The most important event in European shinkyokushin schedule this year – European championship – ended. After such important competitions I always review the tournament and results. This time I want to delay this for a while. I must just say my biggest compliments for Danish federation. Perfect tournament, great organization. One of the best tournaments so far. Thank you for all this!

I always try to be positive and strongly believe that everyone has to be 🙂 And if there is any problem, we have to look for solution, not just show negativity and curse everyone around 🙂 This time draws was a very popular topic during the tournament and after it. Why? Because of very logical reason – some top fighters met in first rounds. So some of them lost possibility to be on the podium. Maybe. Maybe not.

European shinkyokushin organization is implementing up-to-date technologies and systems. One of them – system used to make the draws and run all tournament, created by a person who is in karate world for more than 20 years (we have even had the examination for 10 kyu together 22 years ago! 😀 ) and understands all karate system very well. So it is programmed not only by a professional programmer but by a professional karateka too. That is important point.

So the topic – draws. Draws in the system are made according to the rules. What are they? TOP 4 fighters from last year’s European championship (in weight categories) from the same category are ranked. Others have no extra points, all are equal. So there is just one factor left – success. Computer does its job. Yes yes, a message to sceptics – it’s 21st century, time of pencil, sheets of white paper and drawing during the night until the morning has ended. No talks, no decisions good to one or other side. Just rules and sports “lottery”. So from the side of creator of the system – he did everything in the best way he could. System works. Everything went according to the rules. No chaos.

I strongly believe that the only thing that can be discussed in this situation are rules. If we have to change them or not, if we have to add more ranked fighters or not. But problems can’t be solved in a minute. Problems can’t be solved during the last evening before championship when draws are already published. Discuss now and make a solution for next year. Someone thinks that there should be more ranked fighters – the ones who won European open weight championship or two last European championships. Maybe they must get less points but still be ranked. Many opinions. But all of them have to be discussed now, not the night before tournament.

3 strong guys -85kg in the first rounds, some other categories. Even I could be unsatisfied that I had to meet Isis Pinilla in quarterfinal and had 2 ranked fighters in my side. But it’s normal. She was ranked, I wasn’t. I was the winner in 2015 and 4 more times before but I didn’t compete in 2016. I accept this. Even if I got injuries with Isis and due to this lost next fight. Rules are rules. If you want to be the chmpion, you have to win against everyone sooner or later.

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I respect our organization for professional work. For not changing decisions against the rules. For having strong system. System without rules is called chaos, isn’t it? So we are happy to have system with rules.

I would also like to quote software developer Nikita Svesnikov – EKO Tournament organising committee member, thoughts:

“It is easy to push a button, so that draws are changed, or to add more ranked participants to it, and on one hand I agree with all your feelings about Marius Ilas and Vasil Vangelov, but on another… I do not… And it is not very hard to explain why.

Ok, so why I agree?
1. Because it is true… top fighters should meet as far as possible. Why? Because European Championship is a qualification for World Tournament, and we definitely want so that best fighters are representing Europe.

And that is probably the only argument which I can get.

Why I disagree?
1. Because of the rules… Rules say that we rank only prizemen from the previous European Championship, and only from the same category of which category draws are made. For ex. Виолет Минкова Литовска is 1st in EC 2016 in Tbilisi, so this year she is ranked during the draws. Rita Pivoriunaite missed last year EC, so she has no rank on this tournament) Vasil Vangelov, is 2nd on EC 2016, but in OPEN weight category, so no rank for him on EC 2017 in 75-85kg category. Same for Eventas Gužauskas, he is 1st on EC 2016 Open weight, so no rank on EC 2017 in +85 weight category. Rules are rules, and we have to accept that.
2. Rules can’t be changed during the championship, as it would be unfair to all the fighters, who get known who are their opponents on Friday evening after draws are published, and then on Sunday morning…. SURPRISE!
3. Everyone has to be equal – we provide 4 ranked participants, the rest is equal… Machine has no feelings – and IMHO thats good – it does not know who Marius Ilas or Valeri Dimitrov are, thats why everyone gets same probability to get into 2nd round or not to fight with ranked participant the very first bout.

Also, to make it clear, I have attached a print screen from Men 75-85kg draw with ranked participants.

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And please, no hard feelings. This is sport, and it has its rules… Sometimes rules play against participants, but maybe it is even better? We have a chance to grow and progress, we become stronger no matter what. And if I want to be European Champion – then I have to fight and win all the fights, no matter if it is Lukas Kubilius, Brian Jakobse or Maciej Mazur…

Why it happened? Because of the rules. Are they bad? Everyone has different opinion about this. But the most important thing is that we do have .”

So.. If someone sees a problem, solve it now and let’s look to the future. And let’s be possitive 🙂

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