Sweden organizes the Kyokushin Karate EC
It’s been a long wait but this year it’s finally time. On the traditionally humorous date April 1st, Sweden will organize European championship in the karate style kyokushin.
Rickard Weber, project manager for the European Championship, is enthusiastic about the upcoming historic event.
– The idea was born during an annual meeting when we received a request from the European Kyokushin Organization if we could consider holding the upcoming EC in Sweden. After reviewing the conditions, the outcome was that we felt honored by the request and that we accepted.
Officially, it is Gothenburg that gets the chance to act as host city. To be exact, the championship will actually take place in the neighboring municipality of Partille. The fact that the organizers chose to place the championship on the west coast has its logical explanation.
– The choice of city for the implementation fell on Gothenburg as within our organization we have the most clubs in the Gothenburg region and that other prerequisites such as arena and hotel were in place.
It is exciting that this year Sweden will be the organizer of its first ever Kyokushin EC. However, getting the opportunity to organize a European championship at all is not something you do in the blink of an eye. There are many criteria that must be met and it has been a long and arduous process.
– Above all, it is required that the national organization, which in this case is Swedish Karate Kyokushinkai, are members of EKO. Furthermore, it is required that you have the organizational and financial conditions to be able to carry out such a large event. After all, there are many people who will get involved, he says and continues:
– We appointed a project group in the spring of 2022 and have since worked actively with the project. We have about ten people in the project management and about seventy people who help during the event itself. There are many people who have to be coordinated and it is necessary to plan everything from accommodation, competition arena, transport and how the trophies should look.
Kyokushinkarate is based on a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard physical training. Sparring is often done under conditions that are harsher than most other karate styles. In senior competitions with full contact rules, you have the opportunity to test your abilities in more real conditions. One of the goals of training the style is to strengthen and improve one’s character and personality by challenging oneself through hard training. Kyokushin has also influenced many other styles of karate. Swedish Karate Kyokushinkai is connected to the World Karate Organization, which is the world’s largest full-contact karate organization with over a hundred member countries.
– Kyokushin is a full contact karate style. This means that all techniques allowed in the fight are performed without protection and with full force. Knockout is thus allowed. However, we do not allow punches to the head, only to the body, but all kinds of kicks are allowed to the head. In addition to fighting, we also compete in kata just like in other karate styles.
The championship will take place in the fantastic Partille Arena. Partille is a fringe municipality to Gothenburg and the scene is home to Sweden’s most successful handball club Sävehof on a daily basis. If you don’t have the opportunity to be present in the West Swedish pearl, you don’t have to despair. There will, thank God, be able to take part in the festivities in another way.
– Around 250 people from around twenty countries will participate. Our expectations and hopes are that participants, coaches, the audience and others will experience the event as well planned and that the matches will maintain a high level. Of course, also that we as the host nation should be able to win one or more medals, he says and adds:
– The European Championship will be live streamed and you can find the stream on our website ec2023.se during the competition day on the first of April.
Whether the Swedish national team athletes will get to stroll home with medals around their necks remains to be seen. Rickard seems to have cautious optimism regarding the blue-yellow chances.
– We have a number of competitive participants who have a medal chance. But as I said – everything is decided on the day of the competition.
Photographer Annika Peterson.
Budo-Nord is the main sponsor of the event.
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