What is WKF Competitive Karate?

And how can you get involved?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different sport governing levels?

The World Karate Federation (WKF) is the leader in bringing sport karate to the rest of the world. Associated with the Japanese Karate Federation (JKF), the Japanese Karate Association (JKA) and now the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it’s why we believe it to be one of the best sport associations to compete under.

Below the WKF you move to the national level, in which case for us it would be Karate Canada (KC). Elite athletes who qualify under the provincial level would have the opportunity to compete for a spot with Team Canada who’s directed by KC.

But before any of that, you need to compete under our Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) which is currently known as the Ontario Karate Federation (OKF). Athletes within the province can compete at the recreational level or elite level in friendly tournaments with other dojo’s who are part of this association.

How old do you need to be to start?

You can start as young a four years old and at any belt level. Personally I believe the earlier you start you better your chances when competing in the elite division.

What’s the difference between sport and recreational karate?

Traditional/Recreational karate classes are geared towards the belt system and learning the proper basics to effectively defend yourself. They include smaller stances and a wide-range of dangerous techniques. On the other hand, sport karate is geared towards accumulating points and winning matches either in kata or kumite based on presentation or the ability to hit a moving opponent without injury.

Both disciplines have completely different ways of training, however, for the younger crowd I find the sport side of things will help keep them engaged for a longer period of time; not to mention it helps build their speed, agility, endurance, as well as a proper attitude towards training.

How do I start?

Well the first step is knowing whether your dojo is part of a Provincial Sport Organization (PSO). Once that’s established, your active membership under that PSO will allow you to take part. But, you need to ensure you get the proper training first. Your instructor should be providing additional classes that focus solely on the sport side of karate without taking too much away from your regular traditional practice.

At Kazoku Martial Arts we offer additional classes in the HYP Studio with Sensei Hamoon and Sensei Samira; two of Canada’s leading Olympic athletes/coaches.

What are the costs associated with competing?

First of all you need to have an active membership with the PSO. This is usually paid annually and dealt with by your instructor. Secondly, you can either purchase or borrow equipment for competition but it is recommended that you get your own so you’re always prepared. Lastly, there are the registration fees per tournament which may vary each time.

Any other fees that come with competition are associated with your own individual dojo. We charge an extra fee to take part in additional classes, which can be found here. These classes run for 1.5 hours and offer athletes the chance to learn the required skills to win against their competition.


Have any other questions? Send us an email and we will fill you in on any further information.

Photo Credit: Joy Liu from our associated dojo, Advanced Combative Theory, Hamilton.

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