Allow me to take this opportunity in wishing all UWKF members a Happy New Year, as a person that has always supported justices and fairness for all human beings and having martial arts (Budo) as my foundation I will fight for karate unity for all karate-ka world-wide for a better World for all through karate-do. As you are all aware our motto is the U.D.P.P.P – Unity of all karate-do in one organization, Development of all human beings, Prepare all karate-ka for competition and life, Participate with fairness and dignity, Professionalism always doing your best even if you lose, but never give up. Peace is something we all cherish as human beings and karate-do is for the weak to protect themselves against the powerful. This is why we as the United World Karate Federation must always look after the weak and always challenge the powerful so that they don’t hijack our sport and art for selfish needs. I have mentioned many times on my TV program, JPR Television that karate world-wide must unify into one big fair non discriminatory all inclusive World Karate Structure. It is unfair what the World Karate Federation has done and it is very sad that we have no leaders in karate in Japan to challenge this unfortunate and very disturbing situation. But this will not be for long as we have to find that leader to get karate unified and presented for all karate and all karate competition formats in one organization. As you may be aware the United World Karate Federation is the predecessor of the United World Karate Association created by me in 1992, to get karate into the future Olympic Games, it was together with Chairman Abdulla and some other members that we got all karate together with the assistance of Kunio Tatsuno, someone I supported a lot, to unify karate according to the dictates of the International Olympic Committee in 1996 just before the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, USA. After much deliberations and sometimes very sensitive negotiation we all managed to get the Osaka Declaration done. We really anticipated many good things to come out of this historic undertaking, but to all our disappointed, and after 20 years karate, still has not united and ONLY 20% of karate is in the WKF and the majority outside. This cannot be right!!
This is why after so many years of allowing the WKF to right the wrong, of the last two decades we are pushing again for karate to be united, it will be first prize if we can unify ALL karate including the WKF into ONE World Karate Structure, I am also disappointed in the leaders of Japanese Karate that have allowed this situation to get to where it is today. As the President of the IMOTO KAI Gi which includes Kanazawa Hirokazi, Higaonna Morio, Taro Arakawa who passed away in June 2015 after a long illness and we send our deepest and profound sympathy from all our members to his family and his many students, we are also sad to mentioned that we lost our eldest brother in karate, Kenei Mabuni Sensei who was at a ripe age of 97 when he passed away, we also send our deepest sympathy to the Shitokai and all his students, he was a loyal member of the Imoto Kai Gi and we will really miss his knowledge and presence. Also in our Imoto Kai Gi for Full Contact is Sugihara Masayasu a very prominent and dedicated karate-ka who is now based in Okinawa and has branches all over Japan and world-wide. All these individuals have dedicated their lives to the development and unity of karate-do throughout the world and have promoted their respective styles with distinction. We appreciate all of their contribution and we salute them for this enormous effort.
Karate is now a universal sport, although refined in Okinawa exported to mainland Japan and then to the world, karate can really say it belongs to the world as a gift from the Okinawan people, a peace-loving people with great passion to preserve their heritage which is now our heritage. Today we have many high ranked karate-ka that have also unselfishly promoted karate and its heritage, history and culture throughout the world. In fact many westerners are now more dedicated than even some Japanese and we appreciate all their efforts in making karate a universal sort and art. Ilja Yorga , Patrick McCarthy, Bob Taiani, Imtiaz Abdulla, our hard working Executive Chairman who I support fully as a brother and partner, Rajeev Sinha, and many others have contributed with excellence and budo spirit in everything they have done over many years. I must especially thank our Executive Chairman for really not giving up and totally focused and dedicated in getting karate unified, this has been a 20 year journey. When many would have decided to give in to the humiliation he suffered in the WKF he did not give up and pushed for the truth, dignity and fairness, through many barriers to get United World Karate Federation to where it is today.
Now we are in 2016 twenty years since we signed the Osaka Declaration and we are now more committed than ever to get karate unified, developed, prepared and let everyone participate in our sport and art. We also will be introducing Professional Karate this year in India and I want to thank Rajeev Sinha for this initiative in making this a reality. We will be having our Presidential Board meeting in Tokyo Japan, where the UWKF Executive Board will meet with the Shihan Dai and the Imoto Kai Gi to discuss and to explore the future of karate world-wide. This is a defining moment for all of us and we will keep you informed of the outcome. One thing is certain we have to take karate back from the “karate mafia” who are bent on destroying the history, culture and efforts of the past to control the future for themselves, we will not allow this to happen. I will not let this happen!!! this is why we are meeting to plan and strategize the way forward for all karate. This Presidential meeting was requested by our Executive Chairman as he felt it important for us all to meet to together get karate back to the karate people.
2016 also sees the introducing of the World Cup in Dubai another first and the team challenge in South Africa, a Japanese team will participate at this event, this will be a yearly event used to test and improve karate technically.
In conclusion, I want to thank you all for really putting UWKF on the map and in such a short time really shaking the world of karate and to give karate a better future through unity, development, preparation and participation in all karate formats, all styles in one organization, for those that have not joined this movement you are welcome to join through your respective national federations, lets forget the past and always remembers the preservation of the old ways with improvement of the future is out motto, it is now up to all of us to get karate to where it needs to be. This year will see the IOC vote in August 2016 for karate’s inclusion into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, although we are all excited about this fact, as it was this group that laid the foundation for this to happen in 1996, we must also push for total unity in karate so all karate loving people can be part of this achievement not just the 20% who are members of WKF. Lastly, I want to send a message to Mr. Antonio Espinos and all those in the WKF you cannot say you represent karate if you leave out 80% of karate outside, we ask that you also use this time to unify all karate into one organization, or we will have to change things to make this happen. You have to leave your selfish agenda at the dojo door and put you ego in your pocket and let the 101st Session dictates of the IOC be implemented with all karate enjoying the success of Olympic recognition as we did in 1996 and its inclusion possibly in 2016. This is your duty and the responsibility that was bestowed onto you as President of WKF, it is not yours only but belongs to all karate, it is for all karate people in the World.
We can be partners or opponents it is up to you to decide and we are prepared for both
So until next time I wish you a very Happy Productive Karate New Year and hope to work with all of you towards karate unity in 2016 and beyond.
Sosai Daikaku Chodoin
United World Karate Federation
Imoto Kai Gi