Karate debuted on the World University Championships sports programme in 1998, in Lille, France. Since then the sport has steadily been growing in participation numbers. In 2022, Karate was part of the FISU University World Cup Combat Sports in Samsun (TUR). Combat Sports (with Karate as a discipline) now return to a FISU World University Championship format.
FISU Technical Committee Chairs
The History of Karate in FISU
France always wishes to be a pioneer. It was its university sports association, FFSU, which staged the first archery WUC in 1996. In 1998, the FFSU came forward with the organisation of the first World University Karate Championship. Several considerations prompted FFSU to stage this championship. Firstly, this sport has always had sheer popularity in France, with its more than 200,000 licensed adherents. Secondly, it was out of consideration for France’s best karate record-holders. And finally, FFSU received the absolute backing of the French Karate Federation, with which it has excellent relations. So, with an elaborate organisation, France welcomed 238 athletes from 31 countries. This first World University Karate Championship had a tremendous success, both in terms of number of participants and organisation level. Indeed, all the athletes present had to fight hard to win selection by distinguishing themselves in their national junior and/or senior championships.
The second edition of the World University Karate Championship was staged in Kyoto, Japan, in 2000, in which 36 countries participated. The event was organised by the National Sports Federation of Japan. The great success of participation and the high level of the competition opened up new possibilities for this sport within FISU. Enormous interest took world university karate to the highest position with respect to the number of participants. In the 2006 edition staged in New York, USA, the record of participating countries was broken. This time 42 countries from all over the world were there. This record was broken once again in 2010 in Podgorica, Montenegro, which welcomed 378 karatekas from 44 countries for an excellent championship. Karate continues to grow within FISU.