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Interview
Rati Tsiteladze – Universal Fighter
2009.02.09 15:05

 

 

Rati Tsiteladze has been named last year’s Universal Fighter.

 

Rati Tsiteladze is a worthy representative of Georgian Full-Contact Karate and gained his greatest recognition in 2008 : World Champion under K-1 rules in the 78 kg weight category, Caucasus Champion under Kyokushin Karate rules in the superheavy free weight categories, National Champion of Georgia under Kyokushin Karate rules in the free weight category, National Champion of Georgia under Kung-Fu Sanda rules in the free weight category, Best Fighter of the National Professional Full-Contact Fight League of Georgia Geo-Fight and Chief Instructor of International Budo Sport Federation of Georgia. Rati Tsiteladze is also a representative of Tbilisi State Scientific University’s  Full–Contact Martial Arts Programme and Chief Instructor of NEKO- RYU.

 

The Georgian Times interviewed Professor Kakhaber Markozashvili, a leading Georgian martial arts figure, about Rati Tsiteladze.

 

GT: Can you explain what this title means and why it is important?

 

K.M: Being the Year’s Universal Fighter means the following: Rati’s unique results were gained in different fighting systems, K-1 , Kyokushin and Kung-Fu Sanda. Over 2008 Rati’s official results were the highest ever recorded, so I can officially declare that at this time no one has achieved the same results in all these three different systems in the world.

 

A Japanese master of karate, Kazuyoshi Ishi, officially established his own form of Contact Karate in 1980. He called it Seidokaikan and worked out its rules, the ones known as K-1. Today this is one of the most popular Full–Contact forms in the world.

 

On 30 May 2004 in Tokyo in the Nippon-Budokan sports complex 7,596 spectators attended a competition in which 7 karate exponents beat the practitioners of other martial arts according to the K-1 rules. Among the winners was the current K-1 champion Bonjarski. 4 fights according K-1 rules were held in this competition and 3 under Ichigeki rules, about the same as those of Kyokushin Karate. The representatives of Karate defeated their opponents 7-0!

 

Japanese colleagues visited Georgia last summer to explain that the above event had been organised to make various points about K-1, as rumours had been circulating. They bore an official message from Kazuyoshi Ishi, who explained that K- 1 was based on Kun-Fu and Thai Boxing which have a history of many  centuries. Representatives of Kun–Fu Sanda, Thai Boxing and Kick Boxing were asserting that there were particular similarities and differences between K-1 and these forms but Kazuyoshi Ishi, a master of karate, organized karate’s counter to this through the abovementioned fights, which made everything clear.

 

GT: It is known that some Japanese Masters created new courses of Full Contact – Seidojuko and Daidojuko - before K-1, they were called Nakamura Takashi and Azuma Takashi...

 

K.M: Nakamura Takashi was the founder of Kiokushini: he was Masutasu Oyama‘s pupil and assistant for 22 years, and modernized Kiokushin Karate and created his own style – Seidojuku. Another master many times Japanese champion Azuma Takashi created Daidojuku, which is a mixture of Kiokushin and Seidodziuko, excluding the special  complex exercises of Karate-Kata and focusing everything on fights. He also introduced gloves, which are not used in Kiokushini and Seidojuko.

 

However Daidojuku did not spread widely due to its severe rules. A knockdown was counted for 5 seconds, but a knockout of 5 seconds and more would put an opponent out of action. The points tally was based on various factors which prevented other martial artists from succeeding at it. Consequently Daidojuku was left for karate specialists only and Kazuyoshi Ishi made the rules lighter and formed Karate Seidokaikan, with its own K-1 rules of competition, able to attract a wider variety of fighters. He copied the points scoring system from boxing. This gave chances for Kung Fu, Thai Boxing, Classic Boxing, Ju-Jitsu and Kick Boxing exponents to compete against karate practitioners and each other and win.

 

GT: Can you explain the rules of the “GO” competitions, which are considered the elite in contact fights, and are mostly participated in by karate buffs?

 

K.M.: Of course when competitors fight without gloves, where striking with the elbow to the head is allowed, and very rarely with both open hands (called the “Chopping”    method) this is for elite fighters. Even when you do not know the rules of K-1 using gloves for protection is similar to “Death”! GO is only for specially trained fighters. Our universal fighter is heading in this direction.

 

GT also interviewed Rati Tsiteladze himself after he had received his award.

 

GT: Rati as we know you devoted your victory in the World Championship to those who died during the August war...

 

RT: All true patriots should bowl before the heroes who sacrificed themselves for our mother country in an unequal fight! In spite of the fact that during the competition I was extremely tense due to the situation in our country the motivation of victory was moving me forward. I think I won deservedly.

 

GT: What can you tell us about your future plans?

 

RT: At the beginning of March I will join the Marathon Competition. About 7 of March I will try to repeat last year’s result in the competition which will be held according the rules of Kiokushin Karate. I well try to become once more the Champion of Georgian at the 80 kg weight. This is the most prestigious, superheavy, free weight category and accordingly I can demonstrate once more the superiority of Karate Neko-Ryu to other styles of martial arts. 

GT Staff
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