Dear Branch Chiefs and Contacts,
Time flies very fast, and 1 month has already passed in 2016. In Japan, where we have 4 beautiful seasons, we are feeling the winter climate, which seems to get colder by the day. I hope you are doing well in your country/region.
We held the annual Kagami Biraki training at Gokokuji Temple, where Sosai Oyama rests in peace, on January 10. As it has been the past 11 times for this event, we were blessed with great weather, and the warm sunlight felt like a kind smile from Sosai in heaven. Over 250 members attended the event this year, and after the Goma fire ritual, we held the special training/demonstrations. I felt the energy of Shinkyokushinkai in the Goma fire, and with a clear mind, we carried out our training in full strength. In closing, we made silent prayers to Sosai Oyama, and promised further development for this year. I promise to do my best for each moment of each day for this year as well.
In January, we welcomed our 92nd affiliated country. This is a great development, for it shows the worldwide support for Full Contact Karate, and it is a result of everyone’s interest in WKO as an organization. Little by little, we are coming closer to our goal of 100 affiliated countries. Although I have mentioned this repeatedly, WKO is an organization we develop with our own hands. We treat our friends nicely, and respect each other’s viewpoints. I am confident and proud that WKO is the one and only organization in the world, where members, connected with a deep friendship, can share each other’s happiness and sadness. Let us work together to further develop and spread WKO throughout the world.
Good people tend to gather in good organizations. In other words, it is difficult to develop a good organization without good people, and in order to build good friendships, one needs to be a good person. I believe the key for the further development of WKO, lies in our continuous Karate training, and the need for us to be Karateka with an open, pure, and reliable heart. As with the saying “think globally, act locally”, we need to focus again on where we stand, keep our sights on our deep and long Karate path, and continue to walk together in unity.
Lastly, the steps toward the inclusion of Full Contact Karate in the Olympic Games, is still an ongoing process. Full Contact Karate is unfortunately not included in the “Karate” that is a candidate to be an additional category at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. There is a common understanding in the world that Non Contact and Full Contact are completely different events, and it is also very clear that these two different competitions exist in the world. We need to accept the current situation where Full Contact is not included within the Karate competition recognized by the IOC, to waste no time in the firm establishment of the international federation (IF) for Full Contact Karate, and widely demonstrate the existence of Full Contact Karate to the international sports community. In such process, the JFKO (Japan Fullcontact Karate Organization), where the WKO Japan Region is affiliated to, plays the leading role in the world to promote the founding of the IF. For the founding of this IF, the 92 affiliated countries of WKO must do their best to establish national federations (NF) for Full Contact Karate in their country. JFKO has chosen this year, 2016, as the first year of the NF era, so that we can build a strong foundation worldwide for the eventual founding of the IF. In response to such movement and policy, I kindly ask for the cooperation of WKO member countries, and their further effort in the establishment of national federations worldwide.
Let us stay calm, and with the establishment of national federations as a strong foundation, move forward together to realize our dream to establish the IF. I wish to make this a year in which organizational matters are also executed in a “think globally, act locally” manner, and I kindly ask for your continuous understanding and support.