A quick summary of the crucial and successive steps that may lead to participation in the Olympic Games for Canadian karate athletes.
Qualification System for Karate at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The International Olympic Committee has approved the official qualification system for karate events at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. You may read this document at the following link (updated May 8, 2020).
In addition, the World Karate Federation has recently shared the following additional and related documents with its member National Federations:
- A description of the qualification process
(click here to view the document)
- A flow chart of the qualification process
(click here to view the document)
- An updated version of the WKF Ranking Rules, which contains detailed information about the regulation of the “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Standing”
(click here to view the document).
The Starting Point: Joining a recognized club
The journey begins with one simple yet very important step: signing up at a club (dojo) duly affiliated with a Karate Canada-member Provincial / Territorial Karate Association. This is a must, as it is the only gateway to eventual participation in World Karate Federation (WKF) competitions.
Next Step: Learning the art
The next step consists in rigorously and dedicatedly training in karate under a qualified and certified instructor, moving up in grades / belt levels, and preparing to compete under WKF competition rules.
Testing one’s Skills: Local, Regional and Provincial Tournaments
Once ready, the athlete begins to compete in local, then regional, and eventually provincial / territorial competitions, gradually moving from the recreational level to elite divisions.
Making the provincial / Territorial Team
Once the athlete has reached a certain degree of experience and proficiency, he / she begins to take part in team selection tournaments within his / her province / territory, in hopes of eventually being selected onto the Provincial / Territorial Team, towards participation in Karate Canada’s National Championships.
Making it onto the National Team: The chance to represent Canada
Once the athlete has made it onto his / her Provincial / Territorial Team and competes at the yearly National Championships, he / she may, through a podium finish at Nationals, start to accumulate points towards selection onto the (Junior and / or Senior) National Team. If and when selected onto the National Team, the athlete may then take part in National Team trainings and represent Canada at major international competitions, such as Pan American Championships, Pan American Games and World Championships, with coaching support from Karate Canada.
Perfecting One’s Skills: International Competitions
At these international competitions, the athlete will get the opportunity to face off with and to measure him / herself against the very best in the world. Once on the Senior National Team (18 years and older for kumite, or sparring, and 16 years old or more for kata, or forms), and through repeated success and podium results at these events, the athlete may earn ranking points allowing him or her to be selected for participation in major multi-sport events and top competitions, and may also be selected for support through the Sport Canada Athlete Assistance Program (Carding).
Rivaling With The World’s Best: Qualifying for the Games
If eligible, the athlete will now pursue top results at major international competitions and seek to climb WKF athlete rankings, in hopes of becoming one of the select few (80 Senior athletes in total from across the world and across 8 different divisions) to qualify for participation in the Olympic Games (exact qualification process still to be announced and confirmed by the WKF). This process is expected to primarily occur over the 2 year-period preceding the start of the Olympics.
Fulfilling the Dream: Competing at the Olympic Games
With the support of Karate Canada and of the Canadian Olympic Committee, selected and qualified athletes may then finally represent Canada on the highest international stage and bring pride and honour to their nation at the Olympic Games!