The spring after the World Open is traditionally very quiet, as the elite fighters, who have just spent the last four years working towards the Worlds, take some time off while the young, up and coming fighters begin their long road to the next World Open. But this spring has been extremely busy in the Kyokushinkaikan. As we held our 50th anniversary in 2014, our next half-century journey is just getting underway. I believe the organization is embarking on a big resurgence.
I just returned from the IKO European Weight Category Karate Championships in Varna, Bulgaria, where a record 600+ competitors from 24 countries attended the 2-day event ranging in age from as young as age 5 to age 55 in youth, adult and senior divisions. The diversity of competitors in Europe prove that though competitive karate is only for a rare percentage of practitioners, those numbers are increasing, which illustrates how our organization is not only becoming larger, but ever stronger.
I also just returned from the 33rd All Japan Weight Category Karate Championships in Osaka, Japan, where the Japanese Team members, both men and women, many whom fought in the World Open in their divisions, performed exceptionally well again. Both events were excellently produced and showcased the young new fighters of the next generation.
Time flies, and next week, the 2016 All American Open International Karate Championships will take place: Saturday, JUNE 18 at John Jay College in New York City. 524 West 59th Street, just 2 blocks west of one of the largest shopping and residential tower complexes in NYC, Time Warner Center. This will be a new venue for the All American Open. John Jay College was founded as the only liberal arts college in the USA to specialize in criminal justice and forensics. The Kyokushinkaikan is honored to be able to bring the 2016 All American Open Karate Championships to John Jay.
Favorite fighters at this year’s All American Open in New York, include in the Men’s Division, local favorite and 3x US Super Heavyweight Champion, the “NY Giant”, Daniel MILICEVIC, France’s “L’Arme Secrete”, Antonio TUSSEAU, who fought for the IKO French Team at the World Open last November alongside his compatriot, and now Vice-Champion of the World, Djema BELKODJA, and All American fan-favorite and World Heavyweight Vice-Champion, Goderzi KAPANADZE, the “Russian Hurricane”.
Kyokushin Karate New York KKNY is working hard to put together another excellent world caliber event next week for our local members on Team KKNY, and for the visiting IKO members from around the world traveling to New York City for this illustrious karate gathering, the 2016 All American Open! I hope many people will make it to John Jay College next Saturday, June 18. Thank you for your support, OSU!