The long awaited time has come to an end for all Ashihara-Karate martial arts practitioners, representatives, officials and supporters. Soon, the most important international events will take place, namely the World Championships of AIKO (Ashihara International Karate Organisation) and NIKO (New International Karate Organization), on 3rd of November, 2018 (in Győr, Hungary) and 8th-10th of November, 2018 (in Aktau, Kazakhstan).
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A large Ashihara-Karate competition returns, on 3rd of November, in the city of Győr (Hungary), this time under AIKO aegis. Thus, the organization demonstrates, through this first edition of the World Championship, that it has become strong enough to start implementing such events. Shihan Dave Jonkers sent to AK MASTERS blog a message for the AIKO World Championship:
“Another week and the AIKO faces a major challenge with the organization of the first World Championship. For the AIKO, which has experienced strong growth in recent years, this event will make an important contribution to the international stage for martial arts between all full-contact styles.
I am convinced that the Hungarian organization, with a lot of experience in organizing tournaments, will coordinate a wonderful event after months of preparation. Attila Hartyányi, branch AIKO of Hungary, and Attila Durgó, responsible for the organization in his hometown Győr, are capable people, who in 2014 made possible already such a successful tournament under the flag of another organization. Their knowledge is one of the reasons why this championship will take place in Hungary. All ingredients are present: experienced referees, a beautiful accommodation, good accommodation for the fighters and a highly motivated team of employees who will undoubtedly make this event a success.
More than 150 participants from 15 countries will compete for the prizes divided over the different weight classes. The youth will also make an appearance in the program that will be finished in one day.
I’m convinced by the thought that sport is the most unifying and inspiring development and peace tool in our world. No other social activity brings people together and with so much passion and enjoyment. This persuasion has been reinforced by my experiences all through the years. Regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, our sport is enjoyed by all; its reach is unrivalled and, most important, sport promotes universal values that transcend language and culture.
I have seen a high level of fighters during the seminars I have attended in the recent months, who have mastered the system based on full-contact karate in combination with grabbing and throwing, and many countries have found themselves in excellent form by training camps, prepared for the event. I therefore expect a high level that can compete with the best fighters in the martial arts on karate.
Already I want to wish all competitors and their coaches best of luck and mark my words: opportunities are with those who are ready for their fights and success marches with those who give their very best!”
At more than 4,000 kilometers away from Győr, the city of Aktau (Kazakhstan) will host, during 8th to 10th of November, the sixth edition of the NIKO World Championship. This is the first time such an event takes place in Asia after all the other previous editions that have been organized in Europe (Serbia 2012, Hungary 2014 and Romania 2011, 2013 and 2016). Romania’s delegation will have approximately 40 athletes, according to the information provided recently to AK MASTERS blog by Sensei Petrică Bulmagă, president of the Ashihara-Karate department within the Romanian Martial Arts Federation. “We are counting on some medals at adults kumite and, possibly, at individual kata. At kata teams there is a big problem, because our best teams are missing one member. As far as nation ranking is concerned, the most bold goal would be, in my opinion, the 3rd place, considering the fact that Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and other neighboring countries will surely have extensive and very strong teams.”
At the end of May, 2018, in the official invitation that announced the organization of this edition of the NIKO World Championship, Kancho Hidenori Ashihara said: „This event is the place where we can meet and talk with each other and get to know each other better. It is also the place where our students can meet at built good relations. At the World Championship, we will find the best kata performers and the strongest contact karate fighters of Ashihara-Karate; they will perform Sabaki in the true spirit of Ashihara.”
The end of 2018 could have been more interesting if the Ashihara Karate International (AKI) wouldn’t postpone, for reasons beyond the will of its representatives, most likely until March 2019, the second edition of its World Championship, according to a discussion AK MASTERS blog had with Kaicho Hoosain Narker.
Good luck to the athletes and we hope that the competitions will be according to organizers’ expectations and, most importantly, without incidents. REMEMBER: a tournament must, first of all, be characterized by fair-play!