Vladimir Sloutsker: «We’ll teach them fight like champions do!»
According to the Federal State Statistics Service, the population of Moscow is 12 million people. Approximately the same number – 12 million people all over the world go in for Kyokushin, one of the most popular martial art – hard full contact Kyokushin karate. How to teach these millions of sportsmen “to fight like champions do” tells Vladimir Sloutsker, the president of our organization.
– “Fight like champions do” — how is it?
– The Kyokushin karate as well as many other martial arts has Japanese origin. When this martial art in the late 1970s got the sport component, the Japanese won all the world’s championships. The last 10 years show the exactly opposite results: our Russian sportsmen get the winner’s stands at all large international tournaments. As Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky sang, “we are ahead of the rest”. For example, at the last world championship in Sofia last year the Russian sportsmen won 11 gold medals from 14 weight categories!
– So you are going to share the secrets of mastery with contestants, right?
– We would like the Kyokushin karate, a popular sport as it is, to become even more popular, and would like it to be included in the Summer Olympics in near future. It requires two conditions to be observed: to boost its spectacularity and to raise competition level among sportsmen. This sport is really mass one even now; today 12 million people in 140 countries of the world go in for it, and according to this criterion the Kyokushin long time ago surpasses many Olympic sports. As for spectacularity of fights, the Kyokushin is so far inferior in comparison with boxing or judo. To make the stands during the Kyokushin fights full as during the football matches, we need to upgrade the technical level of the leading sportsmen, probably by boosting the competition among them.
– How your organization is going to do it?
– For variety of reasons the full contact Kyokushin karate in Russia in the “turbulent” 90s was developing very swiftly, and also due to motivation of fighters had outstripped the Kyokushin development in comparison with other countries. Today there are not only best sportsmen – the world champions, but also the best coaches, best workout methods. We are ready to share these methods and coaching experience with sportsmen from other countries.
– Which way?
– Well, the ways are rather traditional. Russian coaches will go to foreign countries to carry out the training sessions, or vice versa, foreign sportsmen will come to Russia to train. This year the British sportsmen had already visited our training sessions in St. Petersburg, which were held by the multiple champion, our compatriot Dmitry Savelyev. Till the end of this year we are planning to conduct two more training sessions in Russia and 3-4 abroad. The preliminarily applications for training sessions are already submitted by Japan, the USA, Israel, and Spain.
– The second important direction of our federation’s work is the organization and carrying out of fights among the Kyokushin elite. On the 1st of March 2014 the exhibition fight according to new professional rules (more rounds, minimum interference of referees to fights) was held in Permskaya Oblast within the traditional “Prikamye Cup” tournament. The winner is the world champion Farid Kasumov. Such exhibition fights with champions from the Russian Federation and other countries we plan to organize in Israel, the USA, and perhaps in Bulgaria. Besides, we hope to make two prestigious professional fighting tournaments in San Marino and in Moscow.
– Who are the members of your not so long ago established organization and what powers do they have?
– As the initiative of establishing this organization refers to the Russian Kyokushin Federation (RKF), which I closely collaborated with for the last years, the WFKO’s management included many Russian coaches and sportsmen. Primarily, it is Aleksandr Tanushkin, the president and the founder of RKF, and his deputies. America is presented in our Federation by the president of the USA National Federation Michael Monaco, and the activity of our Federation in the Old Wold is in charge of the president of the Switzerland National Federation Eddie Gabatuler. They both have the positions of the WFKO’s vice-presidents. At the moment we consider the candidacies for the vice-president position from the Asia and the Middle East National Federations.
– One more question. There are at least 8 authoritative international organizations in the world uniting all Kyokushin sportsmen, which have their own representative offices and departments in different countries of the world. Are they your rivals? What is the difference between your recently established organization and them?
– When the founder of Kyokushin karate Masutatsu Oyama died in 1994, his students started creating their own organizations, as each of them had their own vision of developing this martial art. These very Oyama’s students are the leaders of these 8 international organizations. In spite of the style differences, these organizations are equal in traditional teaching of karate as a martial art. The lion’s share of time is devoted to study of techniques and their formal combinations (kata), and also to fight techniques, frequently life threatening ones.
Fights according to the sport rules, that is “non-traditional” karate part is often secondary for Kyokushin. Contrariwise, our federation is going to popularize Kyokushin as a promising, balanced and fascinating martial art. That is why our coaches concentrate on training for sport fights and contests. For sure it refers not to beginners and amateurs, but to professional sportsmen who perfectly master the technique and psychology of Kyokushin as a martial art. It is the crucial distinction of WFKO from other international organizations.
– There is a word “fight” in the name of your organization. Besides, according to the Kyokushin rules it’s allowed not to restrain kicks and punches and to strike a body and head without any protective devices. Does it mean that you’d like to create some alternative to ultimate fighting which is organized and carried out by the famous Mixed Martial Arts League M1?
– М1 or, for example, К1 has no goal to develop any particular martial art. In “mixed martial arts” not particular martial arts’ schools are compared but personal skills and qualities of fighters. Very often these fighters use techniques from different martial arts, boxing, karate, and wrestling to gain a victory at all hazards. We acknowledge only one style in our organization – full contact Kyokushin karate. It’s better to compare fight Kyokushin organization not with mixed martial arts but with Thai boxing, which is also very popular around the world. Thai boxing adherents have their world fighting organization for a long time already and Kyokushin fighters hadn’t got any up to now. Now they do have it.