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31 May, 2010 07:50

Moscow hosts Karate-Wushu face off to settle old scores

The battle of styles is one of the main themes for countless kung fu flicks, but sometimes the arguments occur in real life, much like when Russian karate fighters took on Chinese wushu masters.

In 2005, the Russian karate Kyokushinkay team went to China and was thrashed 5:0 by the locals representing the martial art of Wushu Sanda.

Five years later they have met up again – this time to settle scores in Moscow.

The Under-65 kilos face-off saw Ruslan Ilyasov taking on the 2008 champion of China, Tan Sihn.

Speed and pressure is what both fighters had to offer. The tough fight was followed by an extra round where the Russian was keen to knock his opponent out in style.

The Kyokushin style is famous for its extremely tough hand-to-hand fighting technique. That is why the discipline allows kicks in the head, but not punches – unlike Wushu Sanda, which offers both. So it would be fair to say that this might have been a certain advantage for the Russian team.

After three bouts the Russians had a 4:0 lead in the match. Three-time world champion Shamsudin Abdurashidov needed just 27 seconds to destroy Lou Man.

“They seemed to be a little bit nervous, or whatever… I don't know. Frankly speaking, I expected them to have much more to offer,” Abdurashidov said.

Arsen Khachatryan was quick to break his teammate's record with a stunning roundhouse kick just 12 seconds into the fight.

The 31-year-old stressed that winning the rematch was a matter of honour and pride for the Russian team.

“Our spiritual power is what first gave us the edge. We were defeated by them in 2005, so every one of us gave his all to fight back. When we stepped on the mat, we kept in mind nothing but victory,” he said.

The final clash of the day between Aleksey Gorokhov and Fu Tsyachun turned out to be a bit less eye-catching.

However, the 37-year-old needed all his experience to overcome his young and ambitious opponent and bring Russia a flawless victory.

“I did not consider it a rematch. It was just another chance to gain experience. Plus – a great responsibility for my home country and the karate style I represent. Of course, I felt a bit under psychological pressure, as I knew I had to win,” Gorokhov said.

The Russians have fought back, but it is safe to say the battle is far from over, just like the never-ending competition between different martial arts.