The history of Hungarian karate started in 1972, when the kyokushin karate master Attila Mészáros, who lived in Sweden, visited a judo training in Budapest. His performance had a great impact on many judokas, especially on Kálmán Furkó and István Adámy, who were particularly keen to acquire the new movements. With the support of the leader of combat sports at the University of Physical Education, Ferenc Galla, and with the guidance of Attila Mészáros, the basics of the Hungarian kyokushin was established.
In 1973 shotokan karate also appeared in Hungary. Grandmaster János Antal, who lived in Belgium, applied to UPE, and thanks to Sándor Kecskés, the first dojo opened in Budapest.
After the first steps karate spreaded fast, and other styles, like shito-ryu, wado-ryu and goju-ryu, that were already popular world-wide, set foot in Hungary.
From 1980 karate operated under the Judo Federation, and from 1984 under the Karate-Kickbox-Taekwondo and Other Martial Arts Federation. In 1989 the Hungarian All Martial Arts Federation was established, but from 1994, due to the possibilities provided by the new sports law, karate separated, and aimed for the Olympic Games under the name of Hungarian Karate Federation. First under György Popper, and now under the leadership of Dr. János Mészáros.
The Hungarian Karate Federation has around 40-50 thousand athletes.
Toward the State Sport management the HKF represents the WKF as its Hungarian member. The Federation, however, acknowledges the existence, the competitions and the results of other karate stlyes and their competition rule systems.
In WKF system the most famous and productive athlete is Ádám S. Kovács, who won two silver medals at World Championships in individual combat, and in 2009 on the World Sport Games (the so-called Olympic games of the non-Olympic sports) returned with the only gold medal. Among the ladies we have to mention Zsuzsanna Klima and her World Championships silver and bronze medals.
The new generation have been quite successful in the recent years, making it clear that the Hungarian karate has a bright future. In 2013 the EKF Senior Championships in Budapest brought the most successful results of the past 40 years: Ádám S. Kovács, Beatrix Tóth, Sandra Metzger, Nikola Barta and the female kumite group acquired 5 medals. The Cadet, Junior and U21 EKF Championships in 2014 resulted in 11 Hungarian medlas. Gábor Hárspataki was even able to win both the EKF aand WKF Championships in 2015 in U21 category, while the year 2016 is clearly Martial Tadissi’s: he won bronze at the EKF and silver medal on the WKF Cahmpionships.