9 months ago, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan Honbu was notified that russians and belarusians will not take part in international events. Now this decision has been changed, and Honbu decided to allow representatives of russia to the 13th Open Karate World Championships, which will be held November 17-19, 2023 in Tokyo
Information regarding quotas for fighters and delegations was sent to the Branch Chiefs on December 26, 2022.The document says that 160 fighters will take part in the World Championship. Through selection and recommendations, russia forms a team in accordance with the quotas approved in the document. Among the fighters who will be included in the national team are Oleksandr Ieromenko, Andrey Luzin, Konstantin Kovalenko, Igor Zagainov.
At the russian Cup, which was held in December 2022, the participation of the team at the World Championships and the upcoming preparations for it was also announced by the President of the RNFKK (russian national kyokushinkai karate federation) Shihan Alexander Ipatov. In addition, a team is being formed that will take part in the World Championship among juniors and seniors, which will be held as part of World Karate Friendships 2023.
Based on this, we can say that Honbu made a decision on the participation of russians at the World Championship. And this is despite the fact that members of the RNFKK, including the president of the federation, approve and support the war against Ukraine in various forms.
The President of the RNFKK and Branch Chief Shihan Alexander Ipatov, is the official representative of the international organization IKO Kyokushinkaikan in russia, on official clothes near to the kanku wears the main symbol of the war against Ukraine, the Latin letter Z. Another IKO Branch Chief Shihan Alexander Prokhorov also wears the symbol of war on his jacket.
This symbol has become a symbol of destruction, murder, torture and executions, which are carried out by russian citizens in Ukraine.
Shihan Ipatov repeatedly appears at sporting events with Z on his jacket.
It should be noted that representatives of IKO russia, not only in words and on the pages of their social networks, support the war against Ukraine, approve of the actions of their president and are proud of him, but also take an active part in the hostilities.
In June 2022, it became known that a representative of the IKO of russia and a participant in the European Championships Vitaliy Zubarev, participating in the war against Ukraine, was killed as an occupier on Ukrainian soil.
Recently, Shihan Ipatov visited in the hospital another member of his federation Abdul Gadzhiev, who was wounded in Ukraine.
Another RNFKK black belt, Vladimir Mineev signed a military contract to participate in the war against Ukraine. He became a member of the military detachment of the Union of Martial Arts of russia, about which we have already written. According to some reports, this detachment is located in the region of occupied Donetsk.
IKO leaders know who is allowed into the tournament? They thought about how the spectators and participants will remember the 13th World Open Championship. Will the fighters want to be on the tatami with such z-fighters, and will the coaches want to see their z-“colleagues”? Honbu’s position is that the IKO is out of politics.
A month after the start of the war, on March 25, 2022, the official Facebook page of the RNFKK publishes a video and a post about how proud they are of the russians. That they support the president and his actions, and under all this they put a hashtag with the symbol of war. Is this also a sport outside of politics?
When fighters, idealizing a person who unleashed a war against a neighboring state, support statements that it is necessary to fight fascism and nazism in Ukraine, and then calmly participate in training camps and dan-test in Japan, one must assume that this is also a sport outside of politics.
Such decisions and actions are offensive and unacceptable, especially for those directly affected by the war. And it directly affected the whole country. And many people, those who are members of the IKO in Ukraine, Europe and other countries, are outraged by this decision.
All this is happening against the backdrop of official Tokyo imposing sanctions against russia, helping Ukraine cope with the energy crisis associated with russian shelling of its critical infrastructure. Provides humanitarian and military assistance.
The decision to admit russians at the World Championship comes when members of IKO russia go to kill and destroy in search of nazis and fascists, while other members of the IKO sit every day in basements and bomb shelters, dying defending their country. Lose relatives, friends, students and coaches. They lose their home and the dojo in which they trained. And it does not matter that russian sportsmen and coaches kill and bomb a neighboring state, and their president proudly wears the symbol of war on his jacket. This is just “politics”, and as we already know, IKO is out of politics.
This year there will be several more world championships in other versions of Kyokushin karate, and so far only the IKO has decided to allow the russians to participate in this tournament.
War and attitude to everything that happens cannot be neutral. Allowing the russians to take part at the World Championship is to take their side and turn a blind eye to their political views and actions.
And of course, if sport is out of politics, according to this logic, war should bypass sport. This is how ukrainian thousands of sports schools, gyms and stadiums look now. Many dojos will no longer be able to open, many coaches and sportsmen who died will never wear dogi again.