Karate’s History: Run by the World Karate Federation, which was founded in 1961 and which has been hosting worlds (roughly) every two years since 1970. This is karate’s third consecutive bid after barely failing to get the necessary two-thirds vote in 2005, and then being beat by golf and rugby in 2009.
Notable Stats: The WKF represents 185 nations and 10 million athletes.
The Pitch: “The K Is On the Way” is karate’s motto for showing the IOC how international the sport is, how the youth movement is creating potential Olympians, and why the Olympics would benefit from karate’s inclusion. It’s also the WKF’s way to show the world how great spectator sport it is, with an easier to understand scoring system, fewer pads, and a more aggressive fighting style than taekwondo.
The Odds: 6-1. Similar to squash being yet another racquet sport, karate is held back because it would be the fourth combat sport in the games after Judo – also Japanese – fencing, and taekwondo. Karate is also going up against the more popular combat sport in wrestling, so while karate could land on the shortlist in its third bid for the Games, it’s bid still likely won’t be strong enough to make it in.