Dear Karate Combat, Let's Make KC Great Again

None karatekas shouldn’t be allowed to compete in KC. Prior to president Asim, Karate Combat was a pure karate organisation. However the new president seems to believe that being a karateka isn’t a requirement and all you need is to be a “high level striker” since Asim believes this will “evolve” Karate Combat.

However I disagree, the thing that sticks out to you when you see KC is:

  1. the pit

  2. full contact karate

  3. striking league with a Karate dominated roster

  4. is important because every other striking art(besides TKD and Karate) is known for their full contact. full contact boxing doesn’t stand out as much as full contact karate does. because karate isn’t known for full contact. so we shouldn’t go to KC to watch a full contact fight between a Sanda guy and a Thai fighter. you can go to other leagues to see that. but to watch full contact karate, you need 2 karateka fighting full contact in karate ruleset.

  5. no other full contact striking league with a karate roster has ever blown up before. and when I show lots of people KC their reaction is amazing because they’re like “WOW! These karate guys are knocking eachother out I thought karate didn’t work and they just bounced up and down tapping eachother with fake belts and pyjamas(referencing Gis)”

But when it’s some Sambo and Savate guy. you just think “oh that’s cool I guess” or when people watch full contact boxing or kickboxing knockout they’re not as impressed because that’s what they expect. They don’t expect to see two karate guys hitting eachother hard, drawing blood, and knocking eachother tf out.

My points can be backed up by A recent video from Stephen Thompson where he reacts to a Karate Combat fight. the video is called “This KARATE KO was NASTY!”

The video thumbnail and title is advertising Karate Combat as “OMG! Wow these karate guys are fighting full contact and knocking eachother out”. meanwhile if this video was about boxing it’d seem more clickbaite-ish cus we don’t have semi contact boxing tournaments and boxing is expected to have knockouts hence why the most popular boxers are usually heavyweights because more knockout power. Meanwhile the actual fight WB reacts to is a Wushu/Sanda Guy Vs A Taekwondoin. Which is part of why karate combat is turning into “Insert Random Style VS Insert Random Style” instead of what it should be, “Karateka Vs Karateka”

I also believe that instead of having a diverse range of martial arts in Karate Combat, instead KC should encourage a diversity of karate styles and karatekas from all around the globe. Because karate can come in the forms of Shotokan Kyokushin etc however also because karate differs from country to country. Also as seen In other fighting organisations like the UFC for example, having a champion from one country usually opens the gate for many more fighters and champions from that same country. For example wrestling is an integral part of Russian culture however ever since Khabib became champion now plenty of Russians are dreaming of become UFC Champion. I mean for example when you watch Jesse Enkamps video of Japanese Karate Vs USA Karate you do notice quite alot of the difference between karate from country to country and from style to style.

When karate combat first started I believe the mission statement was something along the lines of: to provide a platform for Karatekas to compete in full contact fighting.

That makes quite a lot of sense as, Wrestlers, Thai Boxers, MMA fighters etc all have their own platforms. So when they began talking about including other styles, my first thought was that the Karatekas would be drowned out in favor of bringing In other styles.

However why can’t Karatekas have their own full contact league. When I watch boxing, I don’t think about how Thai fighters would fare in that sport.

Another example of this is a fighter at KC43 having his fight style listed as “boxing”.

My proposal is to have a requirement to join KC being a black belt in Karate or a Karate Adjacent like Taekwondo. However I’ll elaborate on that later.

Karate Combat is slowly turning into an MMA promotion and turning into just another UFC ripoff. The amount of fighters outright wrestling and who don’t have a Karate background is absurd. Especially with the removal of the 5 seconds ground and pound. Some of KCS more recent fights have been blatant wrestling matches.

And at KCs most recent event, the Kickback only 4 or 5 of the fighters were actually karatekas. I stayed up at midnight watching the live broadcast and the kickback as a whole was a mess.

The night started with some boring grappling matches, Karate Combat needs to give a platform to Karate, not grappling. you can go to other organisations to find grappling. Then some of the matches were good however most were boring with horrible referees and Rick Ross was there for literally no reason he himself didn’t even advertise himself being there so it done nothing also having the island boys and Bradley Martyn there is just cringe.

On top of this many of the fighters were clowns and not true martial artists disrespecting their opponents and the referee, saying things like they’ll kill their opponent and not even feel sorry about it or fighters flipping off the referee, or fighters giving up when they could’ve definitely continued fighting.

Then on top of all this, the police coming to shut the party down and the whole gimmick about being at Asims moms house is quite childish and cringe. Like Karate Combat never needed to do silly gimmicks to go viral and Asim seems to care more about money than karate, his goal seems to be trying to “evolve” Karate Combat into an MMA Promotion. Despite the organisation literally being called “Karate Combat”.

However enough of that for now. I believe that Karate Combat should be exclusive to only Karatekas and Karate adjacents(Taekwondo/Tang-soo-do/Hapkido practicioners). I also believe that these fighters should have to have a black belt in their respective art.

This makes way more sense then giving black belts to MMA fighters who haven’t earned it and haven’t trained karate. This also wouldn’t be too problematic as an experienced striker could probably earn their black belt in a short amount of time.

However KC should also consider running their own dojos, this might take some time but it could help with integrating Karate Combat with KC, so that when people think of Karate they think of KC similar to how when people hear MMA they think Of UFC.

Also with these KC ran dojos, KC could also use this as an opportunity to recruit members by hosting tournaments for fighters who’ve earned black belts in the karate combat dojos to compete to earn a contract and it could even be televised similar to the Kumite

Although, whilst it doesn’t have to be the return of Adam, I believe it’d be best for Karate Combat to have a president who isn’t Asim as most, if not all, of the problems listed above stem from him.

Please Like and Share this post as much as possible so it can gain more people’s attention. Also feel free to comment your thoughts on the post and any suggestions you’d give to Karate Combat.

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I agree about the dojo idea! Not sure others would agree with many of your statements and assumptions! Karate black belt can take three to four years to obtain and is contingent on kata (form) not striking. Also the demographic for a black belts that actually want to be a prize fighters is an unknown! International Fighters need visas to fight state side which often cost more than they are able or willing to pay with all the accommodations, training costs, and support staff. I flew to the event and everyone had a blast and it was a personal fan experience fully catered and Asims Mom was gracious enough to host us. The cops coming there was overblown by some Karen they didnt bother or say anything to anyone i saw and were there as a form of traffic control we were talking and joking with them. I believe there were a few off duty officers working security as well. There were people there i dont particularly follow but they are influencers and are bringing more eyeballs to the sport which is a good thing. As far as production issues they happen it was the first attempt at implementing the format which naturally comes with mistakes. The BJJ was an audible but again more eyeballs and some people enjoy grappling. It will take time and effort to build an infrastructure of existing dojos or gyms to train in the rule-set that KC utilizes! And If there are KC branded Gyms that pop up well then we will have stables of Karatekas!

100 % OK with you my friend

While I can completely understand where you’re coming from in a puritan standpoint on Karate, most things don’t stay that way forever, not if they want to adapt and survive. To limit KC to strictly Karatekas, while it may please a small majority of puritans, will severely limit the growth in both terms of the fighter talent pool, as well as viewers. Having fighters that formerly fought in the UFC, One, and others also brings many of their fans with it.

While KC could be kept absolutely pure on the style front, I know that many who initially wished for said purity would later lament that the network didn’t get enough attention and thus the fighters make less and leave and then the fans would make less on the token and Up-Only-Gaming in turn. Life is all about tradeoffs, and in this case, in the modern world and from a business standpoint (because this isn’t merely for entertainment purposes), allowing other styles, yet retaining Karate style rules, is the best of both worlds in keeping it a striking focused league centered around Karate, while still leaving room for growth.

As for Asim, I like what he has done thus far. The Kickback event was a great idea and a success, and he himself is a fantastic coach.

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Great points. There’s no question that the 5 Second rule removal is controversial.

Many fans dissented but overall they voted to try it out. This doesn’t mean that it’s a permanent change. The argument for it was that it appeared that some fighters were exploiting the rule to deliberately fall to rest and reset without consequence. So fans wanted to see if removing it leads to less exploitative behavior. If it doesn’t help or hurts, fans can vote again to remove it. I voted against it too, but there’s no way to know if it’s right without trying.

Per content creation from third-party commentators, there’s really nothing we can do there. People will post about whatever they excited are about.

In terms of non-karatekas fighting, the vast majority of KC fighters actually do have a black belt. The problem is that with that restriction, KC was running out of elite level fighters with the increased cadence of the events being done. Fans and fighters alike seem to prefer to relax that requirement in order to allow more fights. The alternative is to have a few events a year which really wouldn’t allow the professional karateka to exist.

But overall with exception of the 5 second ruleset, the rules are still Karate. All fighters are forced to compete in the Karateka ruleset. If a fighter didn’t have the opportunity to find a karateka mentor but remains well-versed on par with those who do, we probably shouldn’t disqualify them.

The grappling exhibition before the event was just a group of BJJ who wanted to try grappling in the pit. It’s not a focus of KC nor does it intend to be.

That’s one interpretation of Asim, but he’s really just trying to get fans excited----hopefully enough for some to become karatekas themselves. He’s been in the fight scene for a long time. I think with enough time at KC he will learn the best way to get karate fans excited.

I think KC definitely wants to run Dojos and it will solve the problem of getting enough karatekas. However, as you note, the process of training those fighters takes years

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I do agree it has started to swerve away from a karate league too much. Like the OP said, karate does need its own platform just like other combat sports have. That has historically been one of the main reasons why it has fallen off to the sidelines in terms of effectiveness as well as prominence.

Karate has always had an issue with the fact that the different styles and organizations were never able to agree on a unified ruleset, and that all the widespread competition formats (JKA, WKF, Kyokushin) are nonsensical each in their own way. That has immensely hurt the development of the martial art in terms of effectiveness. The only rulesets that make any sense from a combative and sportive perspective are Kudo and Goju Ryu’s Irikumi Go, and these are both very fringe at the grand scheme of things.

Obviously that’s not really the point of KC as an organisation anymore. I actually don’t mind having some fighters from other styles compete in the league. Karate should challenge itself, and it’s always interesting to see, the classic scenario: how does X fair against Y. Obviously I’m also not against the inclusion of karate-adjacent disciplines like Taekwondo.

Where things start losing the appeal is when you have entire events that feature hardly any karate athletes or where nobody in the pit was ever even formally graded in any karate-type discipline. Then it gets this veneer of fraudulent labeling and becomes a bit of a circus. Especially when the moronic antics of UFC-type branding with all its embarrassing “trash talk” and general cringe is added into the mix.

I’m aware that the investors probably expect the league to surpass certain barriers and break into the current combat sports sphere, and for that a certain type of marketing, leadership with certain connections and a roster with a certain amount of recognition are required. I also don’t really care though. Not my job. I’m looking at this purely from a qualitative perspective.

I’m not doubting that Asim was successful in achieving things that KC previously wasn’t able to quite get done and he’s clearly an enthusiastic guy. Can’t take that away from him. But I do think that KC would also benefit from somebody in a type of “head of karate” position who is able to stay on top of the more karate-centric stuff. Someone who’s knowledgeable and connected in that sphere. Adam Kovacs was and is the perfect guy for that.

Maybe the league could diversify its formats even more? Just like the addition of Submission Series, or the kumite thing they did with up and coming fighters, maybe smaller scale “traditional/pure” karate events could become a thing, along with the more mainstream “free for all” striking events.

Look at BJJ. You got IBJJF, traditional gi as well as no gi, ADCC and other submission grappling formats all the way up to MMA. That’s a very broad scale of exposure for the martial art. Karate could do something similar.

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