For the many hard styles of karate the form of kumite used in tournaments around the world is often called "full contact karate or bare knuckle karate".
It is referenced to its traditionally hard style of fighting and strong spirit shown during these encounters.
In many countries around the world competitors must be over the age of 18 to compete in these events and there are strict rules in place for competitors safety. No face punches are allowed and body protection is limited to a groin guard and mouth guard.
At an age of 16 & 17yrs students are allowed to compete at a full contact level whilst wearing extra protection. This includes shin and instep protectors, hand mitts and head guards. The purpose for this is that by this stage most students are fairly well developed physically and will be able to hold their own in normal dojo traning and dojo sparring with the adult students.
So, to give them a steady and progressive introduction to the much harder style of competition the Colts full contact was created. Most junior students will compete in Ippon Kumite point fighting (non contact) and continous semi contact (light contact) kumite under the the age of 16. They may if they wish continue on with these events at an older age and not fight full contact it is a personal choice.
Some are daunted by the thought of full contact competition and others can't wait to have a go.
Kyokushin is a hard style of karate from Japan founded by the late Grandmaster Mas Oyama and now practiced all over the world. Mas Oyama founded this karate system in the 1950's. Originally known as Oyama Karate, it later became known as Kyokushin Karate – this translates to "The Ultimate Truth".
Mas Oyama over the years had been trained in many different martial arts styles. It was combination of these styles, years of training and his own beliefs that lead to the Kyokushin Karate as we know it today.
Over the years many other styles have developed from their Kyokushin ancestry.
Senior Kyokushin instructors in years past have found themselves in a position where they too have had their own beliefs and ideas on the martial arts.
Some wished to take them further and explore their boundaries of the martial arts. This in turn led to the evolution of these other styles.
These other styles include:
Shidokan, Seido Kaikan/K1 Kickboxing, Ashihara, Daido Juku, Seido JuKu, Enshin Karate, Yamaki Karate, Kurosawa Karate, Spirit Gym- Nicholas Pettas, to name just a few of karate styles heavily influenced by Sosai Mas Oyama's teachings.
Many of today’s elite Kickboxing/MMA fighters from around the world were originally top level Kyokushin full contact karate fighters.
K1 superstar fighters such as the late Andy Hug, Francisco Filho, Sam Greco, Nicholas Pettas, Glaube Feitosa, Semmy Schilt, Peter Graham and MMA stars like Pancrase/UFC Chamion Bas Rutten & UFC superstar Georges St. Pierre were all originally full contact karate fighters.
Georges St. Pierre has gone from a Karate student (a Kyokushin & Shidokan Karate black belt) to UFC World Welterweight champion and is now one of the best MMA fighters in the world. Known for his supreme technique and well mannered persona.
Their road to success paved by their hard and demanding full contact karate training. You need strong discipline to be a champion and Full Contact Karate is full of discipline in its hard training.
Although Mas Oyama has since passed away the legacy of his hard training still lives on in millions of Full Contact Karate students worldwide.