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Christian Buffaloe, left, local Kyokushin Karate fighter, prepares to compete in the “12th Kyokushin Karate World Championships” in Japan Nov. 22-24 as a member of the USA Team. Kenny Buffaloe, his coach/trainer and father, at right, holds kicking pads.

Christian Buffaloe, local Kyokushin Karate fighter from Warren County, will compete in the “12th Kyokushin Karate World Championships” in Tokyo, Japan on Nov. 22-24. Buffaloe fought in a Japan-sponsored international qualifying tournament in New York in June and gained entry into the World Championships. 

This is a dream come true for the 20-year-old, who is a seven-time Kyokushin Karate international youth and teen champion. Buffaloe started to compete in 2008 at the age of 8, winning his first international youth championship, and was the most consistent American competitor over a 10-year period. He will compete as a member of the USA Team headed by Shihan Katsuhito Gorai, the U.S. Kyokushin Karate branch chief from Japan. 

Started in 1975 in Japan, the Kyokushin Karate World Championships is the top full contact fighting tournament in the world and is known as the “Karate Olympics.” It is held once in every four years and features the world’s best Kyokushin Karate knockdown fighters. 

The tournament is fought under Kyokushin rules, which means it is bare knuckle, full contact fighting with no rank or weight divisions, or protective gear allowed. Matches end in a complete knockout or two knockdowns, and the opponent is incapacitated and unable to continue fighting. 

Kyokushin Karate is different from the other karate and martial arts styles. The style is highly respected in the professional fighting community (MMA, Muay-Thai, boxing, kickboxing), and several Kyokushin students are also professional fighters. Although it has a small following in the United States, Kyokushin Karate is extremely popular internationally with over 12 million students in 123 countries. The Kyokushin headquarters is in Tokyo, Japan, led by Kancho Shokei Matsui, president of the organization.  

Buffaloe is training under his trainer/coach and father Kenny Buffaloe, a local Kyokushin Karate instructor in Roanoke Rapids and Murfreesboro, to make the best of this unique opportunity. 

The “Kyokushin Karate 12th World Open Championships” will be featured on FUJI-TV, Japan’s top cable TV network. The tournament will also be released on DVD and sold first in Japan and later internationally. It will also be covered by FIGHT & LIFE, Japan’s most popular martial arts and fighting magazine.

Christian Buffaloe will be featured on N.B.C. TV 17 on the 6 and 11 p.m. Sports news on Nov. 25. He will be interviewed about his upcoming participation in the “12th Kyokushin Karate World Championships” in Japan Nov. 22-24. He will also do several action-packed demonstrations. The segment will be posted later on the CBS. TV 17 website at cbs17.com.

For more information on Kyokushin Karate and local training classes, call 252-589-4281.