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. Last year was very important for WKO, for it marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of Kyokushin, and the 20th anniversary of the death of Sosai Oyama. This year will mark the 51st and 21st anniversary, and let us all make a strong first step of hope towards the future.
We had the annual Kagami Biraki training at Gokokuji Temple, where Sosai Oyama rests in peace, on January 11. Although it was very cold, we were blessed with great weather, and with high expectations for our development this year, we all did our best in the training session, attended by 200 members. I hope that our Kiai reached Sosai Oyama in heaven, and that he watched over us with his kind smile. Let us continue our hard training for this year as well.
As WKO, we are pursuing the possibility of realizing our grand dream, the inclusion in the Olympic Games, which we envision beyond the establishment of the Full Contact Karate competition, and the founding of the international organization. Late last year, the reconsideration of the events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was approved, and the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games, is starting to seem like a close reality. In Karate, two forms of competitions exist, the Non Contact and the Full Contact, in which both have taken different paths to form their own competition history for the past half-century. Based on such history, we will continue to strive for the inclusion of the Full Contact event within the Karate competition, through various angles and measures, in addition to gaining understanding that the idea to encompass or cover all Karate practitioners under the WKF rule, is very unrealistic. I will report to you about this topic again, whenever significant progress is made.
In Japan, we will have the 2nd All Japan Fullcontact Karate Championship in May. I have high expectations for the WKO Japan Region competitors to go through hard training and prepare well for the event, so that they can demonstrate the high competition level and strong presence of WKO at the tournament. The Full Contact Karate world has entered a restructuring phase, at this opportunity to realize the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games. The Full Contact Karate world, which has a history of meeting and parting, has started a path of harmony and unity, with the 50th anniversary of Kyokushin, the origin of our competition, serving as a good opportunity. With the joining of hands with our comrades who love Full Contact Karate, I wish for this trend of harmony and unity to become larger and stronger, and to start our movement forward, towards the next half-century.
As for WKO, we are steadily starting the preparation work for the 11th World Championship. The pursuit of strength, at the festival of Budo. The true essence of Budo Karate is in “Ichigeki Hissatsu”, or defeat the opponent with one attack, “small can defeat big”, and “softness overcomes hardness”. The high level selection tournaments have started to be held across the world. For the competitors, I hope you will make use of each moment of each day and challenge yourself in your hard training, so that you can reach this grand stage to decide the strongest Karateka in the world.
We are presented through the media, gruesome images of terrorism and regional disputes from around the world. We strongly wish to contribute to world peace, through the further promotion of Budo Karate, a traditional Japanese culture, throughout the world. To start with a bow, and end with a bow. A strong body and spirit, realized as a result of hard self discipline and training, and the kindness and friendship that develops in the process. Let us all fulfill our mission, and strive to realize an international society full of smiles and hope for the future.
Kenji Midori
WKO President