Dear Branch Chiefs and Contacts,
First of all, I would like to start my message by expressing my appreciation to all of you for your dedication and hard work for our organization. There are only two months left in the year, and I imagine all of us are quite busy with various duties and events.
In October, I visited Russia to attend the All Russian Championship. I was very much impressed with the Branch Chiefs of the Russia Region led by Country Representative Yuriy Shabanov, in the unity they displayed to make the tournament a success. The tournament had a very large audience. The event was properly managed and organized, with strong connections with supporters, and the technique level of the strong fighters was extremely high. All aspects of the tournament were at a high level, and I was deeply impressed. I would like to express my congratulations on the great success of the tournament, and my deep respect to the organizer of the event, Branch Chief Roman Reznik, the tournament staff, and all supporters of the event. Roman Nesterenko, the World Cup Middleweight Champion who also performed well at the World Championship last year, won the Heavyweight category at this tournament. The Final between him and the young and powerful Nazar Nasirov was at a very high, world class level. Roman, who won the fierce battle with the strong fighter who will represent Russia in the next generation, is said to have considered retirement after the World Championship last year. An advice from Norichika Tsukamoto, the World Champion last year, seems to be the reason behind his decision to continue his career as a competitor. I was deeply moved by his sincere attitude, unceasing pursuit of strength, and pursuit of lifetime training. I have high expectations for the future of Roman, who is one of the strong candidates to win the next World Cup and the 11th World Championship.
The 44th All Japan Championship, a tournament with history and tradition, was recently held in Japan. After numerous fierce battles, many of the new generation of strong fighters led by Yuji Shimamoto (2nd Place: Kazufumi Shimamoto), who won the first ever Final between brothers in the tournament, became prizewinners in the tournament. With the result of this tournament, the selection of competitors for the Japan Region is finished. Kunihiro Suzuki, is also on the list of prizewinners for the tournament. In addition to Roman, I wish to praise the 8th World Champion for his continuous challenges in competition, at the age of over 40. I wish him the best in his participation in the World Cup.
I attended and observed the various regional tournaments in Europe, Asia, South America, and Russia. The competition level in all tournaments was very high, and I confirmed many strong fighters who have the ability to aim for the title of World Cup Champion. In order for WKO to continue to be the strongest and largest Karate organization, individual fighters need to strive to maintain and further improve their strength and competition ability. This strength is acquired through the result of steady training, pursued strictly for every moment of each day. Please overcome the fierce battle with your inner self, and arrive at the tournament in your best condition.
Lastly, WKO is achieving steady development, through the continuation of daily activities in various countries around the world. The foundation of this development is the friendship shared by our friends in this organization. I believe the realization of our grand dream, the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games, will only be possible through this friendship. By making this an opportunity to reconfirm the important and strong bond of friendship between us, I would like to stay alert and aware in our path towards the future.