January 1st, 2013: World Karate is complete

Since January 1, 2013, the new syllabus of recognized WKF Kata is in effect. It can be said that this is the result of a new approach, one that actually started already in the late 1950s. The syllabus was originally based on the so-called four big styles (Shitō, Shōtōkan, Wadō, and Gōjū) of Japan mainland. Since that time, other schools were prevented from participating with their original Kata. At the same time, kata from exactly these other schools were simply collected and added under Shitō, without consultation and while arbitrarily changing the techniques. For instance, almost all of the Kata of the Ryūei-ryū and Matsubayashi-ryū were fed into the Shitō-ryū kata list by a political maneuver taking the form of a majority vote within the JKF. In a sense, in this way a monopoly on karate was built by hijacking the intellectual property of others, in the name of JAPAN. It was a huge movement to collect and even create all sorts of Kata, financially supported by ultra-rich nationalists. All findings were consolidated within the syllabus of recognized JKF Kata, and from there reached the WUKO and its successor the WKF.

With the new list of recognized WKF Kata in effect from January 1, 2013, this new approach of an integrated “World Karate” was completed.

Styles don’t matter anymore. Most importantly, as the history shows, noone needs to adhere to anything in karate. Just collect and create whatever you want and call it karate. Its ok. Use names that sound original. Claim some lineage. Start a ryū. According to the Japanese example, this is perfectly ok. Just take care you got enough financial backup (find a sponsor).

The idea and success of this kind of competition karate is based on the infrastructure of municipal, state, and national sports associations up to the respective NOCs including their facilities, tax exemptions, coach- and functionary-dom, shiny medals and decorations etc.pp., and of course the children as the most important target audience as in almost all sports. All this provides endless power and assets, and as such is bound to win, which is the aim of sports. This kind of karate is sport per definition, like water polo, table tennis, etc. In this, it is a good thing, because – as we know – Western sport with all its effects is a great achievement. Sport is a lifestyle. Sport is healthy. Sport unites people across borders, languages, religions, and races. Sport makes great people. Sport is great for kids. In short: Sport is awesome! Ergo, competition karate is great because it is a sport.

The new list of official kata of the WKF are provided in the 2015 competition rules. See below a comparison between the old and the new kata[1]. A handful of new kata were added, mostly beginners kata like the five Pinan (Heian), Gekisai I & II as well as Fukyū I & II. What is striking, however is that, while basically remaining within the previous “big four syllabus” (Shitō, Gōjū, Wadō, Shitō) plus x, they now included all Uechi-ryū kata, except Kanshiwa (and Ryūkō). And there are more kata to be included in the future.

Sport karate is complete.

Or: Karate is dead. Long live Karate.

JKF Kata until 2012 Kata from 2013
1. Annan (Shitō) 1.      Anan
2.      Anan Dai
2. Annanko (Shitō) 3.      Annanko
3. Aoyagi/Seiryu 4.      Aoyagi
4. Bassai Dai (Shitō, Shotōkan) 5.      Bassai Dai
5. Bassai Sho (Shitō, Shotōkan) 6.      Bassai Sho
6. Chatanyara Kushanku (Shitō) 7.      Chatanyara Kushanku
7. Chinte (Shitō, Shotōkan) 8.      Chinte
8. Chinto (Shitō, Wadō) 9.      Chinto
9. Enpi (Shotōkan) 10.    Enpi
11.    Fukygata 1
12.    Fukygata 2
10. Gankaku (Shotōkan) 13.    Gankaku
14.    Garyu
15.    Gekisai 1
16.    Gekisai 2
11. Gojushiho (Shitō) 17.    Gojushiho
12. Gojushiho Dai (Shotōkan) 18.    Gojushiho Dai
13. Gojushiho Sho (Shotōkan) 19.    Gojushiho Sho
14. Hakucho (Shitō) 20.    Hakucho
15. Hangetsu (Shotōkan) 21.    Hangetsu
22.    Haufa
23.    Heian 1
24.    Heian 2
25.    Heian 3
26.    Heian 4
27.    Heian 5
16. Heiku (Shitō) 28.    Heiku
29.    Ishimine Bassai
30.    Itosu Rohai 1-3
17. Jiin (Shitō, Shotōkan) 31.    Jiin
18. Jion (Shitō, Shotōkan, Wadō) 32.    Jion
19. Jitte  (Shitō, Shotōkan, Wadō) 33.    Jitte
20. Jyuroku (Shitō) 34.    Jyuroku
35.    Kanchin
21. Kanku Dai ( Shotōkan) 36.    Kanku Dai
22. Kanku Sho ( Shotōkan) 37.    Kanku Sho
38.    Kanshu
23. Kushanku (Wadō) 39.    Kosokun (Kushanku)
24. Kosokun Shiho (Shitō) 40.    Kosokun Shiho
25. Kosokun Dai (Shitō) 41.    Kosokun (Kushanku) Dai
26. Kosokun Sho (Shitō) 42.    Kosokun (Kushanku) Sho
27. Kururunfa (Shitō, Gōjū) 43.    Kururunfa
44.    Kusanku
28. Matsukaze (Shitō) 45.    Matsukaze
29. Matsumura Bassai (Shitō) 46.    Matsumura Bassai
47.    Matsumura Rohai
30. Meikyo (Shotōkan) 48.    Meikyo
49.    Myojo
31. Naihanchi (Wadō)
32. Naifanchin I (Shitō) 50.    Naifanchin I
33. Naifanchin II (Shitō) 51.    Naifanchin II
34. Naifanchin III (Shitō) 52.    Naifanchin III
35. Nijushiho Sho (Shotōkan) 53.    Nijushiho
36. Nipaipo (Shitō) 54.    Nipaipo
37. Niseishi (Shitō, Wadō) 55.    Niseishi
56.    Ohan
38. Pachu (Shitō) 57.    Pachu
39. Paiku (Shitō) 58.    Paiku
40. Papuren (Shitō) 59.    Papuren
41. Passai (Wadō) 60.    Passai
61.    Pinan 1
62.    Pinan 2
63.    Pinan 3
64.    Pinan 4
65.    Pinan 5
42. Rohai (Shitō, Wadō) 66.    Rohai
43. Saifa (Shitō, Gōjū) 67.    Saifa (Saiha)
44. Sanchin (Shitō, Gōjū) 68.    Sanchin
69.    Sanseiru
45. Sanseru (Shitō, Gōjū) 70.    Sanseru
71.    Seichin
46. Seiyunchin (Shitō, Gōjū) 72.    Seienchin
47. Seipai (Shitō, Gōjū) 73.    Seipai
74.    Seirui
48. Seisan (Shitō, Gōjū, Wadō) 75.    Seisan (Seishan)
76.    Shinpa
77.    Shinsei
50. Shisochin (Shitō, Gōjū) 78.    Shisochin
51. Sochin (Shitō, Shotōkan) 79.    Sochin
52. Suparimpei (Shitō, Gōjū) 80.    Suparinpei
53. Tekki I (Shotōkan) 81.    Tekki I
54. Tekki II (Shotōkan) 82.    Tekki II
55. Tekki III (Shotōkan) 83.    Tekki III
56. Tensho (Shitō, Gōjū) 84.    Tensho
57. Tomari Bassai (Shitō) 85.    Tomari Bassai
58. Unshu/Unsu (Shitō, Shotōkan) 86.    Unsu (Unshu)
87.    Useishi (Gojushiho)
59. Wankan (Shotōkan) 88.    Wankan
60. Wanshu (Shitō, Wadō) 89.    Wanshu

[1] World Karate Federation. Kata and Kumite Competition Rules Revision 7.1. Effective from 1.1.2012. APPENDIX 8: WKF TOKUI KATA LIST. Main List of Katas (Tokui) of the World Karate Federation (WKF). Page 50 – 51. World Karate Federation. Kata and Kumite Competition Rules Revision 9.0. Effective from 1.1.2015. APPENDIX 5: CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION. Official kata list. Page 28.

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