Shotokan Tourneys: JKA vs WKF

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by destroyer4147, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    This question is for the Shotokan tournament competitors:

    What is the main difference between JKA and WKF rules in competition? I've watched a lot of videos but I can't really tell what's going on. I've also tried looking for the official rulesets, but I can't find them for JKA comps to compare.

    From what I've been able to read and observe, WKF uses body armor under the gi, and the thicker gloves. JKA uses thin hand padding and no body armor. Also, I guess "ippon" in WKF is 3 points, but in JKA is 1 point. However, looking at videos it all looks the same. It also doesn't help that the JKA fights I've watched are all in Japanese.

    Also, I know that WKF includes Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu etc...in their comps along with Shotokan. Since the JKA was founded by Shotokan masters, are JKA tournaments "Shotokan-only," or do they also welcome competitors from other karate schools?
     
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  2. pseudo genki Blue Belt

    pseudo genki
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    JKA is open to other styles, not just Shotokan. There are lots of differences between the two that a Google search will turn up, but here's one that's fairly indicative of how they diverge:

    In WKF, if you KO your opponent, you're DQ'd. Once your opponent wakes up, they're told they won.

    In JKA, if you KO your opponent, you win. Once your opponent wakes up, they're told that they should have defended themselves.
     
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  3. Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt

    Edison Carasio
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    I know JKA is open to other styles of Karate but what about other traditional striking arts like TKD?
     
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  4. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    I was able to find some JKA rules on several sites, but no official rules from the official JKA webpage. How can you win in JKA if you KO your opponent, when excessive contact is grounds for disqualification?

    http://jkaconn.com/jkarules.htm
    http://www.risingsun.ie/JKA_Rules_And_Regulations.pdf

    In JKA, you get warned for hitting too hard, and then DQ'd if you do it again, right? Also, in JKA, isn't the point to stop the attack just short of the opponent? Whereas in WKF, you can hit them but not hard. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks guys
     
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  5. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    I thought JKA was strictly shotokan because it was founded by Shotokan masters. What other styles of karate does the JKA permit, and where can I read about it?
     
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  6. Zedy44 Green Belt

    Zedy44
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    Afaik WKF allows "light to medium controlled contact" in the advanced divisions and higher. Basically...you can hit them, but you have to show control via proper technique. I don't think they were protectors of any sort (except for female competitors).



    JKA competitions are traditionally Shotokan based and controlled light contact is allowed. It'll look something like this today..



    Pretty sure they don't allow the type of contact you could see back in the 80's, 90's, and early 00' where you could KO the hell out of people and it was a "light contact" competition that had an unwritten rule of full contact for the sake of honor or whatever.

    Some people get absolutely destroyed in this video (excessive contact starts @ 3min). It also has great examples of sweeps and some excellent technique with combinations.

     
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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
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  7. Zedy44 Green Belt

    Zedy44
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    I've spent time training in both WKF dojo's and "JKA Style" dojos. The major differences that I noticed regarding how they each approach kumite training is the difference in skills that are tuned for competition.

    WKF is going to put more emphasis on speed and driving down your target. Get in and out as fast as possible. They also utilize sweeps a lot and some hip based throws are allowed in higher level competition. Kumite practice is quite often "Free style" and this is where you see the bunny hopping a lot. The technique isn't all that threatening, but they are crazy fast with footwork and their hands usually.

    JKA is going to put emphasis on technique and angles. Speed and power seem to be a secondary focus and will develop over time with regular practice. Kumite is often practiced in very controlled formats where it's limited to specific attack/counter-attacks and only a certain amount (no more than 4 stringed togethor) are allowed. They also do free-style kumite, but usually it's reserved for higher ranks where the techniques have been refined over years versus only months (or even weeks) compared to the WKF style.

    I prefer the JKA type of training it teaches you how to better utilize angles rather than hopping all over the place. There is more control and most commonly you'll see high level free-style kumite to be very controlled. Some guys hop, but it's a lot less pronounced than the WKF guys.

    GL finding a proper JKA-style dojo in the US. They are rare.
     
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  8. Inquisitus Blue Belt

    Inquisitus
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    Biggest difference is JKA is one point wins (shobu ippon) whereas WKF allows you to rack up the points and allows some grappling.

    The WKF ruleset was opened up for the Olympics to make it more exciting.

    In WKF, punches are single point, head kicks are 3pts, unbalance and strike are 2pts, sweeping and scoring on a downed opponent is 3pts.

    In JKA, only the cleanest and best techniques are a full point. Everything else is a half point.

    The single point wins makes competitors very cautious which is why there tends to be less action in the highest level JKA matches vs equivalent level WKF matches. I think WKF allows a max 8pt differential before a match is over. There's obviously gonna be more action in the latter.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  9. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    In JKA Ippon shobu you win when you get one full point. Points are awarded in full or half points -depending on how clean (and style correct) they are.
    In Old school WKF (also known as WUKO) they took the ippon shobu and simply raised the winning score to 3 full points. This meant that the fighters could take more chances.
    Then they modernized the scoring to make it more viewer friendly (to appease the IOC). Modern WKF rules gives fixed scores for specific techniques (3 points for high kicks, 2 points for body kicks, 1 point for single body punches. 3 points for sweeps with follow-up etc etc), and the fight goes on until one fighter takes the LEAD with 8 points. This means a fight can drag out to full time much more often. And that the fighters are encouraged to do spectacular stuff instead of the simple punches more common in Ippon shobu.
    A few years ago they also mandated a bunch of protective equipment to be used in WKF -all to appease the IOC.

    Oh, JKA is a pure shotokan organization. No other style allowed. Although they do open tournament sometimes (especially outside of Japan) and they work with other organizations that compete both with old WKF/WUKO rules and modern WKF rules.
    KO is not allowed in JKA Ippon shobu. Although they DO use the "you jumped into his fist. it was your own fault for having bad defense, so you lose" rule more often than WKF, full contact is not and have never been allowed in JKA any more than in WKF. KOing the opponent is against the rule, and will most likely get you disqualified for excessive contact.
     
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  10. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    Thanks to everyone for all the great replies. They've cleared things up a lot, and watching the different tournament formats are now making more sense.

    Shinkyoku, this next question is a bit off topic but maybe you can help. In the US, most people think of point-tournaments when they hear the words "karate tournament," and most people here think of Shotokan when they hear the words "Japanese karate." Kyokushin karate and Knockdown karate rules aren't as big in the US as they are in other countries. In Japan, what is bigger in terms of being more popular or having more practitioners, knockdown-type karate styles (Kyokushin, Seidokaikan, Shidokan, etc...) or non-knockdown styles (Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Shito-ryu, etc...)

    The IKO Kyokushinkaikan claims to have 12 million practitioners worldwide. WKO-Shinkyokushin is I believe the second biggest knockdown style in Japan. How do they compare to the size of the JKA, WKF and other non-knockdown oriented organizations?
     
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  11. Forever Changes Orange Belt

    Forever Changes
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    zeddy44 that ridge hand towards the end of the 3rd video was sick. God I love shotokan(jka).
     
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  12. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    You should take the membership numbers of the kyokushin organization with a grain of salt. As far as I can tell, it refers to the lifetime membership in IKO that you get when affiliated to them... nevermind if you quit training 30 years go. Also, since most kyokushin organizations claim to be the original IKO (international karate organization kyokushinkaikan) they ALL count that lifetime membership back to the founding of IKO.
    When there was only one kyokushin organization in the early 90ies, it was larger than JKA (who had splintered several times from the 70ies onward). Now? not a clue really, as I do not have anything but guesses to go on about the current active membership numbers regarding either organization.
    My guess is that IKO (Matsui) and shinkyokushin/IKO(Midori) both are smaller than JKA, but not by an vastly overwhelming number.

    JKA is much smaller than WKF, and is effectively a semidetatched part of WKF as they cooperate closely. WKF is without doubt the largest karate organization -by a LOT. But then it is a federation of any karate practitioners that want to be part of it regardless of style. JKA and IKO are only style specific organization representing only a fraction even of the practitioner of that particular style.
     
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  13. Azam Purple Belt

    Azam
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    Thought I'd chime in on this. The IKO1 Kyokushin membership numbers are just above 12 million - I'm lead to believe this is inclusive of active & non-active members solely in the IKO1 - it doesn't include members from the original IKO of Sosai Oyama or those prior to the IKO1 under the leadership of Matsui. Active membership is probably half of that figure.

    I think the above is also true of the membership numbers of the other IKO and Kyokushin organisations.

    The original IKO of Sosai had just over 10 million active members (not inclusive of non-active members). Yeah the original IKO that was unsplintered was bigger than the JKA - I think the 6th world Kyokushin openweight tournament in Japan back in 95', a year after Mas Oyama's death which was pretty unified still - had an audience or spectatorship of over 25,000 & was then at the time watched on national Japanese tv. The 7th world tournament which was the Kazumi vs Filho battle also drew similar numbers & was on national Japanese TV but after the continuous splintering spectatorship has dropped and so did the spot on TV.


    If I'm honest I think most people prefer the JKA to the WKF - I can't for the life of me watch a WKF kumite.
     
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  14. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    So, roughly speaking...would it be fair to say that the world of point karate as a whole is bigger than the world of knockdown-based karate? In Japan? In the world?
     
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  15. destroyer4147 Orange Belt

    destroyer4147
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    You're saying that IKO-1 (Matsui) alone has ~12 million (active + non-active)
    About 6 million are active

    Sosai Oyama's original IKO had about 10 million.
    Sosai Oyama's original IKO was larger than the JKA, which splintered in the 70's

    Therefore, it follows that IKO-1 should be larger than the JKA

    Also, since IKO and JKA represent only fractions of kyokushin and shotokan respectively, what do you guys think is bigger in Japan today overall? Shotokan + Shotokan-offshoots vs. Kyokushin + Kyokushin-offshoots

    And if WKF is "by far" the largest world karate organization in membership alone, it seems logical to say that point karate is "by far" more popular than knockdown tournaments on a worldwide scale.

    Also, in terms of full-contact karate in Japan, who would you guys say is the #2 biggest organization after IKO-1? Would it be WKO-Shinkyokushin (formerly IKO-2), or would it be Seidokaikan? I was reading an article in Black Belt Magazine where Shihan Nobuaki Kakuda was saying that Seidokaikan was the second largest organization in Japan after the IKO-1, but this was before Shinkyokushin really started to grow.
     
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  16. Jukai Silver Belt

    Jukai
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    These are the only two posts anyone should read in this thread, BTW. I don't have anything else to really add.

    In my experience, the JKA style of teaching is far more effective in actual combat situations. The WKF style is infinitely more fun.
     
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  17. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    Yes. point karate as a whole is larger than the knockdown karate (or glove karate, or any other kind of full power karate, or all of them put together) world, both in Japan and internationally. Kyokushin (and all the offshots and other style using KD rules) are too splintered to be a serious contender against point karate as a sport, and even if all knockdown styles/organizations united to work together in a single sport federation with a single world tournament, they would still be smaller than WKF. There are simply much more practitioner of point karate than of knockdown karate.
    As much as I personally prefer full-contact karate (american FC karate not included, that is pure junk) over any and all point-karate sport, it would be pointless to claim otherwise. But then again, Golf is more popular than all of karate (and kickboxing and MMA) put together, and I do not understand or agree with that either.
     
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  18. Jukai Silver Belt

    Jukai
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    I've done both knockdown and point karate and I fully understand why the latter is more popular :icon_neut
     
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  19. BudoNoah Orange Belt

    BudoNoah
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    I can't really add anything regarding JKA, but I can give a little input on the WKF. It isn't my thing, at all, but I will grant the WKF this--their competitors are athletic, fast, and precise. My instructor recently switched to the local WKF competition circuit, for lack of a better alternative, so he and some of our youth and teen students have done a few tournaments with them, now. We get a lot of penalties for excessive force :p.

    The trick with contact in the WKF isn't actually the level of contact--it's the level of penetration on your strike. They want to see your strikes land at full extension, and then get pulled all the way back to chamber, for some reason. You can blast someone as hard as you want, as long as your strike is fully extended when it lands, and gets pulled all the way back afterward. Obviously, those strikes aren't as effective as ones that land in the sweet spot of your power arc, but they can still have enough whip to do some damage.

    Their rules for safety are pretty stupid, honestly. They do require you to wear chest padding under the gi, but it's just to appease the IOC's requirement for protective equipment. The padding is actually super thin and squishy, and doesn't actually do anything. We tested it out, bare knuckle, and it doesn't feel any different than if you wore a sweatshirt under your gi. Surprisingly, the gloves and shin/instep pads are actually pretty good. The gloves force your hand into a curled position, though, so you can't really grapple with them very well.

    The rules allow sweeps and throws, but they have to be "controlled" and you can't pick your opponent up off the ground. This is, supposedly, to keep people safe by preventing them from being slammed. For sweeps, I'm totally fine with that. The problem is that they allow throws under these same guidelines. This encourages people to execute throws incorrectly, so their opponent keeps at least one foot planted on the ground. Hello, knee injuries!

    The biggest problem I have with their safety precautions is that they let you get up and keep fighting after you get knocked out. I guess they don't think you can get concussions from fully extended strikes? In a tournament on Sunday, one of our teens knocked his opponent out three times, and the officials just let him keep fighting. That kind of thing is ridiculous! My instructor agreed that anyone in our dojo would be pulled from competition if they got knocked out, for their own safety. Why nobody else thought to do this is beyond me.
     
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  20. atecubanos Orange Belt

    atecubanos
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    Have any of you heard about that new "United World Karate" organization?
     
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