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.
This month, I was given the opportunity to observe the European Championship and Asia Championship, and I was able to interact with the Board members and Branch Chiefs of each region. Since both events were held as selection tournaments to decide the representatives for each region at the Karate World Cup in Lithuania next year, the bouts of the competitors were full of energy and passion. At the European Championship, the performance of the Lithuanian team, the hosts of the next World Cup, was very impressive, and I felt the strong determination and unity from the Lithuanian members, led by Branch Chief Romas, to organize the tournament in great success. I would also like to express my sincere respect to the organizers of the European Championship, the Belgium Branch, led by Branch Chief Martin Michel and Branch Chief Koen Spitaels, who guided the tournament to a great success. The long preparation must have required hard work and great effort. Thank you very much.
The competitions and management of the Asia Championship organized by the Kazakhstan Branch (Branch Chief Kairtay Sarmanov) was also at a high standard. Their application to become a candidate to host the 6th Karate World Cup in 2017 is highly understandable. They displayed the strong unity and potential ability of their country, especially in the financial sector by receiving support from the government and influential sponsors. Since this tournament was attended by a large majority of the Asian Branch Chiefs led by Branch Chief J. B Sujoto, who became the new Board member for the Asia Region last year, I strongly felt that this event marked the beginning of a new era for the Asia Region. The Asia Region Meeting was also held during this tournament, in which an election for Regional Board members was held, in addition to discussions surrounding the organization of future regional tournaments. With the devoted contribution of Branch Chief Shivaji Ganguly, the previous Board member, towards the development of the region as a foundation, I look forward to the further development of the region. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to the Branch Chiefs of Kazakhstan led by Country Representative Kairtay Sarmanov, for the hard effort they put forth to organize the tournament.
In this manner, I was able to exchange valuable information and ideas with many Branch Chiefs during my visit to both regional tournaments in Europe and Asia. WKO is a democratic organization full of life, with strong administration abilities. All Branch Chiefs are able to actively express their constructive ideas, and we are a non-profit organization that listens to these ideas. In the goal we are recently promoting worldwide, to make Karate part of the Olympic Games, there is a need to make accurate judgments which are important for the organization, without missing any opportunities. What is the best decision for us. However, we ourselves should never forget that our democracy is an organizational characteristic that must be prioritized over anything. To realize this goal, the Japan Region has made the united front of the Full Contact Karate world a top priority, and is promoting the cooperation with comrades. Earnest consideration is being continued, considering the cooperative relationship with KWU (Kyokushin World Union), which promotes mainly in Russia, the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games. Several international Kyokushin organizations including Kyokushinkan, have apparently joined the group. KWU Secretary General Sergey Suvorov observed the recent European Championship, and a good relationship is in the making. The policy of WKO towards the realization of the goal to join the Olympic Games, is to pursue this possibility, while not losing sight of our identity, to spare no effort in understanding and cooperating with all possibilities in the plans and hard work created by all who are involved with Karate. We must not lose sight of the big picture, in any situation. However, I must repeat that the democracy of WKO must be the utmost priority. Let us choose with our own hands, the best road for us, and the future of our children who set their hearts on Karate. Kyokushin Karate is now at a historic turning point. I sincerely hope for your strong cooperation.
Lastly, the Karate Dream Cup 2012 International Tournament is scheduled to be held later this month, in which we have received applications from 1,413 competitors and 25 groups (we started the Group Kata category from this year) from 9 countries. Many competitors from various Kyokushin groups will also be participating in this tournament. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the overseas Branches participating in this event. Thank you very much.
Message from WKO President(July 2012)
Dear Branch Chiefs and Contacts,