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Message from WKO President (August 2021)

31/07/2021 1056

Dear Branch Chiefs and Contacts,
Thank you for your continuous efforts for the further development of WKO. In this prolonged COVID-19 crisis, we are starting to see advancements in the infection prevention measures, such as the vaccine process and related strategies. However, the infection itself is continuing to spread, so we still need to take extra care in our personal measures to prevent infection. It also breaks my heart to see the news of natural disasters around the world caused by extreme weather and climate change. I wish to express my sincere sympathies to those that were affected by such disasters.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have started this summer. I would like to express my sincere respect towards the athletes, who have continued their hard training despite the many restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis, and the related people who are organizing this tournament under strict preventive measures. For the athletes that were able to reach this stage of competition after a long period of effort and patience, I wish for them to carry out their best performance without any regrets, and I would like to take this opportunity to renew my appreciation towards the medical workers who are battling the COVID-19 crisis in Tokyo, the host city, and around the world.

The official dates for the 7th World Karate Championship in Weight Categories have been decided as September 24-25, 2022 and we announced the number of competitors for each region and the related application process. In Poland, the host country for this tournament, I imagine that the related members, led by Country Representative Remigiusz Karpinski, will further proceed with their preparation work in strong unity. The organization of the tournament, while following strict COVID-19 preventive measures, will constantly require a flexible approach to adjust to various occasions. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and respect towards the related people and their efforts. While imagining a scene, where the competitors continue their hard training with the goal to take part in the tournament, get selected in the fierce selection tournaments, and finally gather to compete for the world title, I would like for us to combine the strength of all countries and branches affiliated to WKO, and in the next 1 year, continue efforts to hold regional selection tournaments, and contribute to the great success of the main tournament. I request for your kind cooperation towards the host country Poland and WKO Headquarters.

The European Championship was held on June 26-27. I am glad that the tournament was held successfully with the participation of 19 countries in the region, due to the efforts of the host country Georgia and the cooperation of the related members. I am sure that the comrades around the world were encouraged by the performance of the competitors that took part in the tournament, and the training they were able to carry out in the limited conditions to prepare for the event. Especially, the battle carried out by Valeri Dimitrov as a Budoka to secure his 20th victory in the region is remarkable, and I wish to express my sincere congratulations and praise towards his achievement. I appreciate the strong effort and unity demonstrated by Regional Representative Koen Scharrenberg, the host country Georgia, and all related members that contributed to the success of the tournament. Thank you very much.

In Europe, the organization of the EFKO Camp is being prepared, as a regional activity within the world standardization of Full Contact Karate, which is mainly led by WKO. Shihan Koen Spitaels is the main driving force behind this movement, and it is a good opportunity for Full Contact Karate members in the region to deepen their exchange through training. The participation of many well-known instructors from various Full Contact Karate groups have been announced on social networks. I hope that it will be a camp with high expectations and that it will be held successfully.

As mentioned in the beginning, in this prolonged COVID-19 crisis, we tend to become introverted, both mentally and physically. Let us defeat and overcome this global pandemic through our Full Contact Karate training, with a firm unshaking spirit, and by fulfilling the true meaning of the Kyokushin way. In Japan, we are in the middle of a very hot summer. I hope that all of you are doing well in your country and region. Let us take good care of our health, and further develop WKO as the strongest and largest organization in the world.

Kenji Midori

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