With the great success of the Malaysia Championship, a step forward to regional development. The road is very clear, towards the Asia Open next year
The Malaysia Branch organized the Malaysia Championship, and led the event to success. The dedicated approach of Asia Region Representative Sujoto and Branch Chief Chung was the key to this positive result, and a good start was made towards the Asia Open next year.
The Malaysia Championship 2013 was held on June 22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event was organized by Branch Chief Kin Meng Chung of Malaysia. He has the experience of studying at Waseda University as an international student when he was young. As a result, he is fluent in Japanese, and is a close supporter of Japan. Since Branch Chief Chung will be organizing the Asia Open scheduled to be held in 2014, this tournament came as a good “rehearsal” for the upcoming big event.
President Midori and Shihan Miyoshi (JKO Vice President) attended the event from Japan, to support Branch Chief Chung’s hard work and to observe the current status of the Asian countries. A total of 58 competitors from the host country Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, and Mauritius competed to become the champion.
Although the competition level is still not at the level of strong regions such as Japan, Europe, and Russia, the impressive performances of the competitors from Thailand, managed by Branch Chief Nagashima, and the newly affiliated Singapore Branch, raised the competition level of the Asia Region.
The Asia Region is full of life. One reason behind this positive movement is the hard effort by Branch Chief Sujoto, the Regional Representative for Asia after the 10th World Championship in 2011.
In recent years, there has been a trend of large scale transfers from other Kyokushin groups, mostly in Europe, but this movement is starting to spread worldwide. In Asia, Singapore (Branch Chief Patrick Teo) and the Philippines (Branch Chief Richard Picar) recently joined WKO, and Asia is one of the regions with great potential for further development, towards the WKO goal to reach 100 affiliated countries. Branch Chief Shivaji Ganguly of India, the previous Regional Representative for Asia, is a strong supporter of Asia Region Representative Sujoto’s current activities.
A seminar by President Midori, and the Asia Region Grading Exam was also held in conjunction with the tournament. Although the seminar was held a day before the tournament, 130 members participated and trained very hard. Basic techniques such as Kihon and Ido were thoroughly analyzed and standardized, and kumite techniques were also personally initiated.
18 members took part in the grading exam held the day after the tournament, and all eyes were on the challenge for 3rd Dan of Branch Chief Chung, who organized the series of events during this period, and the challenge for 4th Dan of Branch Chief Fumiaki Nagashima, who manages both Thailand and West Shizuoka.
Although the exam condition was not quite good, both Branch Chiefs did their best to demonstrate the result of their continuous training, and were able to successfully pass the exam. The seminar, tournament, and grading exam. The large scale event organized by the Malaysia Branch, the rehearsal for next year, marked its success with the relieved expression of Branch Chief Chung when he passed his grading exam. The Asia Open next year will be the touchstone that will forecast the future of the new Asia Region. The event will surely be a great success, due to the smooth harmony of the Asia Region Branch Chiefs.
Report by WKO Executive Director Yasukazu Koi,
Photographs by Malaysia Branch and WKO Executive Director Yasukazu Koi