Dear KWF members, Shihans, Senseis, Senpais and all other Kyokushin friends,
As we wrap up 2023 looking back on the year’s hopes for positive changes, let us take a moment to reflect on the doors we wished would open, but regrettably, they didn’t.
In the world, we find ourselves once again confronted with profound events elsewhere, making it impossible, despite our shared passion for Kyokushin, to escape the consequences of these occurrences. Our thoughts extend to those personally suffering due to the conflicts and unrest in the world.
While last year I emphasized the importance of happiness in our lives, this year, I wish to contemplate respect and tolerance. Worldwide, we observe situations growing more rigid, with understanding for each other sometimes scarce. It is time to seek what unites us and not consistently magnify our differences.
Even within Kyokushin, there are moments when individuals cling to their own perspectives. Sosai Oyama always sought what unifies people. Let us focus on what truly matters and treat each other with respect, then we genuinely embody what Sosai has entrusted to us:
“The martial way begins and ends with courtesy. Therefore, be always properly and genuinely courteous.”
The 4th KWF World Championship in the Netherlands is a good example of what is possible. This year, we intentionally sought the participation of the IFK, Kyokushin- kan, and the WKO. Nearly 700 participants from all these organizations and from over 35 countries competed for the highest honor. We demonstrated that, as like-minded Kyokushin organizations, we can organize an outstanding championship. This illustrates that through cooperation and teamwork, we can achieve great things.
The success of the KWF is continuously growing, and this achievement is attributed to every one of you. Country representatives and dojo leaders showed a great effort in organizing a multitude of activities. There were numerous training sessions and championships worldwide. Initiatives like the establishment of KWF Africa and Asia are gradually taking shape and contribute to the global growth of Kyokushin. Everywhere, I was impressed by the kindness and dedication of the people I met. Your friendship and commitment to Kyokushin gives me confidence for the future.
Let us continue this path of connection and collaboration. Let us follow the guidance Sosai has provided and keep our eyes open to the beauty unfolding around us. Let us show tolerance towards one another and endeavor to learn from our differences.
Just as the martial way begins and ends with courtesy, I wish that during this festive season we remain genuinely and appropriately courteous. May kindness be our guide in encounters, and may we meet each other with respect and goodwill.
With confidence, I look forward to the new year and the meetings with many of you.
I wish everyone joyful holidays and a new year filled with warmth and love.