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In a festive mood and new friendships ended the first joint Kudo camp at SENSHI Gym

Kudo training camp, organized by the National Association of Combat Sports (NABS) in Bulgaria was held in the sea capital Varna from 15 – 18 December 2022. Prominent martial arts masters conducted the practices at the prestigious SENSHI Gym sports complex.

The primary and foremost objective of this joint camp is the preparation and development of the third KWU-SENSHI Rules, KWU OPEN – an attractive and long-desired ruleset including all boxing punches, all kicks, clinch, grappling and kicking, elbow strikes, throws, ground work, hand strikes, and knees to the body on the ground.

As for why the Kudo camp was started, the organizers said: ‘Kudo is a hybrid combat sport between Kyokushin Karate and Judo. The founder of the martial art Sensei Takashi Azuma (3rd Dan Judo, 8th Dan Kyokushin and 9th Dan Kudo) is a master of the traditional Kyokushin school of Masutatsu Oyama and has reached the top two Kyokushin World Championships. He decided to merge the two martial arts he knew well, Kyokushin and Judo and created Daido Juku, where punching and grappling techniques are allowed. Slowly other martial arts such as Muay Thai, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, and various other martial arts were incorporated and fine-tuned to work well in this style. The martial art was renamed Kudo in 2001 and adopted as a Budo sport in Japan.

Participants in the camp had the opportunity to learn from legends in martial arts such as Shihan Semmy Schilt, Shihan Alexey Kononenko, Sensei Dinko Babamov, who is the President of the Bulgarian Kudo Federation, Senpai Meguro Yuta, as well as Kyokushin masters Sensei Zahari Damyanov and Sensei Petar Martinov.

Before becoming one of the most titled kickboxers in the world, Shihan Semmy Schilt, 9th Dan, was the Absolute Kudo Champion in 1996 and 1997. He also holds the title of King of the Pancrase in the open category. He joined the team of instructors at this first camp with enthusiasm and infected the practitioners with a very good spirit while showing some of the most popular tricks in Kudo that have brought him success not only in tournaments but also in his MMA career.

“I am really impressed with this first joint camp and I like that the participants are having fun and are willing to try new things, they are open-minded. I want to teach them to embrace new ideas, teachers don’t have all the answers, and practitioners have to find them for themselves. We are just trying to give a new direction and let them shape their own path,” said Shihan Schilt.

Shihan Alexei Kononenko, 5th Dan is a twelve-time All-Japan champion and two-time silver medalist in world championships. With an extensive athletic career and experience on the tatami, Shihan Alexei emphasized the sport part of Kudo, explaining rules and paying attention to each student. “I am impressed, the organization is outstanding. I can feel the energy of the participants, we have had very fruitful training sessions and I hope they have learned something from me. I see a different level of participants, but the base is strong and I watched very strong fighters from both styles.”

For the first time as an instructor in Bulgaria Senpai Meguro Yuta, 1st Dan joined the classes. He is a seven-time All-Japan lightweight champion, winning the championship six times in a row. “This was my first time training with Kyokushin fighters and I am very pleasantly surprised that they can perform throwing techniques and grappling combinations. It will be interesting for Kudo and Kyokushin fighters to meet on the tatami in tournaments,” the reigning Japanese champion told

Sensei Dinko Babamov, President of the BKF expressed his gratitude to the BKKF and KWU-SENSHI for the invitation and hospitality and did not hide his satisfaction with the training and the level of the participants. For the new year, Sensei Babamov wished all the fighters many medals and to continue their careers without injuries. On his part, he presented thank you plaques and handmade delicious Kudo chocolate to all the instructors.

The instructors from BKKF Sensei Zahari Damyanov and Sensei Petar Martinov actively participated in the training and gave guidance to the Kyokushin karateka.

The mood of all participants in the Kudo camp was uplifted and they worked with smiles on their faces. New friendships were made and everyone wished each other happy holidays see each other in the new year 2023.

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