Cooperation Is Unification
Although Kancho Royama and Kyokushin-kan welcome any world branches, dojos, or individuals who wish to join Kyokushin-kan and follow Kancho Royama, we do NOT believe that all Kyokushin practitioners should ever be compelled to join any Kyokushin organization, or to “block out” or act defensively towards the activities of another organization. For more about Kancho’s vision of reunification of all of Kyokushin, please read about the Kyokushin-kan Shogakukai.
All of us in the Kyokushin community learned several lessons the hard way following Sosai’s death, and one of them was that self-defensive exclusivity is not a good policy. Following the early splits of the original International Karate Organization, certain organizations sought to block other outside organization members from participating in their events, while at the same time, forbidding their own members to participate in the events of other organizations. Although pockets of this kind of mentality still exist in some places, nothing could be farther from Kancho Royama’s teaching. All events should be open to all karateka.
Other practices that existed in earlier days that we have all learned have been problematic are any kind of self-defensive aggressive or suppressing actions taken towards other organizations, or even other branches within one’s own organization. One example would be the deliberate hosting of events on or close to the same date as another organization’s event to ensure that members (or non-affiliated participants) will be forced to choose and build an alliance with the host. Again, nothing could be further from Kancho’s teaching. Kyokushin-kan members SHOULD participate in other organizations’ tournaments, and Kyokushin-kan tournament organizations should feel free to open their doors to competitors from other organizations. The strongest regional or national organization, Kancho believes, is the one that hosts strong, well-organized tournaments and seminars, but that also sends its members to be strong and well-mannered in other organizations’ tournaments. The contentious relationship between leaders of “rival” organizations, or rival branches, is (or rather should be) a thing of the past. In Kyokushin, we are all of one family, and the more exposure we have to others, the stronger all of Kyokushin will be.
One challenge that increases in the world branches the further one goes from regular contact with Kancho and Honbu instructors is that many branches and dojos joined us from other organizations that did things differently, and several of those organizations did things badly (our past negative experiences with organization memberships that didn’t work out). It’s very important, therefore, for Kyokushin-kan instructors to get to know Kancho and Honbu, because what you take for granted about the way an organization is supposed to be run might in fact be based on how your former one was, and not based on how Kancho Royama runs things better. Once again, it is the duty of all BC’s and DO’s to develop a personal relationship with Kancho and Honbu instructors so that we can all adopt the correct way. Isolation in distant corners of the world, of course, leads directly to misunderstanding.