International Sport Karate Association

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International Sport Karate Association
IndustryKickboxing promotion
Founded1985 (1985)

The International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) is one of the major international bodies regulating sport karate and kickboxing matches, and is based in the United States. It was established in 1985 as a response to legal and revenue issues that sent the Professional Karate Association (PKA) into decline.[1]


From 1974 until 1985, the PKA had been the most recognised worldwide kickboxing sanctioning group. It was instrumental in establishing public relay of the sport via ESPN, helping to introduce the burgeoning sport to a wider audience,[2] and had also developed the first fighter's ratings systems. Five major U.S.-based promoters and resigning PKA executives created the new body, the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA), with an official announcement on July 16, 1986. The first U.S. directors were Mike Sawyer, Karyn Turner, Tony Thompson, John Worley and Scott Coker. It currently runs the biggest martial arts tournament in the world, The U.S Open. Thousands of competitors from around the world participate every year.[3]

Many of the major PKA promoters began sanctioning their events with the ISKA and several also joined its administration. ISKA also secured ESPN broadcasts of its major title bouts in 1986, thus helping bring quick credibility and recognition to the new association.

Since the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) was mostly active in Europe and the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) in Asia, ISKA was quick to expand through its own European Directors starting October 1986 with Olivier Muller, Jérome Canabate and Mohamed Hosseini. American Richard Mayor oversaw the establishment of this European wing as European President between 1986 and 1988.[4]

By 1991, the worldwide control of the ISKA was shared by two co-chairmen: Mike Sawyer and Olivier Muller. International TV coverage was secured, and united separate organisations were formed worldwide to handle responsibility for international sanctioning and grading. ISKA has conducted its official activities under ISKA ASIA since 2008 with Dr. S. A. Moinshirazi the President of ISKA ASIA. Paul Zadro is the President of ISKA Australia, which is the biggest martial arts tournament circuit in Australia.[5]

Current activities[edit]

ISKA is a sport karate, all styles kickboxing, mixed martial arts (MMA) sanctioning body in the United States and over 50 countries worldwide.

ISKA's Martial Arts World Championships are held yearly at the US Open of Martial Arts in Disney World, Orlando, Florida. The US Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championships celebrated its 40th anniversary the July 4th weekend, 2013. More than 4,000 competitors and 10,000 spectators attend the two-day event each year. The event closes with the Night of Champions featuring the ISKA World Martial Arts Championships. The Night of Champions airs live on ESPN3, while a highlights show airs later on ESPN2. The US Open is the longest continuously running martial arts event on ESPN. The US Open highlights continue to air throughout the year on CSI Sports networks, reaching approximately 85 million households.[6]

World Champions[edit]

Men's divisions[edit]

Style Flyweight Bantamweight Featherweight Super Featherweight Lightweight Super Lightweight
Oriental Rules Vacant Japan Tenshin Nasukawa France Franck Gross Spain Miguel Martinez Morocco Adam Bouarourou Austria Benjamin Horvath
Full Contact Kickboxing France Mathieu Damiano Vacant France Jerome Ardissone France Jonathan Pastorino France Yoann Portaller Ukraine Vladislav Melmik
Freestyle Kickboxing Vacant Argentina Martin Blanco Japan Tenshin Nasukawa Vacant France Mohamed Karbal France Enzo Bonio
Muay Thai Ukraine Andrii Mezentsev Vacant Spain Carlos Coello United Kingdom Jonathan Haggerty Vacant Japan Shunsuke Oishi
K-1 Rules France Akram Hamidi Japan Eisaku Ogasawara France Yanis Goucef Slovakia Ján Szajko Japan Koji France Yannick Reine
Style Light Welterweight Welterweight Super Welterweight Light Middleweight Middleweight Super Middleweight
Oriental Rules England Mo Abdurahman Vacant Italy Armen Petrosyan Italy Mustapha Haida France Karim Ghajji France Karim Ghajji
Full Contact Kickboxing Ukraine Vladislav Melmik Vacant France Gaetan Delacher Spain José Rodríguez France Mehdi Kada France Mondhor Yacoubi
Freestyle Kickboxing France Modibo Diarra Spain David Mejia Spain Sergio Sanchez France Edouard Bernadou Belgium Cedric de Keirsmaeker Poland Lukasz Plawecki
Muay Thai Thailand Khumsab Spain Malker Garcia Italy Fabio Pinca Spain Nauzet Trujillo Morocco Youssef Boughanem France Patrick Madisse
K-1 Rules Ukraine Cedric Peynaud Spain Malker Garcia Italy Giorgio Petrosyan Denmark Youssef Assouik France Mickael Lopes De Veiga France Patrick Madisse
Style Light Heavyweight Light Cruiserweight Cruiserweight Super Cruiserweight Heavyweight Super Heavyweight
Oriental Rules France Cyril Benzaquen France Reda Ougdou Spain Alberto Tapia Spain Moises Baute Vacant Turkey Murat Aygün
Full Contact Kickboxing United Kingdom Jon Durrant France Emmanuel Mahout EnglandJames Green United Kingdom Riyadh Al-Azzawi Vacant Vacant
Freestyle Kickboxing France Frederic Kowatz Italy Luca Adreani France Florent Kaouachi Vacant Vacant Vacant
Muay Thai Turkey Atakan Arslan Austria Henry Bannert Belgium Bejan Ahmedi France Emmanuel Payet Vacant Austria Thomas Froschauer
K-1 Rules United Kingdom Kevin Ward Belgium Madani Rahmani Spain Francis Jorge Russia Turpal Tokaev Guinea Mamoudou Keita Belgium Frederic Sinistra

As of July 14, 2020

Women's divisions[edit]

Style Atomweight Strawweight Flyweight Super Flyweight
Oriental Rules Vacant England Michelle Newell Italy Gloria Peritore Australia Serin Murray
Full Contact Kickboxing France Emilie Machut France Djouarha Chafia Italy Gloria Peritore France Lizzie Largillière
Freestyle Kickboxing Vacant Vacant Vacant Vacant
Muay Thai Japan Anna Shiratsuki Scotland Amy Pirnie Australia Kim Townsend Vacant
K-1 Rules Spain Cristina Morales France Ludivine Lasnier France Djouarha Chafia Cuba Cynthia Gonzalez
Style Bantamweight Featherweight Super Featherweight Lightweight
Oriental Rules Vacant Netherlands Mellony Geugjes Spain Lara Fernandez Turkey Deniz Batinli
Full Contact Kickboxing Vacant Vacant Vacant Vacant
Freestyle Kickboxing Vacant Italy Chiara Vincis France Aurélie Froment Israel Nili Block
Muay Thai Italy Melillo Sveva Vacant Vacant Vacant
K-1 Rules France Anissa Meksen Italy Martine Michieletto Turkey Sabriye Şengül France Aurélie Froment
Style Super Lightweight Light Welterweight Welterweight Super Welterweight
Oriental Rules Turkey Deniz Batinli Belgium Anke Van Gestel Vacant Vacant
Full Contact Kickboxing Italy Irene Mertens Vacant Vacant France Cathy LeMee
Freestyle Kickboxing France Cindy Perros France Cindy Perros Vacant Vacant
Muay Thai Italy Veronica Vernocchi Vacant Vacant Finland Anna Rantanen
K-1 Rules Belgium Anke Van Gestel Germany Johanna Kruse Vacant Vacant

As of August 31, 2020

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bill Wallace (October 1988). The Decline and Fall of the PKA Empire (Digitized by Google Books). Black Belt Magazine. p. 13. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  2. ^ Corcoran, John and Farkas, Emil. Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People. Gallery Books, New York (1983) p. 317.
  3. ^ "What is ISKA?". Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  4. ^ "From A to WKN". Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  5. ^ "A HISTORY OF KICKBOXING". Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  6. ^ "National Coverage Map". Archived from the original (JPG) on 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2015-10-08.

External links[edit]

Web resources

Books and articles