Aleksandr Tanushkin: «We’ve developed the Kyokushin fighters’ ratings»
At the turn of Millennium there was a revolution in world sport. TV and growing commercialization of professional sport have fundamentally changed the sports tournaments’ calendar. Instead of one-two tournaments once in several years, for example the Olympic Games or world championships, now professional sportsmen participate in real marathon of sport events.
Tournaments come one after another; sportsmen have to confirm their achievements every month or even every week. And best of the best are chosen not by individual fights but by ratings. One can welcome or deny such a new approach in professional sport. But it’s the reality for today.
This world trend is joined by the World Fighting Kyokushin Organization (WFKO), established at the end of 2013.
The founder and the senior vice-president of this organization Aleksandr Tanushkin told about the WFKO’s rating system, which is going to be used for assessing the participants of professional Kyokushin fights.
Aleksandr Ivanovich, why does WFKO need these ratings?
From the beginning of 2014 the WFKO has been organizing the professional Kyokushin fights. Up to now there was no professional Kyokushin fights system. That’s why for now we invite amateur sportsmen to participate in such tournaments. So, the rating is required for selecting the strongest sportsmen for participation in professional fights.
You know who are the top-fighters in Russia today, don’t you?
Selecting of fighters for participation in professional fights using a “we know/we don’t know” principle is rather subjective. The rating takes into account the top-fighters at the main tournaments in the Russian Federation and abroad for the last 2 years. For victory and medal places at every such tournament sportsmen will get points, which will be then summed up. It’s a rather impartial assessment of fighters’ mastery.
You calculated the ratings in one of the largest Kyokushin federations in our country – RKF. And what about other Russian sportsmen?
We had to start something from, so we started from RKF. We hope, that in future other Kyokushin federations in Russia will prepare the similar ratings, so their sportsmen can participate in professional fights according to WFKO system.
And what about foreign fighters? Or tournaments will be carried out among Russians only?
Of course not. World Fighting Kyokushin Organization is a global organization. One of the vice-presidents of our organization represents American continent, another one represents European karate federations. Currently we consider the candidacies for the vice-president position from Asia. These vice-presidents-“supervisors” of continental WFKO organizations in their countries also select the best fighters for coming out to ring.
So does it mean there will be ratings of foreign fighters as well?
Sure. Ideally we are going to make one common international rating to define “the best of the best” in Kyokushin karate. We’ve suggested our foreign partners the rating calculation method – it’s good both for Russian fighters and for sportsmen in any other country.
What does this rating mean for a fighter?
There are leading sportsmen ratings today almost in every sport. The most famous one is perhaps a world tennis players rating – points in this rating help them getting multimillion advertising contracts.
What does it offer for our fighters? The rating’s leaders will get higher fees for participating in professional fights. More than that, these tournaments will be participated by those fighters only, who got required minimum of points. The reason is also safety as Kyokushin is one of the hardest martial arts.
Well, and what sportsman doesn’t want to be “a number one”? Even in professional sport fees are not the only thing. For many sportsmen not less important aspects is recognition of being the strongest, the best, etc.
And the last question. How will suggested WFKO rating system assist in developing the Kyokushin?
Kyokushin today is one of the most popular sports. This martial art is trained by 12 million people – this amount equals to the population of Moscow according to the last population census. In spite of such popularity, Kyokushin karate lacks for professional basis. I’d say, lacks for such a professional approach, as in tennis, professional boxing or Formula 1. The top-fighters has no regular sport practice, tournaments and fights are irregularly organized – at some months there are no fights at all, and at others fighters are torn between many tournaments simultaneously taking place in different places. From this point of view our rating is the first step for transformation of Kyokushin karate from amateur sport into professional sport.