News Release

Kancho New Year Address 2021

Happy New Year. 

I would like to express my appreciation for your support of the International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan and our activities. Please accept my sincere gratitude from the bottom of my heart. 

As we enter 2021, Corona Virus is still affecting communities around the world. Millions have passed away and many are still suffering. My thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones. For those who are continuing to suffer, I hope you recover quickly. 

On behalf of the Kyokushinkaikan, I would like to extend our deep appreciation and respect to the first responders and medical community for their dedication. 

The worldwide pandemic acutely affected us in 2020. In the midst of this adversity, with the support of so many people's advice and encouragement, we could safely hold the 52nd All Japan Open Karate Championship, the 2020 Women's All Japan Open and the 2020 Kyokushin-Sai. 

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all supporters, corporate sponsors and our members. I believe these 3 events have set our organization's direction towards the future.

As we celebrate the start of the new year 2021, the Corona Virus continues to affect our lives. We must be careful about our behavior, be concerned about others and our surroundings, and work responsibly to contribute to society, as we face the Virus head-on. 

IKO Kyokushinkaikan members should not just look at this pandemic with sorrow, but keep a positive attitude under these circumstances. We will continue our activities one step at a time, with the utmost safety measures in place according to the government guidelines to defend against the Virus.

Traditionally in early January in Japan, we gather for Winter Camp at Mt, Mitsumine, Chichibu, Saitama. We make our new year's resolutions, receive Shinto blessings at Mitsumine Shrine and conduct the first official karate training of the year. 

This year, Mt. Mitsumine has restricted access due to the pandemic, and large group gatherings are forbidden. Last April 2020, Sosai's 26th annual Memorial Ceremony at Mitsumine was cancelled, and the 27th annual Memorial this April 2021 will likely be difficult to hold as well, so we are arranging to hold both the 26th and 27th Memorials for Sosai on January 5, 2021 at Mitsumine Shrine. I will go to Mitsumine with a small group on behalf of all of us. I encourage you to pay your respects to Sosai Oyama from your home. 

Our normal annual events, such as the International Karate Friendship in Tokyo in April, National Semi-Contact Competition in Osaka in June, and Kyokushin-Sai with All Japan Weight Category Karate Championships in Kyoko in August, are expected to be cancelled or postponed this year. Many prefectural and regional championships might also follow suit. 

I am determined however, to hold The All Japan Open Karate Championship at the end of 2021, with the utmost safety protocols in place for everyone's continued defense against the Corona Virus. 

I would like to mention one very positive news also. The current World Open Champion, Mikio Ueda, has decided to take on our ultimate challenge, The 100 Man Kumite. With careful planning of safety measure, I would like for him to do so, as soon as possible this year. I hope all of you are looking forward to witnessing his attempt, and will join me in wishing him success. 

Depending on the situation internationally, several countries and regions are planning to hold IKO events this year. I urge the organizers to take great care and implement the utmost safety measures to prevent infection, and that everyone involved, including competitors and staff members, to be careful about your behavior, your surroundings, and your interaction with others. I hope all competitors will perform well, and develop yourselves to greater heights. 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Para Olympic Games were postponed to this year. The Japanese Government and Tokyo Metropolitan Government are discussing with a positive outlook, to hold the Olympics successfully. IKO Kyokushinkaikan expresses our strong support to the Olympics Organizing Committee for the realization the Games in Tokyo this year. 

Karate Competition will be held at this Olympics for the first time. I wish success to all contestants, not only for Japan, but for all international participants to bring Karate to the world stage. 

Unfortunately in 2021, we will still be fighting the Corona Virus. We lost a lot last year, but also gained a great deal. We must continue to be cautious with our mutual surroundings and work hard to take care of each other. I hope we will have a healthy and happy year ahead. 

Most likely, I will not have an opportunity to see many of you in person at events and championships again this year. We should make the most of the digital tools of social media and social networking to communicate and share our activities and ideas. We, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan, will continue to develop, even if just one or two steps further this year. 

The pandemic will continue to affect us for the foreseeable future. We do have positive news in that a vaccine was created in record time, but the Virus rages on around the world, and we must be vigilant. Health is our best defense. We all should think positively, and make this year fruitful.

I wish all of you overcome this adversity, and have the best of health and happiness this year. 


Kancho Shokei Matsui


International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan

January 1st, 2021

KYOKUSHIN ONLINE「2021 New Years message from Kancho Shokei Matsui

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