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.
In Japan, we have entered late spring, and everyone is enjoying the fresh green trees and pleasant weather.
April 26 was the 20th anniversary of the death of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, and since this year also marks the 50 anniversary of the founding of Kyokushinkaikan, I am sure that this was a moment of reflection and deep thought for many Kyokushin Karateka around the world. On this day, the Branch Chiefs and Contacts of the WKO Japan Region gathered at Gokokuji Temple, the resting place of Sosai Oyama, to hold a memorial training. Although we have experience of training at Gokokuji in the winter due to the annual Kagami Biraki training, Gokokuji in the spring was very warm, and the unique atmosphere made us feel like Sosai was watching over us with his deep love. While feeling the ibuki of Sosai Oyama, our great master, from his gravestone in front of us, we did our best in our training, and expressed our appreciation to him in our Kiai. That moment, that day, when we received the sudden news of his death. 20 years have passed since that day, when all Karateka of the world were struck with deep sadness and shock. When praying in front of Sosai Oyama’s grave, I reflected upon the events of the past 20 years. I wonder if our Kiai reached Sosai in heaven. I sincerely hope that he will continue to rest in peace.
We, as the successors of Sosai Oyama’s wish, have a mission to further develop our WKO. The 1st All Japan Fullcontact Karate Championship will be held on May 17-18 in Osaka. With the goal of forming the united front of Karate and joining the Olympic Games, the mother country of Karate will stand up and step forward. The Olympic spirit, is expressed as “the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part”. In terms of the current situation in the Full Contact Karate world, it can be said in the same way, that there is “great meaning in pursuing” the goal of joining the Olympic Games. Of course, there is no change in our ultimate goal to realize the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games. However, having discussions with like-minded people, to think hard, and the pursuit of many possibilities, although sometimes slim, increases the number of like-minded people. The Full Contact Karate world, which has continued its history of splitting organizations, is little by little, moving towards the path of harmony and peace. I believe such results were realized due to the pursuit of our goal to join the Olympic Games. It is easy to do nothing, but that will not move anything forward. Moving forward might result in difficult situations, but there will be no regrets. In the reality that we are building peace and harmony with many like-minded people, I see the great significance in pursuing our goal of joining the Olympic Games.
Our WKO identity is in our absolute strength in the Kumite competition, strong unity, transparent organizing ability, and our challenger mind which always strives to be new and original. Since the 1st Championship organized by JFKO will be an important first step, as the starting point of the WFKO idea to pursue the inclusion of Karate in the Olympic Games, we as WKO, in strong unity, would like to do our best to contribute to the great success of the tournament. The many overseas WKO Branch Chiefs that will be attending the event, is a good display of the high interest towards the upcoming event. I ask for your encouragement and support, in order to make this tournament a great success.