Is Karate an Olympic Sport? Will Karate Be In The 2024 Olympics?

Karate Olympics 2020

Many people have a question in common: “Is karate an Olympic sport?” The shortest answer is YES. This post will give you in-depth knowledge about the karate Olympics. Keep reading to discover more.

Is Karate An Olympic Sport?

Of course, karate is a well-recognized Olympic sport. However, Karate made its first debut at the 2020 Olympics that held in Tokyo, Japan. In the Olympics, karate featured two events, Kata and Kumite.

Around sixty competitors competed in Kumite competition from all over the world, and twenty competed in Kata competition.

What Type Of Karate Is In The Olympics?

In the karate Olympics 2020, two kinds of karate were held: Kumite and Kata.

Kumite competition

In the Kumite competition, there are two opponents who fight against each other in a matted 8’x8’competition area.

However, the main goal of the Kumite competition is to beat the opponent using precise and robust strikes to the body and head.

When a participant earns eight more scores than the opponent before the time is over or makes more than the opponent within the fixed time wins the competition.

Kata competition

In the Kata competition, you will demonstrate different forms with sequences of defensive and offensive movements.

This kind of karate is somewhat different. How? Here athletes don’t fight against each other yet against the virtual rival.

The WKF (World Karate Federation) has around 102 allowed Katas, and the competitors must select from that list.

It also has a scoring method where three out of seven judges. This score will be added and applied to the formula of calculation to decide the winner.

What Were The Results Of The 2020 Karate Olympics?

Ryo Kiyuna from Japan imprinted his name in the history of the Olympics as the first & only Gold Medalist. He performed in the Kata event for men.

Kiyuna (announced the world champion three times) beat Spaniard Quintero. He scored 28.72 and ensured his success. Quintero 27.66.

However, karate made its initial debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The sole Karateka is Kiyuna, who won a medal in men’s Kata. His mood was quite joyful after being the first gold medalist in the karate Olympics in 2020.

I appreciate being on the stage”, – Kiyuna told the reporters. He also adds, “Many people are fighting hard against Covid-19 but still I stand here. I appreciate it highly.”

Ariel Torres from Team USA and Ali Sofuoglu from Turkey won the bronze medals.

Is Karate In The 2024 Olympics?

Karate Olympics 2024 has made karate enthusiasts disappointed. An announcement from the Olympic officials declared that karate wouldn’t be among all the sports in the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris.

As it is no longer included in the Olympics, finally karate made its 1st appearance in Summer Tokyo Olympics 2020.

The Karate Olympics 2020 included events for men and women for Kata and Kumite. It had around 80 participants from all over the world.

The karate fans hoped to see karate in the 2024 Olympics, but sadly it is no longer being credited as a sport in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The Olympic council didn’t elaborate on the reason why karate is excluded from the Olympics in 2024.

The Controversy Of Karate’s Exclusion!

Olympic Committee’s decision not to include karate again in the Olympics provoked a controversy mainly in the martial arts and combat sports communities.

Many participants and fans of karate strongly oppose the decision. They believe that karate should get a place in the 2024 Olympics.

They also believe that karate fulfils all the conditions to be included in the 2024 Olympics. However, karate made its inaugural debut for the first time in the Olympics 2020.

Isn’t it bizarre that karate won’t be recognized by the Olympics anymore? It is also unusual to many that as karate made its first appearance in the 2020 Olympics, so why is it removed so quickly.

Many fans are trying to file a petition to the Olympics committee to review their verdict and add karate again in the Olympic sports in Paris in 2024.

2020 olympics

Karate World Championships!

The biggest event of karate is the 24th Karate World Championships. It is organized once every 2 years. It is good to know that in the Karate World Championships, many athletes from all over the world gather to participate.

This exciting tournament was held at the “WiZink sports hall” situated in Madrid, Spain. Also, the karate competition acquired greater importance.

The 24th Karate world championship was the competition that provided the highest points for the athletes to be qualified for the Olympics.

What Martial Arts Are In The Olympics?

Martial arts in the Olympics include Karate, Boxing, Wrestling, Taekwondo, Fencing and Judo. These notable martial arts were added as the sports in the Olympics 2020.

So, let’s learn a little more about the top four martial arts that made a special place in the Olympics.


The most popular martial art is karate. It originated in Japan. Historically, karate was not a part of the Olympics. But in the 2020 Olympics, karate made a place as Japan organized the events. In karate Olympics 2020, Kata and Kumite, two forms of karate were included.


Almost all of us love Taekwondo. It is most popular and originated in Korea. In the recently held Olympics, Taekwondo was included many times.

The Taekwondo weight classes covered men who are fewer than 58, 58-68, 68-80, and 80+ kg. On the other hand, women who are fewer than 49, 49-57, 57-67, and 67+kg were covered.

In contrast to Olympic Karate, the participants of Taekwondo compete via the sparring matches only. But they don’t compete via the Taekwondo patterns or Taekwondo forms.


In the Olympic Sports, Boxing is being participated since 1904. It is a type of martial art. Boxing focuses on punches. Also it does not allow grappling techniques or kicks. This Olympic sport has matches for both women and men.


Another martial art originating in Japan is Judo. It mainly focuses on throwing and grappling techniques. In the Olympic sports, Judo doesn’t use kicks or punches.

It’s been included in the Olympic sports since 1964. The weight classes for men are 60 – 100+ kg and for women 48 – 78+ kg.

However, in the Olympic karate, the participants of Judo compete via the sparring matches only. They don’t compete via the Judo Kata.

Final Thoughts

Last but not least, I hope now you know that karate is an Olympic sport. And, it should be because karate meets all the conditions to appear in the Olympics. Let’s see what happens in the 2024 Olympics though the board announced the exclusion of karate.

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Span Chen
Span Chen
I have been practicing karate for more than 6 years, and now at the sixth level (green belt) of the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kugekai. Though I haven’t earned my Black Belt yet, I am deeply passionate about my training.