei Erkan Kemir from Germany, sent us a video from 1991. It shows a Shobu Ippon match during a very small city championship in Cologne. The contenders wore red and white belts. Both fighters fought hard. Very fast one gets the impression as if the fight was not about gaining points. It was about to hit instead of getting hit.

What is your opinion? How was Kumite in the past? Has Kumite changed over the course of the last few decades? What has changed exactly? And how would you judge the change? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Please, leave us a comment.

One comment

  1. Firstly, what rules are we talking about? I did most of my fighting in the 1970s, and some in the 1980s. Some of those competitions were Shobu Ippon but most were Shobu Sanbon. I saw the continuance of that style of hard, controlled contact go on for another decade, before it started to become a super-fast game of tag. It has become very athletic; however, the budo has disappeared from it completely. I think that around the time that they changed the international, inter style, sporting karate body from WUKO to WKF marked the biggest changes, and the sport began to separate more and more from real karate.
    Yahara Mikio Sensei is reported to have said, when asked for his opinion of today’s sport Karate, “No… no, this is not sport Karate… this is ‘sport fighting’, yes, but this is not Karate.” I must say that I feel inclined to agree with Yahara Sensei.

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