Jan 8, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT
The sport, which has never been contested at the Olympics, eyes inclusion for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“Karate is a sport with Japanese roots,” World Karate Federation President Antonio Espinos said Thursday, according to The Associated Press. “Together with the Japanese Karate Federation, we are doing everything we can to make sure karate is part of the program in the 2020 Olympics.”
Not only must it convince organizers it belongs, but karate must also compete with other sports such as baseball and softball that want to be part of the Olympics.
In December, the IOC approved Agenda 2020, reforms that included shifting the focus from a set number of Olympic sports approved seven years in advance to a set number of events across all sports. A host city can also propose adding a sport for its Games.
The approved measures included limiting the Summer Olympics to approximately 10,500 athletes and 310 events. London 2012 had 10,568 athletes in 302 events; Rio 2016 will have 306 events.
Karate made failed bids to join the Olympic program for 2012 and 2016.