Ryo Kiyuna: Karate, Olympics & Net Worth

Ryo Kiyuna is the first and only gold medalist in karate from Japan in Olympics. 

Kiyuna hails from Okinawa Prefecture of southern Japan, the birthplace of karate. 

From 2012 to 2019, Rob has dominated the All Japan Karate Championship for eight years straight.

He has set the record for the longest winning run in the competition’s history. 

Ryo Kiyuna performing kata
Ryo Kiyuna performing kata (Source: World news.com)

He is the first Olympic gold medalist from the southwestern island chain known for its sparkling blue seas and sandy beaches in kata karate. 

In this article, we have mentioned detailed information about Ryo Kiyuna, including his early life, career, Olympics & net worth. 

Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about him:

Full Name 喜友名諒, Kiyuna Ryo
Date of Birth July 12, 1990
BirthPlace Okinawa, Japan
Age 31 years old
Gender Male
Father Name N/A
Mother Name N/A
Sibling N/A
Marital Status N/A
Wife Name N/A
Children N/A
Height 1.7m
Weight 78kg 
Hair color Black
Eye color Black
Education Konan High School
Okinawa International University
Occupation Athlete
Language  Japanese(native), English
Coach Tsuguo Sakumoto
National team debut 2011
Achievements Olympics Games: 2020-Gold
World Championships: 2012-Bronze, 2014-Gold, 2016-Gold, 2018-Gold
Asian Championships: 2013-Bronze, 2015-Gold, 2017-Gold, 2018-Gold, 2019-Gold
Asian Games: 2018-Gold
World Games: 2013-Bronze, 2017-Gold
World Combat Games: 2013-Silver
Social Media Instagram, Facebook
Net Worth $3 million
Merch Karate Gi, Karate Gear
Last Update June, 2022

Ryo Kiyuna:  Family, Early Life, and Education

Ryo Kiyuna was born on 12th July of 1990 in Okinawa, Japan. However, he has not revealed a lot about his parents. 

Ryo graduated from Konan High School. Similarly, he graduated from Okinawa International University in English literature.

From a very tender age of 5, he started karate. At that time, he was inspired by his kindergarten friend to try karate, thinking it was cool and also, to be strong.

Moreover, he also played baseball during elementary school. 

For all those years of determination and passion, Ryo now has made history in the field of karate by becoming the world’s top Karateka.

Age, Height, and Weight

Ryo stands 5 ft 5 inches tall and is now 31 years old. 

He does daily training and keeps himself fit. So, he weighs about 78 kg. The Japanese Karateka is the legend in the kata championships. 

However, in December 2020, Ryo contacted Covid-19. Fortunately, the symptoms were not severe.

Although his sickness adversely affected his daily training, he bounced back exceptionally well and grew more robust. 

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Ryo Kiyuna: Career

Ryo started karate at a very young age. He took part in a lot of competitions during his kindergarten and elementary school days. 

And then, in ninth grade, Kiyuna joined the Sakumoto Karate Academy operated by Sakumoto Tsuguo, head of the Ryūeiryū school of karate. 

But, for Ryo, it was not always a win-win situation. In high school, Kiyuna never got beyond the third match in the Inter-High School Championships.

The athlete represented Japan for the first time in the World Karate Championships in 2012, held in Paris, France.

Moreover, the athlete participated in the men’s kata event in Paris as a member of the Japanese national team.

Unfortunately, he was defeated by Antonio Diaz, dropping him to third place with the bronze medal.

To make it worse, Ryo Kiyuna again ended up in third place in the 2013 Asian Karate Championships held in Dubai, UAE, and the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia. 

However, the athlete won a silver medal in the 2013 World Combat Games held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. 

So close, yet unable to reach the top, Kiyuna was frustrated and discouraged.

Ryo Kiyuna with a gold medal and his mother's photo frame in Tokyo Olympics.
Ryo Kiyuna with a gold medal and his mother’s photo frame in Tokyo Olympics. (Source: WFK.com)

Yet, after all this bittersweet experience, Ryo never lost his passion for karate and was determined to develop the overwhelming strength he needed to become a mighty master of kata karate. 

Hence, in 2014, Kiyuna launched himself on a grueling regimen of expanded weight training to add muscle and constant practice to polish the primary forms of karate kata.

In the same year, 2014, he participated in the World Championships held in Bremen, Germany, after his launch.

Finally, he was able to win the title of individual kata champion, defeating crowd favorite IIja Smorguner in the final. 

Latest stat

But for, Kiyuna it was just the beginning. He successfully defended the world title two years later in Linz, Austria, defeating Damian Quintero.

And then won it again for the third time in Madrid, Spain, in 2018.

Thus, there was no looking back; from 2014, he has dominated all the kata championships. 

The Okinawans also triumphed in three consecutive Asian Senior Karate Championships and took home gold medals at the 2017 World Games and the 2018 Asian Games. 

Also, talking about his defeat, Kiyuna lost a match to Spanish rival Damian Quintero in the Karate 1 Premier League. 

It was his first defeat in the competition since 2012. At the time, he had won 16 out of the 18 Premier League titles in which he’s appeared.

The daily regimen of self-discipline and training has continued to this day.

It has led him to win eight straight All-Japan championships in the individual male kata and three consecutive world championships in the same category. 

Likewise, it has also led him to be recognized by the Guinness World Records for setting the world record for most gold medals in international karate competitions. 

Apart from the individual match, Ryo Kiyuna has also won gold medals in all the international competitions of the team match. 

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Ryo Kiyuna: Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Ryo won Japan’s first gold medal in karate at the Tokyo Olympics, defeating Spain’s Damian Quintero in the men’s kata final. 

The athlete, who has not lost a competition since February of 2018, scored 28.72 points out of 30 at Nippon Budokan, the spiritual home of Japanese martial arts. 

Ryo Kiyuna and Damian Quintero in Tokyo Olympics 2020
Ryo Kiyuna and Damian Quintero in Tokyo Olympics 2020 (Source: Instagram.com)

Kiyuna performed an Ohan Dai Kata and received 20.02 for technical performance and 8.70 for athletic performance, to give him a total score of 28.72. 

According to the Okinawa Amateur Sports Association, the athlete became the first Okinawa-born Olympic champion, 

Moreover, his day-and-night training took him to the path of becoming the world’s no.1 kata champion and breaking multiple records in kata history.

Awards

  • Excellence Award at the 2016 Japan Sports Awards
  • Excellence Award at the Japanese Olympic Committee Sports Awards

Ryo Kiyuna: Coach

The Olympic medalist is a student of the great Tsuguo Sakumoto. He is a three-time WKF World Champion in Kata. Ryo Kiyuna was around 13 when he met Tsuhuo for the first time.

Under the tutelage of Coach Sakumoto, Ryo has not lost world championships since 2014. 

Like Kiyuna, Sakumoto also won three consecutive Karate World Championships and two World Games in a row, and two World Cups.

Moreover, his name is included in the book of Guinness World Records.

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Ryo Kiyuna: Net Worth

Tokyo 2020 Gold medalist Ryo Kiyuna has an astounding net worth of $3 million. 

The primary source of income for the Olympian is her athletic career. 

Ryo is also mentioned in the top five karatekas to watch out for in the Tokyo Olympics.

Apart from competing, Ryo has also trained other Karateka with the World Karate Federation.  

Ryo Kiyuna: Personal Life

Kiyuna likes to keep his personal life very private. He has not revealed a lot of information about his parents and personal life.

Recently, Ryo took his mother’s photo frame on the podium in Tokyo Olympics and tributed her for supporting him. Sadly, her mother passed away in 2019 at the age of 57.

That would be the first time he revealed his mother’s photographs. 

Likewise, no one in the world knows whether he is married or not or has his children. 

Ryo Kiyuna: Social Media Presence

Olympic gold medalist Ryo does not disclose his private life. So, he does not have any social media accounts.

However, his fans and followers have made a fan page for him. He has around 72.2k followers on the Instagram page. 

Likewise, about 6.4k on the Facebook fan page. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ryo Kiyuna’s karate style?

Ryo performs the traditional Okinawan karate. And he draws inspiration in his routine from Okinawan dance.  

He competes in the kata division-the demonstrative side of karate, featuring one athlete alone on the mat performing a series of pre-mediated movements.

In a display of supreme self-discipline, contestants stand alone on the mat as they perform a choreographed routine of offensive and defensive moves popularly known as forms. 

What is Ryo Kiyuna rank?

Ryo is ranked first in kata karate. Since 2014, he has not lost any men’s individual championships. From 2014 to 2021, he was ranked first.

He is the three-time reigning world champion and has won nine straight national championships.  

Who won gold in Men’s Kata in Tokyo 2020, Olympics?

Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna won the first men’s kata Olympic champion defeating Spain’s Damian Quintero. She won a gold medal at the Nippon Budokan on August 6, 2021.

She performed an Ohan Dai Kata and received 20.02 for technical performance and 8.70 for athletic performance, to give him a total score of 28.72.

With a score of 28.72, Kiyuna beats Spain’s Damian by 1.06 scores as he scored 27.66 in the Final bout. 

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