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 warm support for our organization. It is now autumn in Japan, and the beautiful red leaves on the trees give our hearts a soft, gentle feeling. At the same time, the wind is starting to get cold, telling us that winter is just around the corner. There is only one month left for this year, which seems to have passed very quickly, due to the many events. How is everything in your country and region? I imagine that you are all in good health, in a peaceful environment.
2014, a year full of events. Full Contact Karate is now in a stage of rapid movements. As you are all aware, the JFKO, which I am honored to be the Chairman of, is leading a worldwide campaign, the “Karate of 1 million people, collection of 1 million signatures”. This is a wish for Karate to be included in the official categories of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and if included as an official category, for the realization of the Full Contact rule competition, in addition to the WKF rule. After the decision of the host nation and official categories for the 2020 Olympics in September 2013, there is now a possibility for a reconsideration of the official categories and for a reflection of the host nation’s intent, due to the idea of the new IOC President. This possibility will be discussed and considered at the IOC meeting in early December, and if this is realized, it is ideal that Japan (Tokyo) recommends Karate. The signatures obtained in this campaign, will be submitted to the Japanese Government to demonstrate the strong support, so that such recommendation can be made.
Bare hands. Karate is one. The inclusion of this very special Karate, which has many followers around the world, in the Olympic Games, a world class sports festival, is the most ideal scenario for all related to Karate. We as WKO, as members of the Karate world, need to join hands with other Karate organizations to pursue such ideal, in close cooperation. Full Contact Karate, with its origins in Kyokushin Karate, which we love dearly, is a world class Karate competition performed with bare hands, in which its ultimate safety and Budo values are demonstrated in its 50 year competition history. “One Karate. Full Contact Karate is here!” This is a “worldwide all-out battle for Full Contact Karate”, regardless of organization or style. It is time to join hands, to form a united front. Let us make good use of this opportunity, and appeal our unity and presence in the international sports community. In the same way that quality is power, quantity is power as well. In this case, the power of quantity is necessary. I sincerely ask Branch Chiefs and Contacts, and all students, for your support to the signature-collecting campaign, so that each and every signature can form a ship of hope, and sail all the way to Japan. Thank you for your cooperation, it has great meaning and is very much appreciated.
As for WKO, we will have the 11th World Championship in 2015. The number of competitors for the 89 affiliated countries and regions is announced in this Newsletter. A Budo Karate festival, the open weight World Championship. I imagine that high level selection tournaments will be held in various regions and countries, to win the honor of participating in this grand event. With the words of past World Champions, that “the competitor who earns the honorable title of World Champion, is the one who trained the most in the world”, in mind, I hope all competitors will do their best and follow their path of light, which will surely lead to the top of the world.
As I have said on various occasions, Karate is a Budo. Although the Olympics would be a great opportunity to demonstrate the sports aspect of Karate, let us remind ourselves that our foundation is in our awareness that Budo is the true essence of Karate, and continue to make WKO the strongest and largest Budo organization. Let us work together in unity, to make the World Championship the strongest and best tournament in the world.
Full Contact Karate is one, WKO is here. Let us join hands and move forward with our hearts on fire, towards a brighter future.