Dear Branch Chiefs and Contacts,
The next World Cup is less than a year away, and I hope everybody is doing well. I believe the host of the event, the Lithuanian Branch led by Branch Chief Romas Vitkauskas, is going through a busy schedule as the organizers of the event. I would like to start my message by asking the WKO Headquarters and all WKO Branches for their utmost cooperation towards the the host country, which will be vital in reducing the burden of those involved in the various preparations for the event.
The fierce selection tournaments for the upcoming World Cup have started in the various regions across the world. As symbolized in the retirement of Tsukamoto after his victory at the World Championship last year, I have high expectations for the worldwide emergence of new, strong competitors. In Japan, we recently held the All Japan Weight Division Championship, and have already determined the first group of selected competitors. A competitor who belongs to a group other than Shinkyokushinkai is included in this first group, and the big movement towards the united front of Karate, can be seen in such result. For the competitors, I have expectations for all to make use of each moment of each day in training, and in order to reach the No.1 of Karate in weight categories, be sure to leave no room for compromise, be strict on yourself, defeat your inner self, and do your best to demonstrate battles worthy of deciding the world’s strongest.
We have made steady progress in starting our activities towards the great dream of WKO, the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games. I believe the base of these activities, and the most important theme, is the united front of the Full Contact Karate world in Japan, the mother country of Karate. Currently in Japan, cooperation between JKJO (Japan Karate Judge Organization), an organization comprised of 230 groups and dojos, and our WKO, an international organization with 81 affiliated countries, the largest in the Full Contact world, has started by making full use of each other’s characteristics. With this cooperation, the first step towards the realization of our great dream to join the Olympics has been made, and at the same time, we are also promoting the movement to realize cooperation with all Karate organizations. One of the factors that we place great importance on is the approach towards all Kyokushin groups. 18 years have passed since Sosai Oyama passed away, and friends who had trained, cried, laughed, supported and encouraged each other under the great sun, “Masutatsu Oyama”, have unfortunately separated from each other, and each has continued their own activities under their own individuality and independence.“There might be a day when we can return to one, but no, it might not be possible”. In these various mental and emotional struggles, I hope to search for possibilities that will enable the exchange in competitions, by sharing the slogan to unite the Full Contact Karate world, and the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games, which will be the next step ahead. Exchange starts by recognizing each other’s existence, and respecting each other’s standpoint. Various things have happened in the past 18 years. I believe that a new history of Full Contact Karate will start, when we accept and forgive each other’s past. The path of Karate, in the spirit of OSU, as long as we never give up, I believe we will realize this dream.
I would like to conclude my message for this month, by asking for everybody’s cooperation and support.