Back to Basics

IKO North American International Black Belt Conference, Banff, Canada

Osu. I got back from Banff, Canada Monday and the IKO North American International Black Belt Conference. Shihan Stuart Corrigal and IKO Canada host this biannual gathering in the snow covered Canadian Rocky Mountains. The camp was attended by IKO Black Belts from across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. It was led by Shihan Seiji Isobe, Brazil, Shihan Kenny Uytenboggardt, South Africa and myself. Both Shihans are my senior mentors and members of IKO International Committee. It was a pleasure to take their seminar as a student. It is always beneficial to go back to basics and train with a white belt’s perspective. I would like to share one quote by Shihan Isobe, “Karate training is similar to eating. Some students want to do kumite only. It means they only want to eat meat. To be healthy though, you must eat a variety of foods, such as meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, etc. Karate is the exactly same. To be strong, you must do basics, ido, kata, and kumite, etc.” This was a very clear comparison, and I believe all attending students were refreshed to practice all aspects of Kyokushin training with their inner white belt in mind.

I would like to introduce one more story related to the ‘Back to Basics’ mindset. I just read the current “World Karate Magazine”, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan official magazine from Japan. (Japanese only. Sorry.) Our former KKNY Black Belt, Koto Hiraoka was interviewed in the Female Karateka segment. The question put to her was, “Please tell us about a turning point in your karate life?” Senpai Koto’s answer was, “When I was in NY, I could not win in championships and was lonely in a foreign country. My training and matches were only targeted to win, but I was almost crushed by stress because I could NOT win. I was depressed and felt like I was hitting a wall. One day, one of the NY Dojo instructors told me, “Even though the result is important, you should value your competition experience, and enjoy the matches.” This simple advice reminded me of the time I started Kyokushin Karate when I was a kid. I was purely enjoying training and competing back then.” Koto senpai began to think positively and enjoy her training, for the training itself. This new mental approach refreshed her, and this June in Tokyo, Koto senpai took the Women’s All Japan Light Weight title for the first time.

The saying, “Osu no Seishin” means to persevere through adversity. Not only to fight through hard times, but to be positive in any challenge! It is easy to be positive when you are in good circumstances, but you should be even more positive when you are in trouble. Kyokushin training is hard. Why do we continue? Because for whatever personal reason, we enjoy the process. OSU!

“Following the Martial Way is like scaling a cliff – continue upwards without rest. It demands absolute and unfaltering devotion to the task at hand.” ~Sosai Mas Oyama (translated)

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Kyokushin KIAI, all over the world

IKO Kyokushinkaikan members assemble at Sosai Mas Oyama Memorial site

IKO Kyokushinkaikan Training Camp / Mt. Mitsumine, Japan

Osu. Fall is a great time of year in New York. It has been warm, but now the trees are starting to turn color in Central Park. I am happy that I could really focus on our local NY-NJ Dojo’s this past month, and welcome many new, and many returning, children and adult members to the Dojo.

This weekend, I will travel to Banff, Canada for the 9th IKO North American International Black Belt Conference hosted by Shihan Stuart Corrigal. I will lead training sessions alongside Shihan Seiji Isobe, Brazil and Shihan Kenny Uytenbogaardt, South Africa. Before the end of 2014, I will go to Japan for the IKO All Japan Open Tournament, and to Poland for the IKO European Open Karate Championships.

Our organization has affiliate schools in approximately 130 countries around the world and I am honored to be able to go abroad often for the IKO Kyokushinkaikan. To be able to meet and train with people of all ages and abilities, and from all walks of life, is what it means to be a part of a real ‘International Karate Organization’. When you are sleeping, somewhere on the other side of the world, fellow IKO Kyokushinkaikan members are doing ‘KIAI’.

We are lucky that being in NY, many IKO members come here and make the effort to train with us. At the Promotion Test, IKO members came from North Carolina, this week members from Costa Rica will join in classes. Quite a few KKNY & NJ members already make the effort to participate at events in Japan and other countries as well. Senpai Otomo, for example, came to the IKO Netherlands Seminar in Amsterdam with me this March, for the first time training abroad. I believe the trip opened his eyes, not only to the scope of the Kyokushin world, but also the culture and history of the people we met there. I recommend all IKO members try to travel to Kyokushinkaikan events if your schedule allows. The best way to open our minds, to respect people and appreciate different ways of thinking is through experience first hand. We are lucky that we have such an extensive network of Kyokushin karate-ka that supports each other all over the world.

New York is my home base, and this cosmopolitan city is really a microcosm. In classes at the NY-NJ dojo’s we have students training together from across America, from Japan, Poland, Iran, Bolivia, Brazil, The Philippines, China, Taiwan, Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, France, and many, many more. For me, this is the beauty of IKO Kyokushinkaikan. The world may never exist politically conflict free, but wherever we are in the IKO Kyokushinkaikan, we can be friends with a loud KIAI and ‘seiken chyudan tsuki’.

“IKO Kyokushinkaikan surpasses discrimination based on national borders, ethnicity, race, politics, religion, and philosophy.”  Mas Oyama (translated)
OSU!

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Never Give Up

Sochi, Russia

Yzad, Iran

Los Angeles, USA

Lublin, Poland

Osu,
It has been a long time since last posting. I had a great summer and busy travel schedule since the All American Open. Many countries hosted their annual IKO Summer Camps so I was able to meet and train with thousands of Kyokushin members around the world in places such as Sochi, Russia, Lublin, Poland, Yazd, Iran, and Los Angeles, USA.
In August, KKNY held our annual Karate Kids Summer Day Camp and from September I’ve been teaching daily at New York & New Jersey Dojos. Also last month, we started new Dojo location in Rye, NY.

This fall, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan will host the first of the major selection events for possible contenders to the 11th World Open Karate Tournament in 2015: The 2014 All Japan Open. Many young up and coming fighters in local and regional areas of Japan have been training hard to try and garner a spot on their national team. We in North America also should be working hard towards next year’s selection events. The first of which in the USA will be the US Weight Category Karate Championships on January 25, 2015. KKNY students looking to compete in LA, must participate in KKNY’s Goodwill Tournament here in NY Nov 16 ~ Good luck everybody, Osu!

On Sept 21, we conducted the 2014 Autumn Promotion Examination and it was great to see the students’ improvements. Some people do have to retest, but they still tried their best, and at least now they know where their weaknesses and strengths are.

One of Sosai Oyama’s ‘Eleven Mottoes’ states that… “The true essence of the Martial Way can only be realized through experience; Knowing this, learn never to fear its demands.”
I often hear students say, “I am not ready test, maybe next time” or, “I’m not ready to compete yet, maybe when I get stronger”. When you approach things with a lot of “maybe’s”, you end up postponing your life, or leaving it up to chance instead of taking charge of it.

Kancho Matsui related many stories to me about Sosai. Whenever Sosai asked, or rather, demanded, for Kancho to do something, Kancho always answered “OSU!” Often, whether or not you can do something is not a matter of your state of current readiness, but your current state of willingness, plus determination and conviction to get it done. Once you set a goal, you must work on it day by day. This concept applies not only to Kyokushin training, but to your life. Do not be afraid to try! Your job, your relationships, starting something totally new to you. If you do not try things, nothing will ever happen to you. We have only one life. Let’s use it well.
OSU!

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All American Open 2014 Results

Zahari Damyanov vs Oleksandr Ieromenko
All American Open FINAL Match 2014

OSU! We successfully concluded the IKO Kyokushinkaikan’s 2014 All American Open International Karate Championships in NYC and have a new Men’s Open Kumite Champion, Oleksandr IEROMENKO! In the Women’s division, Myriam LAMARRE took the Yokozuna open weight title! CONGRATULATIONS everyone, OSU!
Thanks to all IKO Members from across the continent, and from around the world, and our local KKNY-NJ Kyokushin students & families for your help to put this event together for all the athletes, and thanks sincerely to our sponsors and to the attendees for supporting our Kyokushin endeavors here in New York City.
This event reaffirmed the strength of many, and introduced the potential of many more. Next year, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan will hold the once-every-four-year, global, full-contact, knockdown karate competition, The 11th World Open Karate Tournament.  We look forward to seeing many of the contenders from Saturday’s championship among the selected team members in their respective regions, and wish for everyone, do your best today, tomorrow and always, OSU!
2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan, and the 20th anniversary of Kyokushin Karate New York KKNY. Let’s work hard towards the next 100yrs of Kyokushin, and beyond, OSU!!

The IKO Kyokushinkaikan Presents
The 2014 All American Open
International Karate Championships
Saturday, June 21, 2014 ~ New York City, USA

OFFICIAL RESULTS

FULL-CONTACT KUMITE
MEN OPEN

1              Oleksandr Ieromenko, Ukraine
2              ZAHARI DAMYANOV, BULGARIA
3              DARMEN SADVOKASOV, RUSSIA
4              Ilya Karpenko, Russia
5              Alejandro Navarro, Spain
6              Roger Cuadros, Bolivia
7              Maxime Demeautis, France
8              Takaichi Onuma, Japan
SPECIAL AWARDS
Best Tameshiwari            Ilya Karpenko – 28 Boards
Best Technique                 Ilya Karpenko
Best Spirit                            Takaichi Onuma

——————————————————

WOMEN LIGHTWEIGHT

1              DARIA SZEFER, POLAND
2              MARIELA ZARATE, USA
3              CAROLINE NADEAU, CANADA
4              ROSARIO BARRIOS VALDA, BOLIVIA

WOMEN MIDDLE-HEAVY

1              MYRIAM LAMARRE, CANADA
2              EMILIE PROVOST, CANADA
3              SAMIRA YAZIT, CANADA
4              THIELY C. OLIVEIRA PINTO, BRAZIL

WOMEN’S YOKOZUNA
MIRIAM LAMARRE

——————————————————-
KATA
ADULT OPEN

1              GERGANA KOSTOVA, BULGARIA – SUSHIHO
2              VIVIEN HALASZ, HUNGARY – SUSHIHO
3              DARIA SZEFER, POLAND – KANKU
4              TOSHIAKI HASHI, USA -SEIENCHIN

 

 

KATA
YOUTH ADVANCED

1              VLADISLAV AMIROV, RUSSIA – TSUKI NO KATA
2              YUKIKO HIBI, USA – PINAN 5
3              VERONIQUE POULIN, CANADA – SEIENCHIN
4              KENTO ODRIA, USA – GEKI SAI DAI
YOUTH INTERMEDIATE

1              BOGOMIL KOSTOV, BULGARIA – SUSHIHO
2              SIMONA STOIMENOVA, BULGARIA – KANKU
3              ZORNICA KOSTOVA, BULGARIA – SUSHIHO
4              ALICIA ROSCA, USA – GEKI SAI SHO

——————————————————–

SEMI-CONTACT KUMITE
SENIOR MEN

1              ROMAN WOJCIECHOWSKI, POLAND
2              JANUS LAUB, HUNGARY
3              TOSHIAKI HASHI, USA
4              JAVIER MATOS, USA

SENIOR WOMEN OPEN WEIGHT

1              ELSA TORRES, COLUMBIA
2              IRIS REYES, USA

SEMI-CONTACT KUMITE

JUNIOR BOYS 15-17YRS

1              ACHEMI CHIKH, CANADA
2              RYO SUGAWARA, USA
3              TONI TRIFONOV, BULGARIA

JUNIOR GIRLS 16-17YRS

1              ZORNICA KOSTOVA, BULGARIA
2              NANCY CROTEAU, CANADA
3              CLISSED BARRON, CANADA

JUNIOR GIRLS 14-15YRS

1              LISBETH ESPINO, USA
2              SIMONA STOIMENOVA, BULGARIA
3              TANIA ZARATE, BOLIVIA
4              VERONIQUE POULIN, CANADA


JUNIOR BOYS 13-14YRS

1              CHRISTIAN BUFFALOE, USA
2              KENTO ODRIA, USA
3              VLADISLAV AMIROV, RUSSIA

JUNIOR BOYS 10-11YRS

1              YUJI KHAN, USA
2              RYU KATAYAMA, USA
3              BOGOMIL KOSTOV, BULGARIA
4              GENTO SHIMAMURA, USA

JUNIOR BOYS 8YRS

1              MAXIM GAVLITSKII, MOLDOVA
2              KAILER SATO, USA

JUNIOR CO-ED 6-7YRS

1              ROBERT CRISTODOR, ROMANIA
2              LANNA NOEL, USA
3              GUS BELL, USA
4              SEAN KALOUDIS, USA

OSU!

 

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IKO All American Open International Karate Championships

2014 All American Open Poster

Osu.
:::PRESS RELEASE:::
On Saturday, JUNE 21, 2014 the IKO Kyokushinkaikan and Kyokushin Karate New York, the Official Headquarters-Direct Branch of the Kyokushinkaikan in the USA, will present this prestigious event at The City University of New York’s Hunter College Sportsplex in Manhattan.

In the nearly 2 decades since its inception, Kyokushin USA has successfully hosted and produced the most triumphant and groundbreaking competitive amateur events in American martial arts history, the inaugural Women’s World Karate Championships, and the inaugural North American Open Karate Championships, both in 1996, to which hundreds of contenders from scores of nations participated, and set the stage for the establishment of the foremost full-contact, knockdown karate competition in the Americas, The All American Open International Karate Championships. Each event redefines the one before and epitomizes the absolute best competitive events the martial arts field has ever seen in the United States. Kyokushin USA has been awarded the privilege of producing and directing both groundbreaking World Cup Team Championships in Paris, France, the “1998 Coupe du Monde” and the “Kyokushin International Challenge 2002”; both of which were carried via live feed across Europe on the “Eurosports” Network and subsequently broadcast on Fuji-TV, Japan’s premier national television network with a significant market share.

Of the numerous international contenders competing in the 2014 All American Open in NYC this Saturday, June 21, many are National or World Champions and include such illustrious names as the defending All American Open Kata Champion, Gergana Kostova of Bulgaria; the 4x defending All American Men’s Open Champion and 2014 European Super Heavyweight Champion, Zahari DAMYANOV of Bulgaria, the 2013 All Japan Super Heavyweight Champion, Oleksandr IEROMENKO, of the Ukraine, and the 2013 European Open Champion & World Heavyweight Champion, Alejandro NAVARRO of Spain.

In hosting these events and others in the United States, Kyokushin USA is privileged to receive the best wishes, support and recognition of past and present New York City Mayors, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg & Bill DeBlasio, Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa, New York State Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President of the United States Bill Clinton & former President of the United States George W. Bush. These Championships consistently strive to uphold the highest standard and goals set by Kyokushin founder, Mas Oyama, for integrity and good sportsmanship in Karate competition and will allow the more than one hundred athletes gathered for this event, the singular opportunity to challenge themselves and their peers in a public forum in the ‘Capital of the World’, New York City.

All the contenders are coming to this event with courage, determination and spirit, and with hopes of a spot on the podium at the conclusion. Though only a few will carry a trophy at the end of the day, they are all humbled and honored by your support in these, our historic karate-athletic events happening LIVE in NYC this Saturday!
Good luck everybody! #KYOKUSHIN OSU!

All American Open TV Ad

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IKO European Weight Category Championships – Varna

Damyanov WINS at home

Osu. The 28th European Weight Category Karate Championships, the 8th European Junior Karate Championships and the 2nd European Senior Karate Championships were held in Varna, Bulgaria on May 17th and 18th, organized by IKO Bulgarian Branch Chief Shihan Emil Kostov, and overseen by IKO International Department Director, Shihan Katsuhito Gorai.

Approximately 400 participants from 19 countries competed in this 2-day event. Junior and Senior championships were conducted on the first day, and the men’s & women’s weight category championships were held on the second day. All the top European competitors participated in this event, gaining invaluable experience amongst themselves, as well as opposite the strong invited guest teams from Russia and Kazakhstan. An IKO Training Seminar was conducted to complete the long weekend. These Championships were amongst the biggest and best organized in Europe. Congratulations IKO Bulgaria staff volunteers and all participants on its success. Osu!
FINAL MATCH: Damyanov v Belkhodja

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KKNY at Japan Day @ Central Park

Seiken Tsuki

Osu. For the 8th consecutive year, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan NY Branch / Kyokushin Karate New York KKNY was honored to perform at NYC’s Japan-centric mega festival in the heart of the city, “Japan Day@Central Park

NYC, Harrison & New Jersey Kyokushin students gathered at the Bandshell to open the event with our loud “kiai” and the festival’s most anticipated presentation each year – ice-breaking! The stage is small, but we packed it tight, and everyone displayed their best form and inimitable Kyokushin Spirit!

Here’s a clip:
Japan Day Kyokushin 2014

Thanks to all the families and students for your support in the crowd and on the stage. Shihan Liz says it was a beautiful, sunny and memorable Mothers Day for all, Osu!

Senpai Stan success!

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KKNY Goodwill Tournament

“We promise to do our best, Osu!” – and they did…!

Osu. The KKNY spring Goodwill Tournament was a great success! Many kids and adults participated in Kata, Kumite & Tameshiwari – and many kids for the first time stepped onto the mat and walked away with a medal for their achievement.

The Goodwill Tournament is a bi-annual inside-Dojo competition and charity fundraiser that we host in spring and fall to provide an opportunity for Kyokushin Karate New York /New Jersey amateur competitors to test their skills opposite their peers right inside the NY Dojo. For seasoned competitors, the event gives a chance to perform 100% alongside fellow area contenders in preparation for the next goal, the All American Open.

Besides the competition aspect, this event instills in all KKNY a sense of compassion and positive energy as we do our best to give back to our community. In honor of the traditional Japanese holiday, “Children’s Day” the Monday, May 5th, proceeds from this event will go to benefit NYC’s The Children’s Aid Society.

Thanks to all families and fans for your attendance and support, and to all competitors: whether you win or lose, simply accepting the challenge of stepping onto the mat displays your courage, confidence and success ~ congratulations! Osu!

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KYOKUSHIN one & only, “100-MAN-KUMITE”

Tariel Nikoleishvili begins the 100-Man-Kumite

Osu. The ultimate KYOKUSHIN challenge, the “HyakuNin Kumite” / “100-MAN-KUMITE” was fought bravely today by 10th World Open Champion, Tariel Nikoleishvili. Congratulations to Tariel, the IKO Russia Team, and to everyone who supported him and helped raise him to this level of achievement, OSU.

The day began in bright spring sunshine at ICHIGEKI Plaza, with hundreds of officials, invited guests, press, coaches and fighters filling in to the multi-story, health & fitness-dedicated, Kyokushin specific training facility in the heart of Tokyo. Kancho Shokei Matsui and IKO highest ranking Officials & Branch Chiefs welcomed the participants, wished fighters all the best and officially began the event. Today also marks 20 years since the passing of Kyokushin founder, Sosai MAS OYAMA. The 100-Man-Kumite is a rare Kyokushin contest, uniquely representative of Sosai Oyama’s powerful legacy and fighting spirit. Tariel Nikoleishvili, undoubtedly humbled and honored to have fought on this occasion, by his participation and success, sends waves of heartfelt pride to his home country and promise to his teammates across Russia, and to the scores of young up and coming fighters around the world.

In witness of Tariel Nikoleishvili’s challenge today, were some of the few who themselves have successfully completed the 100-Man-Kumite before him: 7th World Open Karate Champion, Francisco Filho, IKO Honbu Instructor, Artur Hovhanissyan, and President of IKO Kyokushinkaikan, Kancho Shokei Matsui – the last Kyokushin World Champion to have completed the 100-Man-Kumite that was witnessed by Sosai Mas Oyama himself.

As Tariel Nikoleishvili now enters the ranks of those who came before him, his name will be forever remembered by Kyokushin karate-ka the world over. As the IKO Kyokushinkaikan heads into the second half-century of existence, and we inch towards 2015, and the 11th World Open Karate Tournament, the spirit of our singular founder, the power and dedication of our exceptional Kyokushin karate-ka, and the goals of our steadfast organization remain solid and true.
One Heart, One Goal, World Peace. OSU!

The fight results were recorded as follows:
Ippon -21
Wazari-30
Win-13
Hikiwake-27
Lose-9
Complete results and review are available on IKO Honbu webpage in Japanese at: http://www.kyokushinkaikan.org/ja/news/2014/04/26/0426tariel100menkumite/

Tariel Nikoleishvili 100-Man-Kumite

Tariel Nikoleishvili at the finish with Russia Teammates

 

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IKO International Karate Friendship

International Karate Friendship 2014

Osu. Last weekend, we successfully completed the IKO International Karate Friendship tournaments at Tokyo Taikukan Metropolitan Gymnasium. Nearly 2000 competitors tested their skill and training in Kata, Team-Kata, Kumite & semi-contact Kumite.  From KKNY, Blagovest Petkov fought in the Senior Men age 35-39 Semi-Contact Kumite.  Great fight for the first time in an international match, and excellent experience.

Here is a video of the warm-up exercises on the final day which were led by Shihan Francisco Filho:IKO International Karate Friendship 4.20.14

On Saturday, April 20, we held a special Memorial Ceremony to mark 20 years since Kyokushin founder, Mas Oyama passed away. It was a somber occasion, but attended by many thousands including Kancho Shokei Matsui, Shihan Yuzo Goda and Kyokushinkaikan officials, and hundreds of IKO Branch Chiefs and Dojo Operators from across Japan and from all over the world paying their respects. Then on Sunday, after all the competitive events concluded, Kancho hosted a special dinner party for IKO Branch Chiefs and Dojo Operators.

Monday, nearly 300 participants attended the IKO International Training Camp and Promotion Exam at Mt. Mitsumine, where Mas Oyama’s shrine is erected, and dozens more are now currently attending the Instructor’s Intensive Training Course this week in Tokyo.

This Saturday, April 26, the IKO will hold the 100-Man-Kumite and honor Sosai Mas Oyama’s memory, and Tariel Nikoleishivili, current World Open Karate Champion from Russia, will test his skill opposite 100 black belt opponents.

Next year in November 2015, the IKO Kyokushinkaikan will hold the 11th World Open Karate Tournament in Tokyo. KKNY will plan a group trip to Japan for interested members, so we can cheer on Team KKNY and witness the best fighters on earth compete for the once-in-four-year ultimate championship title of KYOKUSHIN. OSU!

sosai masutatsu oyama

 

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