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What do I expect from the 2015 WKF rule changes?

The WKF karate world has done it again. They have gone ahead and changed the rules. This seems to happen every 3 years. I can recall major rule changes in 2009, 2012 and now 2015. These ones are some of the most hotly contested and talked about rule changes so far. Personally, I have called these the anti-Raphael Aghayev since it is really limiting the way you can throw and score. As a reluctant kicker and jujitsu student, I have made it really clear I don’t care for these changes. Raphael just lost in the 5th round on a very questionable Hansoku call while performing a take down. However, it is what it is and we need to adapt and teach our students and I have begun doing so right from the onset of these changes.

There will be some of us that will hold on to the hope of doing take downs, but certain throws are pretty much “dead”. You either won’t see these throws (below) or they have become exponentially harder to do.

  • Ashi Guruma — Leg Wheel
  • Harai Goshi — Sweeping Hip Throw
  • Uchi Mata — Inner Thigh Throw
  • Osoto Gari — Large Outer Reap
  • Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi — Lifting Pulling Ankle Bloc

Of course, there are are other throws, but this makes up a good portion of what throws we have seen in competition.

So, what do perceive happening?

  • Some of us will hold onto to the desire to execute these throws. We will either do them and take the penalty or try to adapt the throw into a one arm throw.
  • We will work on counter blitzing throws that are done immediately.
  • The double leg sweep will come back to popularity.
  • Kick take downs will come back to popularity, and the rules specifically state this is one instance where it is acceptable to use both arms for the take down (which is a darn good thing)
  • Ducking and blocking will become incredibly important late in matches when the fighter is up.
  • Endurance and conditioning must improve. There will be not much time stalling or getting into the clinch waiting for a “yame!”
  • Kickers will have a smile a mile wide, and the rest of us will start stretching and try to catch up
  • Concussions will be on the rise from one arm take downs.
  • Single leg sweeps will come back to popularity
  • Single leg sweeps will be taught with one arm grabs
  • These rules not lasting for very long (I hope)
  • Improved use of the hands from smart competitors.