The 47th EKF Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships will be held in Budapest BOK Sportcsarnok (Budapest Olympic Centre). It is the first time for the Hungarian Karate Federation to organize this tournament, and it also happens to be the year when karate makes its debut at the Olympic Games, half year before the introduction that we have been waiting for decades.
In WKF (World Karate Federation), which is the recognized representative of sport karate by the International Olympic Committee, there are two categories in which the athletes compete: combat and form – also referred to as kata and kumite, their traditional names in the language of the country where karate was born, Japan. You will meet many Japanese words and expressions at a karate tournament, such as tatami, which is the matted competition area.
In kumite, points are awarded by the judges for punches and kicks performed according to the standards of karate movements. These attacks have to be totally controlled, the competitors must not cause an injury to his opponent while scoring on the appropriate scoring area. The aim of karate fights is not to knock out the opponent: that competitor wins a bout that reaches more points from the judges.
In kata competition only one athlete performs at a time, their task is to perform a traditional karate form. During the centuries of the history of karate, the karatekas hid the self defense techniques in these forms. Many forms are practiced even nowadays, and each has a Japanese name and an exact coreography. This must be demonstrated the most punctual and strongest way. Their perfomance is judged by the referees.
As for the modalities and categories: in karate World and European championships are organized even for 14-year old athletes. The 14-15 years old are the cadets, the 16-17 years old are the juniors, while those between 18 and 20 compete in the U21 category. If a competitor is 21 years old, then he can compete only in the Senior category.
Hungary organized a European chamionships in 2013 for the first time. We organized the Senior Chamionships with huge success: an unprecedented result of five medals were won by our National Team. The Hungarian Karate Federation is hoping for a similarly successful Cadet, Junior and U21 European Championships in Budapest. These hopes are quite reasonables, since in almost every year our athletes returned with at least three medals.
Our successful athletes will be able to compete and prove themselves in front of the home audience: Hungary won the right to organize the Senior World Championships in 2022.