Karate is one of the fastest growing combat sports in the world and it is one of the four non-Olympic sports that will take place at the inaugural European Games. Karate involves a variety of techniques, including blocks, strikes, evasions, throws, and joint manipulations. Karate training is divided into three aspects: ‘kihon’ (basic techniques), ‘kata’ (sequence of movements), and ‘kumite’ (sparring). At Baku 2015, there will be kata and kumite medal events on display.
In the past 50 years, the popularity of this art has attracted millions of people from every walk of life. Less than 100 years ago, karate left the small island of Okinawa and is now studied and taught by people of every race. The European Karate Federation (EKF) is the governing body of karate in Europe and performs its activities on an amateur basis in compliance with the principles set forth in the Olympic Charter. Currently the three top-ranked countries in the world are from Europe.
At the Baku 2015 European Games, the Karate competition will take place over two days on 13–14 June 2015 and consist of 10 medal events in individual kumite and 2 in individual kata. Europe’s best performing athletes - 48 men and 48 women - will showcase their talents on the strikingly beautiful tatami of Crystal Hall.
Qualification places for Karate will be determined based on qualification event rankings, host NOC allocation and universality.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- A karate athlete is called a ‘karateka.’
- The first public demonstration of karate was in Japan in 1917.
- Approximately 1.5 million people practice karate in Europe.
- The EKF has 52 member countries.
- All referee announcements during competitions are in Japanese.