After much assessment it has become abundantly clear that the Olympic participation will be a disappointment for many as they will not have the opportunity, resources or time to get the qualification nod, as the numbers just cant accommodate everyone in the qualification process. The reality is that only a few individuals and countries can afford the qualification as an athletes one needs at least $64000.00 per year to just put yourself up for qualification, for those in Europe it is much easier as they have a few qualification event close to their vicinity. But for those in the developing countries this becomes a very expensive exercise. If one makes a simple calculation there are about 8 qualification events yearly and each event cost in the region of $8000.00 (accommodation, airfare, visas, insurance, competition approved gear, food, internal transports, competition fees, medical, training fees, supplementation and others). The qualification system expects any karate-ka to participate in a minimum number of events to accumulate points and the more you place in the top three the better your chances. Also there are only 68 places world-wide for others countries in both Kata and individual kumite, there are no team events at the Olympics, besides Japan, they qualify automatically.
So taking this into consideration we are very happy that the WKF is concentrating on the Olympics and we will be very happy to concentrate in giving as many karate-ka and other martial artist an opportunity in the UWKF to take part with as many athletes and in as many formats as they wish. They will have to qualify through their organizations and national federations. Unity and Development is our motto and we will stick by this providing all formats of karate competition and all styles and all martial arts inclusive in all participation in one event.
This year is the year on the continental unions to have their respective events in April 2018 we have the 12th African Open Karate and Martial Arts Championship in Gaborone, Botswana, we expect 20 countries to participate, in July 2018 our members will participate in the IKU Pan American Championships in Chile, In August 2018 our members will be participating in the Okinawan World Championship in Naha, Okinawa, in November 2018 we will be in India for two events the Asian championships and the Indian Professional League as know as Boutpro.
So let the WKF worry about Olympics and 2020 is the only assurance that karate is in the Olympics with 5 other sports and we are proud of this collective achievement by all karate-ka world-wide, they have to try an convince the International Olympic Committee again in 2024 and beyond, this is a costly and tedious exercise and I wish them well. In the meantime let us concentrate on enjoying unifying and developing Budo world-wide one day at a time.