Does Karate Have Weight Classes?

Weight classes are competitive categories that pit participants against people of their own size. Weight classes are utilized in many sports, particularly combative athletics (such as boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and wrestling). Catch weight and open weight are alternatives to established weight divisions.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) weight classes are specifically concerned with the field of martial arts. According to the World Karate Federation’s policies and guidelines (WKF), the individual competition for the sport is contested using a weight class system with 5 categories for both men and women. 

Weight classifications are used to categorize fighters of various weights. They are used to create fair battles when it comes to stature amongst combatants of comparable heights and ages.

Watch the video below to learn more. 

What Are The Weight Classes in Karate? 

The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts provide weight limitations for fourteen separate weight classes; all definitions and measurements are in pounds. The strawweight division was introduced in 2015. In July 2017, the super lightweight, super welterweight, super middleweight, and cruiserweight weight categories were introduced. 

  • The strawweight category in MMA is for fighters weighing between 106 and 115 pounds (48 to 52 kg). It falls between the lesser atom weight and bigger flyweight divisions.
  • The Flyweight is defined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s combat sports theory as a level in MMA. It includes all participants weighing 125 pounds (57 kilograms) or below. It falls between the Straw weight (106 lb-115 lb) and Bantamweight weight classes (126 lb-135lb).
  • The bantamweight category in mixed martial arts refers to various weight classes that fall between the lower flyweight (116-125 lb) and heavy featherweight divisions (136–145 lb).
  • In mixed martial arts, the featherweight category refers to many weight classes, such as: The UFC’s featherweight class, which includes fighters weighing between 136 and 145 pounds (65.8 kg) and The featherweight class of the ONE Championship, has a weight restriction of 70 kilograms (154.3 lb). 
  • Lightweight contestants weigh between 146 and 155 pounds (66 and 70 kg). The Shooto Welterweight class (154 lb / 70 kg) is included. The Nevada State Athletic Commission and the Association of Boxing Commissions have established a lightweight limit of 155 pounds (70 kg).
  • In MMA, the super lightweight (or light welterweight) class stands between the lightweight and welterweight divisions. The maximum weight was established at 165 pounds (74.8 kg).
  • The welterweight division in MMA is much heavier than the welterweight class in various other sports. Welterweights competitors weigh between 156 and 170 lb (71 and 77 kg). It further extends to super welterweight (upper limit 175Ib). 
  • Middle welterweight (185 Ib) and Super middleweight (1995). Light heavyweight (205 Ib), heavy weight (265 Ib) and super heavyweight, which does not have any limits and Cruiserweight (225 Ib).

What Do You Do In Weight Classes? 

Within each weight class, pairs of karatekas will battle for up to three minutes in an 8-by-8-meter space. When an athlete hits a successful strike, kick, or punch on certain sections of their opponent’s body, such as their head, neck, belly, or back, points are awarded.

The victor is the first karateka to score eight points more than their opponent, or the karateka with the most points at the end of the fight. In the case of a tie, the winner is decided by a panel of judges. In order to win a gold medal, competitors in each weight class must advance through 3 sessions: an elimination round, a semi-final, and a final.

Why Does Weight Class Matter In Fighting? 

Fighters lose weight in order to acquire a size advantage over their opponents. Size is important in the world of professional fighting. The bigger you get, the tougher it is to strike you, and the more your strikes weary your opponent. 

How Many Karate Styles Are There? 

There are 75 karate styles, the four most popular being Shotokan, Shito-ryu, Wado-ryu, and Goju-ryu. The first three characteristics emerged in Okinawa’s Shuri area, while Goju-ryu emerged in the Naha prefecture. 


Shotokan is a self-defence system that teaches the fundamentals, forms, and sparring. It is a sanctioned karate style that emphasizes forceful blows, sparring methods, and extended stances meant to conclude a fight swiftly. In sum, it trains you to deliver powerful punches before your opponent realizes you’re thinking about doing so.

Shito- Ryu

Kenwa Mabuni created the Shito-ryu style in 1931. Kanryo Higoing to and Itosu Anko, two great martial arts specialists, taught Mabuni Naha-te and Shuri-te. Even while both styles followed a hard-soft framework, the emphasis of each was unique. Shito-ryu style was developed by Mabuni by combining the two styles. 


Miyagi Chojun created the Okinawan karate style Goju-ryu in the 1930s. The phrase Goju-rye relates to the technique used and means ‘hard-soft style.’ It employs a mix of closed hand linear (hard) and circular (soft) motions, similar to Yin and Yang’s Chinese philosophy.

Karate styles evolve with time and region, making it hard to count their innumerable categories. Styles also differ depending on the ideology and supervision of the masters who teach them. 

What Is the Hardest Type Of Karate? 

Kyokushin, an exceptionally hard style, emphasizes breaking more than the other forms and full contact, knockout sparring as a major component of its training. Kyokushin is a full-contact karate martial art system that originated in Japan. It is a stand-up combat technique based on self-development, discipline, and a rigorous training attitude. 

Kyokushin Karate is the most powerful type of karate. The International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan currently has over 500 World So-Kyokushin dojos (training centres) both inside and outside of Japan. 

Kyokushin Karate is well-known for being one of karate’s “harder” substyles. This Karate style allows for full contact sparring (Kumite) and does not require any safety gear other than a mouth guard and groin guard.


At the Tokyo 2020 Games, the Kumite tournament is split into three weight categories (light, medium, and heavy), although the world championship used to have five weight categories.

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