Dear WKO Branch Chiefs and Contacts,
Every day, I feel that the WKO is making a great progress, thanks to your support.
April 26 was the Death anniversary of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, the founder of the Kyokushin
Karate.
That day when I received the news of his sudden death, although I could not believe it was
true, I hurried over to Sosai who was resting peacefully in his coffin. It was a loss and sadness
that cannot be put into words. I still remember the weight I felt in my palms, when I put my
hand on the coffin in which Sosai rests, being transferred from Sohonbu Dojo into the hearse
car.
It has already been 30 years since the sorrow. In the spring sunshine and fresh breeze, I visited the
Gokokuji Temple in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward where Sosai rests in peace. I cleaned his grave, poured
water over it, and laid colorful flowers. With the scent of incense and the feeling of the weight of
the coffin on that day in my palms, I silently joined my hands, closed my eyes and spoke to him,
“Thank you, Sosai Oyama, I will continue to be hand in hand with branch chiefs around the world
to carry your legacy. “
Shihan Masahiko Yamada of the Nagasaki branch suddenly passed away in March, and then Shihan
Miranda Hoyos of the Bolivia branch in South America suddenly departed as well to Sosai Oyama.
I imagined as I left the Gokokuji Temple of them sweating to train Kihon in heaven.
In the WKO, a number of big tournaments are in full swing.
The regional selection tournaments for the 1st WFKO Championship scheduled for May 31 and
June 1, 2025, in Ariake, Tokyo are active worldwide.
In Japan, the National Competitors were selected at the 9th JFKO Championship in Osaka (May 25
& 26). It was an extremely high-level tournament where 375 fighters from 364 different groups and
organizations competed.
It has been reported that the All-European Championship, which served as the 1st selection
tournament, was also held on the same day in Spain (Country Representative – Shihan Pedro
Soriano). The All-European Championship is a prestigious event with a long tradition. After the
retirement of Mr. Valeri Dimitrov, who has been at the top of Europe for more than two decades
and won 2nd place in the last World Championship, we could sense the budding of the new era with
the rising of the young generation and the remarkable performances of the Georgian fighters. I was
also happy to hear that Mr. Eventas Guzauskas, who had a bitter defeat in the World Championship,
won the heavyweight category. Feeling the difficulty to keep winning, and learning from the
retirement of the great warrior, Mr. Valeri Dimitrov. I believe it was a win overcoming many walls.
I am looking forward to seeing his fights on the world stage.
The 1st WFKO Championship mentioned earlier, is our flagship tournament promoting our Karate
style to be recognized as an Olympic Sport and will simultaneously serve as the WKO’s 8th World
Championship in Weight Categories. It is originally our championship, but it shows our
determination to fully serve and devote ourselves to leading toward the achievement of the greater
goal of uniting the Fullcontact Karate world.
During the selection tournaments booming worldwide, I hope that the staff and competitors are
conscious of this greater goal and that as many WKO fighters as possible will participate in
selection tournaments.
Secondly, the Karate Dream Festival 2024 International Championships will take place on July 20
& 21 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. It has been 6 years since the last international Karate
Dream Festival was held in 2018. The application period has been closed and we received more
than 3600 applications. The scale of this event may be the largest in the Fullcontact Karate world.
With the Karate Champion of Champions being held simultaneously on July 21, the presence of the
WKO will surely attract global attention.
For those who will participate in the events, please prepare yourselves by training as much as
possible not leaving any regret to facing your bouts in the mother country of Karate. I am looking
forward to seeing you all at the venue.
Lastly, the time of patience has been lasting worldwide due to the international conflicts symbolized
by the crisis in Ukraine. The damage and fear borne by the Ukrainian people is beyond measure. At
the same time, I understand that the Russian Karatekas have been persevering. We pray for the
earliest recovery of international peace and hope to realize our contribution to world peace by
promoting the Budo Karate, against any kind of war.
Let’s join our forces and do our best!
OSU
Kenji Midori
WKO President