Dear Branch Chiefs and Contacts,
It is already close to one year after the 10th World Championship held last October. Due to the retirement of Norichika Tsukamoto from competition, who became the World Champion twice, I believe various regions of the world have high expectations for the arrival of strong fighters who will carry the next era on their shoulders. In Japan, we will hold the 44th All Japan Championship, a tournament with long history and tradition, in Tokyo this month. As in various regions of the world, please have high expectations for the arrival of the leader for the new era of Japan.
I visited Brazil this September to observe the South American Championship. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the WKO Brazil Branch led by Country Representative/Branch Chief Carvalho, for their thorough preparation and strong unity displayed at the event. With the philosophy of Budo Karate as its foundation, it was a wonderful tournament, which had modern taste applied to the entertainment and arena layout. There was a significant rise in the competition level, and I confirmed many capable competitors who had the strength and potential to perform well in future events such as the World Championship and the World Cup. During this visit, I was also able to have productive discussions with the Branch Chiefs of the South America Region, and I appreciated the passionate promotion activities in their countries. The regional organization was also smoothly and democratically managed by the Branch Chiefs led by Board Member Garcia, and gave me high expectations for further growth in the region. This was a good opportunity to reconfirm the fact that WKO is supported by the efforts of each and every Branch Chief. I would like to express my sincere respect towards all of your continuous efforts. I would also like to congratulate everyone on the success of the South American Championship, and thank you all for your warm hospitality.
After crossing the great turning point of the above mentioned 10th World Championship, and now that Kyokushin Karate has built a history and tradition of close to a half-century, the Karate world is now facing the current of a new era. The grand slogan, the “Inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games” can be said to be the symbol of this coming era. Full Contact Karate, with its foundation in Budo culture from ancient Japan, maintains a competition system which has the competitor’s safety as its utmost priority, and recently enjoys dramatic development and a significant increase in competitors. The fact that the sport like aspect of Budo Karate is widely understood and spread across the international community is proven by the recent worldwide increase in the number of children Karateka. As the dream of these children Karateka, let us bear in mind that it is our mission as the leaders of today to realize the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games, and I ask for us all to continue to join hands and work together towards this goal.
The World Cup in Lithuania is quickly approaching. We are receiving official reports of selected fighters from various regions, and the Japan Region will finish its selection process in late October. Various documents concerning the World Cup is attached with this Newsletter, and I ask for all Branch Chiefs and Contacts to confirm these documents at an early timing, and for all to strictly follow the deadlines set for each category. I request for all of your cooperation, for the effort and cooperation made by each and every one of you will reduce the work load of the host country and Headquarters staff.