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Karate in the Olympics Part 3

After the politics of the styles and the political establishment in Japan, two streams of power structures started emerging one group led by Ryoichi Sasakawa and the Other with the powerful JKA, other styes started rally behind the Sasakawa group and at this time the Federation of All Japan Karate Organization (FAJKO), was being encouraged for the unity and expansion of all karate, out of Japan to the rest of the world. It was very interesting that although the Okinawan Karate fraternity was allowed to demonstrate at WUKO and FAJKO tournaments to show the origin of karate, they were not given their place at the table so to speak or to make decisions affecting the way karate was being developed technically in the sporting arena. This is possibly one of the reasons why a majority of Okinawan Karate actors refused to join the FAJKO group. The FAJKO decided to divide the organizations into styles but ONLY into four groups recognised by the Japanese FAJKO faction, namely Shotokan (which included the JKA), Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu and Wado Ryu. Each representing a personality and a power base. Concentration of power was mainly in Tokyo and Osaka, with the Shotokan and Wado groups very prevalent in Tokyo and the Shito and Goju groups in Osaka. The Shotokan personality at this time was Masatoshi a powerful individuals with networks in the higher echelon of Japanese society and especially the political elite, Wado was represented by its founder Hidenori Otsuka, also a jui jutsu practitioner who has been in Japanese Budo before taking up karate under Funakoshi,, Goju by Gogen “the Cat” Yamaguchi and Shito by the Mabuni’s elder son Kenei Mabuni and Manzo Iwata , later the Seishnkai under the Kuniba family, originally Kokuba (Okinawan) and the organization was taken by Kunio Tatsuno after the death of Shugo Kuniba, Tatsuno and myself and some other colleagues where instrumental in gettng karate accepted back into the International Olympic Committe (IOC) in 1996, and its recognistion and final acceptance int the 2020 Olympic Games. Kuniba Shugo also has to wait to be Soke after his father passed away at a very early age, the organization was headed by Teruo Hayashi for a short time, Teruo Hayashi started karate at a very advanced age and was very open minded and travelled and polished his karate through intercation with other Okinawan Master through the introduction of the Kuniba family and through their family starting in Okinawan karate, he used this to accumulate a great deal of knowledge and trained with notably Okinawan Master, Nagamine, Nakaima and others, he also pusued his study of Okinawan Kobudo, he went on to create a very successful organization called Hayashi Ha Shito Ryu which was and still is very successful in WUKO and WKF. It was this partnership between Ryoichi Sasakawa and the a European lawyer who was making his own inroads of power in karate by accumulating the European countries into a powerful European group called the European Karate Union which is purported to be created in 1965, first dominated by judo practitioners as Paris was the hub for the expansion of karate and judo. It is stated that Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Spain made up base under Jacques Delcourt that started the power play in karate as the agreement was that Sasakawa the shipping tycoon and the lawyer from Paris Delcourt decided to partner with each other to dominate World Karate. Sasakawa was to be the power and money man and Delcourt the administrator with his legal background and his understanding of sports politics and personalities in the western world. This was the perfect combination Although both gentlemen were not really Budo people and were rather politicians and powerful individuals in their own right. This started the karate fight for domination away from karate people to politicians. The first championship for karate was held in Paris in 1966 with the newly formed Nakayama from the JKA came from a family of traditional Budo people, his father was avery proficient Kendo person, nd he started to experiment in formulating a set-up of rules for karate competition as the university group was being criticised for too much contact to the face and also some deaths. He used the Kendo rules as a basis and this is why the first set-up of rules were based on the “Sundome”” principle of one stroke one full point. The first competition used the JKA developed rules and so did the FAJKO group, later this changed and this is also one of the reason for disunity in karate today.. Jacques Delcourt was avery charismatic individuals that practice a little bit of karate under Henry Plee and as stated by some under Oshima, who today runs the very traditional Shotokan America organization. He was the first to be sent to America to expand Shotokan karate but was more alined to the Shotokai group (outside the university) that a person responsible for the expansion of JKA and then International Amateur Karate Federation, Hideki Nishiyama. It has been related by a few commentators that Nishiyama went to United States under the invitation of Oshima, and Oshima decided to return to Japan for a short period and left the Shotokan organization under the care of Nishiyama, Upon his return he realised that Nishiyama has already taken the organization under his control and his caused a major rift between the two individuals. This is part of the problem for todays disunity in world karate. Nishiyama created the International Amateur Karate Federation in 1978 although he created the American Amateur Karate Federation in earlier. This is the another factor in karate disunity. We shall continue this in the next blogs about the break up of FAJKO and JKA and Nishiyama and the World Union of Karate Federation.

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