It’s no surprise that this blog, ignored by the people who depend on many decision-making issues, is very useful. I have no doubts, especially since I felt myself included among “some websites being operated on the Internet by karate groups in countries outside Japan, using the name Ashihara, and post information that seems to confuse NIKO with other groups” (the entire message of Hidenori Ashihara can be read here). When it will be understood that the “Ashihara family” doesn’t refer strictly to belonging to a single group, then we will certainly find ourselves on the right track.
Pentru varianta în limba română, click aici!
It would have been appreciated if Hidenori Ashihara’s message had made a step forward in this ideal of “family” of which everyone is talking, not just the inclusion of only his own members, making it a good example in the Romanian community, where I mainly carry out my work. If you read this online blog, you will notice that there are few Romanian personalities who have supported my work so far, this being the reason why I thought it would be appropriate to make a reposition. So I came into contact with AIKO, AKI and IAKA, and my horizons widened because I met people who perceive this martial arts style perhaps differently from how I was, at least, used to. In addition, beyond the ideologies of each organization, most of them say they support the Hideyuki Ashihara’s path, and this is why I think it may be more beneficial to settle everyone at a round table and to establish principles that will form the basis for good global coexistence. In this situation, although many don’t realize, the AK MASTERS blog is my way of adding value to the idea of unity in the Ashihara-Karate’s world, away from the strict reasoning under which I pursued my entire sport career.
Most importantly, 2018 comes with three world championships (NIKO in Kazakhstan, AIKO in Hungary and AKI in India), which will involve many athletes dressed in Ashihara karategis. An interesting aspect is that NIKO is thinking of sending Japanese athletes to the event from Astana, which would be somehow a premiere after the Serbia 2012 edition, although – if I remember correctly – then there were only two representatives. Also, Hidenori Ashihara intends to take part in various seminars this year, where he will teach Ashihara-Karate techniques in his own view, in addition to his participations in the Danish summer camp and the Kazakhstan World Championship. He didn’t specify which countries are targeted, but given that Romania has many NIKO affiliates, it is possible that our country to be on the list.
An interesting innovation available since January 2018 is that online applications can be submitted to become AIKO members (details here), the organization based in the Netherlands giving thus, in my opinion, proof of transparency. According to the end-of-year letter, in 2017 AIKO has developed its operations in countries such as Hungary, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Turkey and Kazakhstan. Dave Jonkers claims that there are other countries that would like to be included in his organization and we will probably see in the future new international repositions in the Ashihara-Karate style (details here).
The plans for AK MASTERS blog development will continue in 2018. I will continue to be close to the Ashihara-Karate community, irrespective of its name (NIKO, AIKO, AKI, IAKA etc.). My most important goal in this year is to take the “pulse” of as many events as possible at national and international level, of course within the limits of financial possibilities and if I will be well received. Finally, I want to thank you all. I’m grateful to you and I don’t know how I can reward everyone for the minutes you have given me during this period of time, by accessing / distributing my posts and thus contacting a small part of my world.