Due to the end of the long rainy season, it has recently been quite hot in Japan. We are receiving many reports of summer camps and tournaments from various countries in the world, and I would like to express my appreciation to all of your cooperation and effort for the further development of WKO.
With the great success of the JFKO Championship, which was the first step of activities for the JFKO, which was established to make Full Contact Karate an Olympic sport, I was able to actively visit overseas Branches from June. In late June, I participated in the camp of the Italian Branch led by Country Representative Francesco Fina, and we all enjoyed the training in the hot summer weather. The event was organized very well, and I still remember the great smile on everyone’s faces, from children to senior members. Although I was unfortunately not able to meet Branch Chief Roberto Di Blasio, I hope there will be another opportunity to train together. Members from other Kyokushin organizations such as KWF also participated in the event, and in addition to training together, we had a fruitful discussion regarding the future vision for Full Contact Karate. We had a common understanding on the importance of taking steps forward, and the unity of various organizations.
In late July, I attended a tournament and seminar due to an invitation from the Singapore Branch led by Country Representative Patrick Teo. The event was organized in great success, due to the strong unity of the officials, sponsors, competitors, staff, and all related people. I felt reassured to see that Singapore Branch Chief Kim Lee Bong was strongly supporting Country Representative Patrick Teo. Members from Ashihara Kaikan also participated in the series of events, and as was the case in Italy, I felt the sure spread of the Full Contact network. WKO Board Member J.B. Sujoto of Asia also attended the event, and based on his report of current activities in Asia, I expect the further development of the region.
This time, I visited the countries and Branches that recently joined WKO. Although I believe there were various hardships endured to reach the goal of joining WKO, the next stage is very important. It is important to not lose sight of your goal, share it, and to sometimes remember to look back while moving forward. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the warm hospitality I received during my visit to both countries.
In Japan, the preparation work for the Karate Dream Cup 2014 International Championship which will be held on August 23-24, is reaching its final stages. This tournament, with 1,626 competitors and 29 groups (Kata) from 14 countries and 74 organizations, has become the largest Full Contact Karate tournament in the world, and all related parties need to unite and lead the tournament to success. The essence of Budo Karate, which Shinkyokushinkai has as an ideal, will be widely announced to the international community through this tournament. I expect strict devotion from the competitors, and would like to ask all related people for their kind support.
Lastly, I am deeply saddened and hurt by the daily news of armed conflicts and natural disasters. I would especially like to express my sincere condolences to all the precious lives that were lost in the Malaysian airline crash, and may their soul rest in peace.
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