The 42nd All Japan Open Karate Tournament ended today with victory going to Tariel Nikoleishvili of Russia. A major upset to Japanese Kyokushin with Tariel being the first ever foreigner to take victory in the All Japan open weight tournament!
It was another great tournament with extremely high quality fighters seeing the top 8 fighters gaining qualification to the 10th World Tournament to be held in Japan next year.
The level of fighting through the quarter finals was fantastic with most needing several extensions to decide on a winner, leaving the fighters completely exhausted and then having to backup for the semi finals within a very short period, showing their true Kyokushin spirit!
Seidokaikan’s Sawada made his way through to the semi finals but was stopped by the almost 20kg lighter Mori Zenjyuro who was too fit for Sawada and was able to get into his rythm early and proved more agressive through the first round ending in 5-0 to Mori.
The second semifinal saw Russia’s Tariel Nikoleishvili against Kentaro Tanaka. Tariel had fought very strong during the last two days and put in an amazing effort against Tanaka with the first round a draw and the second round going 2-0 to Tanaka with the centre judge giving it a hikiwake, perhaps making up for Kentaro’s previous fight against Lechi. However the 2nd extension was also a draw and going to tameshiwari Tareil won 22-15. A major upset defeat for Tanaka who was last year’s champion and the hope of Japan for this tournament and next year’s world tournament.
The third place battle was quick affair between Tanaka and Sawada with Tanaka winning with strong leg kicks via ippon.
The final bout was the match up of Japan’s Mori Zenjyuro and Russia’s Tariel Nikoleishvili. The crowd was in anticipation of a great final all backing Mori however with strong leg kicks, Tariel was able to get Mori on the back foot at was able to soundly defeat him within the first round thus crowning Tariel as this year’s All Japan Open Karate Tournament Winner.
This year saw 6 out of the top 8 fighters from Japan with several foreign fighters coming very close to the top 8. Zahari Damyanov (Bulgaria), Darmen Sadvokasov (Russia) and Steven Cujic (Australia) all made it through to the top 16. Damyanov was unlucky to lose after 2 extensions – the first being 2-0 to Damyanov but the centre referee requesting another round in which Japanese fighter, Arata was able to over power Damyanov. Darmen was also unlucky to loose out after an accidental elbow to Koyayashi’s head leading to Gentan-ichi even though Darmen would have been victorious.
1. #80 Tariel Nikoleishvili (Russia)
2. #64 Mori Zenjyuro
3. #128 Tanaka Kentaro
4. #32 Sawada Hideo (Seidokaikan)
#16 Kamada Shohei
#48 Arata Syoki
#81 Kobayashi Daiki
#104 Lechi Kurbanov (Chechnya)
Congratulations from Kyokushin Australia to the winner, Tariel Nikoleishvili, and the other 127 fighters who took part in this years All Japan Open Karate Tournament!!
Australia’s Shihan Nik Cujic and Shihan Trevor Tockar were at the event – pictured here with Shihan Kenny and Shihan Corrigal
Australia’s Sempai Steven Cujic’s Results
Sempai Steven faced off with Matsumura in the 3rd round and as expected it was a tough battle. Both with high energy first round ending in a draw. The second round saw Steven take the advantage with faster techniques however was unable to secure the round with it ending in another draw. On the second extension Matusumura tired while Steven kept up the pace leading to a 4-0 win to Sempai Steven advancing him to the top 16!
Then his battle was to get through to the top 8 which would secure a place in next year’s World Tournament. He was due to fight either Murata or Lechi and unfortunatly for Steven it was to be Lechi as he overcome Murata easily within one round. Sempai Steven fought strongly with beautiful exchange of blows with Lechi but as Steven had taken significant leg damage in the battle against Matsumura, Lechi was eventually able to gain an ippon victory with a precise low lick.
Congratulations Sempai Steven on making though to the Top 16 of the 42nd All Japan – once again making Australia proud! Look out everyone next year though as Sempai Steven continues to improve and no doubt will be very dangerous come the South Pacific qualifiers and then the World Tournament!