Back to the roots: KWU International Professional League

In 2019 SENSHI fight nights showcased a completely “new” KWU International Professional League rules with punches to the head, knees, elbows and throws allowed, but actually the legend Masutatsu “Mas” Oyama is the first martial artist who practiced full-contact karate. He has had strong beliefs that the best technique is the one that works the best for you and devastates your opponent. After many years of hard work, dedication and isolation in the mountains Sosai has decided that he has to test the effectiveness of his skills. In Oyama`s school, the “Kumite” has been the aspect that was worked the most on.

The martial artists were throwing punches and kicks and were always expecting to receive hard knocks back. In those times the punches to the head were still allowed, however, if you only had a towel wrapped around your hand or if you hit with the palm of your hand. Gripping, takedowns and hits to the groin were also present.

The sparring session did not finish until one of the two fighters admits he has lost. Over 90% of the sparring sessions finished with knockouts.

After defeating the rest of the schools in Japan, Oyama and his pupils were challenged by muay thai masters in Thailand in their favorable ruleset. The challenge was called “Karate vs. Thai box”, promoted by Noguchi.

The karatekas accepted the challenge and w0n 2-1 victories in 1964. Karate Kyokushin celebrated and the effectiveness and power of this martial art have been proven once again.

Years later Oyama’s students develop fighting styles – Ashihara karate (Hideyoki Ashihara), Kickboxing (Kenji Kurosaki), Kyokushin Budokai (John Blooming), Seidokaykan (Kazyoshi Ishii), Kudo (Takashi Azuma), Shidokan (Yoshidji Soeno), Enshin Kaykan (Yoko Nonomiya). The Creator of Seidokaykan, Kazyoshi Ishii, creates and promotes the most attractive and practiced discipline today – K-1.

Karate Kyokushin is in the roots of all those styles and their rulesets. KWU International Professional League brings us back to the glorious days of this martial art. At SENSHI we can see the rules as they originally were – full contact. There will be three different rulesets: KWU – FULL CONTACT, KWU SENSHI и KWU OPEN.

Takashi Azuma created Kudo, and Kazyoshi Ishii – K-1

How are organized the different rules of KWU International Professional League, and which fighters competed on the SENSHI events, featuring these “old” rules… find out in Part 2.