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. Due to your cooperation, I feel the daily growth of WKO as a strongly united Budo organization.
In Japan, we held the midsummer festival, the Karate Dream Cup on August 8-9, with 1,582 competitors participating in 85 categories, divided by age and weight, from children to senior, competing to reach the goal of becoming the national champion in their respective categories. Budo Karate is lifetime training. Men and women, young and old, gather at the dojo and go through hard training, respecting each other, and developing each other’s mind and soul. At the Dream Cup, which is the grand stage to demonstrate the result of such lifetime training, I see dojo members and family members cheering their competitor in many areas of the gymnasium. To encourage and congratulate each other, sometimes in happiness, and sometimes in tears. I am very glad to see that the friendship between dojo members, and the bond between family members, are getting deeper and stronger though Karate. Since the Dream Cup next year will be held as an international tournament, I will be looking forward to seeing many participants from various countries around the world.
As for WKO, the preparation for the 11th World Karate Championship, the Budo Karate festival, is going smoothly, and the tournament draw was recently announced on the website. Due to the increase in members and affiliated countries, we have an increase in the number of competitors, with 164 men and 44 women, for a total of 208 competitors challenging for the battle to decide the strongest Karateka. In addition, top class competitors from KWU (Kyokushin World Union), which WKO has a cooperative relationship with, will be participating in the tournament, and this makes it even more difficult to predict the winner for this Championship. This tournament can be said to be the strongest and largest open weight tournament in the world. I would like for the competitors to make use of each moment of each day, and do your best to leave no regrets and prepare yourself for the tournament. To honor such hard effort, we will do our best to prepare a great stage for the competitors.
The cooperation with KWU is based on the common idea and foundation to promote and request the inclusion of Karate in the Olympics, with the adoption of the Full Contact event in addition to the Non Contact event. The actual activities of this cooperation, is the exchange of competitors at both World Championships. The WKO will also send many competitors to the KWU World Championship that will be held on October 3-4 in Khabarovsk, Russia. For the competitors that will be representing WKO at the event, I have high expectations that you will fight fairly with honor, and achieve great results. I would like to express my deep appreciation to Co-Chairman Yuri Trutnev and other related people for this opportunity given to WKO.
In the reorganization of the Full Contact Karate world, I am convinced that the cooperation of WKO and KWU will serve as an opportunity to further develop the global united front, in which the speed of such development is even faster than we imagine.
What we must hold as most important is Full Contact Karate, which has its origins in Kyokushin, and our mission is the global standardization of the Full Contact Karate competition, and the founding of the international federation (IF) to unify the competition. In Tokyo, the additional events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are being considered by the organizing committee, and Japan as the host country will propose the additional events in late September. We as the WKO, will inform the actual situation in the Karate world, report facts about Full Contact Karate, request for the adoption of the Full Contact Karate rule to related parties, and will pursue all possibilities until the end, in a sincere and straightforward manner, to realize our goal.
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