Sport Karate in Canada

Following is the link for sport karate at the Canadian Olympic Committee website:


Sport karate involves judged competition for different aspects of karate training. While karate is not an Olympic sport, i.e. contested at Olympiads, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes karate as a worldwide sport. The IOC only recognizes one world body for any sport, and for karate, it's the World Karate Federation (WKF, Every two years, the WKF holds championships that determine champions in three karate disciplines, those being individual kata (forms), team kata, and kumite (sparring). The WKF also oversees regional championships for five continental organizations, regional and world Under-20 competitions and the IOC-recognized Pan American Games (also called Pan Am Games).

The WKF has to meet the IOC's high standards in areas including number of countries that compete, elected board of directors, regional and national governing bodies, and highly-trained officials. Anyone who wins a championship or medal at the WKF level has undergone a rigorous process of winning locally, provincially/statewide, nationally, and then at the highest international level. Recently some Canadians have made the podium with silver and bronze, and Canada's karate program, run by the Sport Canada-recognized Karate Canada (formerly the National Karate Association of Canada) is very strong. It attracts the very best karate athletes in this country.

There are some people in Canada, outside of the Karate Canada framework, advertising themselves as "world" or "national" karate champions. While there are non-WKF tournaments called "world championships" and small, private championships in Canada, they do not come close to the organizational structure of the WKF or Karate Canada. Competitors just sign up and and compete, not having gone through any elimination process under the scrutiny of well-trained officials, judges, and referees. When winners of these independent events bill themselves as national or world champions, they mislead if they do not say which organization or tournament they are champion of. Some schools and organizations have even made claims to have participated in world championships or Pan Am Games that they couldn't possibly have, as they are not part of the Karate Canada structure.

Anyone who is willing to compete at any level is worthy of praise. My own club gives out medallions to competitors who have done a certain number of tournaments, regardless of the result or which tournaments were attended. Competition is a great way to improve your abilities as you are willing to work harder to meet judging criteria or overcome a non-compliant opponent. Competitors who reach the highest level of their sport deserve recognition, and this recognition is diminished when those who haven't been willing to compete against the very best opposition make claims that don't stand up to scrutiny.

To see the WKF for yourself, go to and put WKF in the search field. Check out the speed and the level of athleticism of these truly world-class athletes.

The following Canadian athletes have won medals at WUKO (pre-WKF) or WKF world championships:

John Carnio, 1970, Men's Kumite, Silver
Manuel Monzon, 1986, Men's Kumite -70kg, Bronze
Toshihide Uchiage, 2004, Men's Kata, Bronze
Philippe Poirier, 2006, Men's Kumite -80kg, Bronze
Nassim Varasteh, 2006, Women's Kumite -60kg, Silver
Nassim Varasteh, 2008, Women's Kumite -60kg, Silver
Saeed Baghbani, 2008, Men's Kumite -70kg, Bronze

For all World Championship results visit this link:

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