Karate Combat Season 4 is here!

Season 4 of Karate Combat is here. If you’re a fight fan and haven’t watched this combat sport yet, perhaps it’s time to check it out. The latest season started on 5/14/2022, and you can replay all the past events on their YouTube Channel.

The show is hosted by the MMA legend Bas Rutten.

It also features UFC veterans, George St. Pierre, and Stephen Thompson as co-hosts. All of whom are black belts in Karate.

Karate Combat successfully capitalized on the resurgence of Karate as a combat sport.

Traditional Karate was once considered a joke by legitimate full-contact fighters. The reason for this was the practice of point fighting, and the growth of strip-mall schools that watered down the traditional art in pursuit of profit.

But Karate has since regained its legitimacy with the success of MMA fighters who have a Karate background. And the talent on Karate Combat makes it worthy of being called a professional combat sport.

I enjoy Karate Combat for several reasons. Karate Combat is the fulfillment a childhood dream. One of my favorite old-school movies is the Best of the Best. As a child, I dreamed of watching a full-contact tournament like the one from the movie.

The fictional tournament from the Best of the Best was an open rules event that included striking and throwing. When the first UFC debuted, I naively imagined I would see fights like the Best of the Best. I was sadly disappointed.

The first UFC educated martial artists about the necessity of grappling, but, besides its savagery, lacked entertainment value. It took decades before MMA striking became entertaining to watch.

Karate Combat is pretty close to being the Best of the Best tournament. The rules allow strikes, all manners of throws, and limited ground and pound.

Scene from Best of the Best

Kids from the 1990’s may also remember the TV show, WMAC Masters Karate Combat’s use of the Unreal Engine to produce mixed reality environments gives the show a fantasy/video-game feel which reminds me of the old TV show.

The only criticism I have is the lack of certain classical moves that I associate with Karate.

Low leg kicks are allowed. This means the fighters stance is more forward so they can check the leg kick. Traditional Karate stands in a bladed stance which opens the lead leg side kick up for the fighter. The lead leg side kick is a beautiful and devastating kick for someone who knows how to use it well.

My over-all opinion is that Karate Combat is a refreshing new combat sport. It upgrades the traditional sport of Karate by adding elements from MMA, while still honoring traditional Karate values.


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