For the devotee of martial arts there is much to admire and cherish, but it’s not always easy to find others who share one’s passions (not that there is necessarily anything unique about that situation). Unlike football which had FA Cup Finals, Champion League Finals, and of course World Cup, Euro Cup, Copa Libertadores and how knows how many other competitions there are! For fans of martial arts the spectator and competitive scene isn’t quite as popular, but that by no means implies that there isn’t one. If you’re looking for something to watch then here’s our suggestion of what’s best!
1. Diamond Nationals. This is one of the biggest events in the karate calendar outside of Japan. The Diamond Nationals is an international karate competition that takes place yearly and is open to competitors of all age and skill set. This makes it one of the most inclusive as well as exciting competitions for spectators to be able to see demonstrations of skill from all over the scale.
2. European Judo Championships. Held now 28 times (and 35 times before that in a men’s only iteration), this competition is the highlight of the Judo season and despite the name is open to people from all over the world. The the latest competition more than 40 countries were represented, making it truly a sight to behold. Top competitors from all over meeting to compete. In addition to that it’s usually held in cities worth visiting, as this year’s tournament just wrapped up in Poland’s astonishingly beautiful capital, Warsaw.
3. Local competitions. Don’t forget that it’s not necessarily just about celebrity, fame, and travel. For the real enthusiast, watching local competitions can be equally rewarding. Checking local newspapers or even betting sites, one is able to find heaps of listings all over the world for martial arts fans.
4. Asian Martial Arts Games. If local competitions aren’t your thing and you prefer international competitors, then this is the competition for you. Organised by the same body that organises the Olympics, this is an impressing tour de force of martial arts prowess. And although there are martial arts from all over the world, many of the most popular originate from East Asia, making this one feel somehow more authentic. You’ll need to stay in the loop however as the last games were delayed and now the competition, which takes places every four years, is on an irregular timeline, but is still one to watch.
5. The World Combat Games. With fifteen sports on display in this competition there’s something for everyone: fencing, sambo, kickboxing, and many more. The next big competition is scheduled to be held in 2018 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, a country well-known for its traditions of martial prowess and sport. There were 1000 competitors in the past events and the numbers look like they will rise, so it’s certainly one of the top events in the martial arts calendar for both practitioners and spectators.