The World Karate Federation has confirmed the competition calendar for 2016 ©Xavier Servolle/WKF

The World Karate Federation (WKF) have released their confirmed competition calendar for 2016, which includes 10 Karate1 Premier League events as well as the World Championships.

The season begins with a Karate1 Premier League tournament in Paris, France from January 22 to 24 and concludes with the Junior, Cadet and under-21 Championships in Indonesia in November.

Linz, Austria, will play host to the WKF World Championships from October 25 to 30.

Following the campaign’s opener in the French capital, the Karate1 Premier League series moves to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from February 27 to 28, before the World Cup takes place in Lasko, Slovenia from March 12 to 13.

The next stop on the WKF’s flagship annual competition series is Rotterdam in The Netherlands on March 19 and 20, with Dubai due to host the fourth Karate1 Premier League event on April 9 and 10.

Libreville, Gabon has been confirmed as the host city for the African Championships, scheduled for April 22 to 24, before the Karate1 Premier League series heads to Salzburg, Austria from April 16 to 17.

Moroccan capital Rabat is the venue for the sixth competition on May 21 and 22, which comes after the European Championships take place in Montpellier, France from May 5 to 8.

The Pan-American Karate Championships is the next major event on the calendar from May 23 to 29 in 2016 Olympic Games host city Rio de Janeiro.

The Karate1 Premier League resumes from September 3 to 4 in Istanbul and continues two weeks later in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The 2016 Karate1 Premier League season will again conclude in Okinawa
The 2016 Karate1 Premier League season will again conclude in Okinawa ©Xavier Servolle/WKF

German city Hamburg will stage the penultimate event in the series on September 24 and 25 before the season finale again takes place in Okinawa, Japan, the birthplace of the sport of karate, on October 1 and 2.

Next year marks the last before world karate’s governing body switches to an alternative calendar in 2017, where a maximum of eight Karate1 Premier League events will be held instead of the usual 10.

Competitions will take place over three days instead of two, with finals, scheduled for the Sunday of each event, televised across the world by the WKF and a series of rights holders.

The WKF have already made agreements with television companies, as well as a commercial arm to help market and sell the rights to the events, according to WKF President Antonio Espinós.

Next year will also be hugely significant for karate as a whole as the International Olympic Committee are expected to announce the additional sports which have been selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at its Session in Rio.

Karate was one of five sports, along with baseball/softball, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing, put forward to be a part of the Games in five years’ time by the Tokyo 2020 Additional Events Programme Panel in September.