by Marlon Bernardino
MANILA---From small and humble beginnings, the International Karate Organization (IKO) Kyokushin Nakamura Philippines celebrates its 1st Founding Anniversary with more than 15 branches with 1000 active students supporting the full-contact karate system amidst the pandemic.
IKO Nakamura Philippines Branch Chief Sensei Victor Canon reflected on the journey of the karate organization.
“It was such a difficult time for everyone, especially for those who make a living teaching karate as a livelihood during the pandemic. Fortunately, IKO Nakamura Japan replied and appointed me as the Philippines Branch Chief. I received such a wonderful reception and felt the sincerity, great honor, and pride in being part of such a prestigious organization,” IKO Nakamura Philippines Canon said.
The organization was first put forward in the Philippines on January 17, 2021, with guidance from IKO Nakamura Japan Chief Director Sousui Makoto Nakamura, a former colleague of the Sosai Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin Karate.
Notwithstanding the various challenges, IKO Nakamura Philippines successfully hosted tournaments, camp training, national selection and international tournaments, and seminars headed by the headquarters dojo, Top Gym, Dasmarinas, Cavite, in cooperation with all affiliated branches in the country.
“Looking back, I wanted to look for a respectable international Kyokushin organization from Japan that upholds the true essence of Kyokushin from the original concept of the Founder Mas Oyama,” Canon said.
Canon also noted the importance of collaboration and support for one another, trusting the plans and directions of leaders, and resources in building a strong organization.
According to Canon, while a good member and follower’s support is vital, the opportunity to experience leadership and form the capability to lead is likewise valuable. "Most importantly, the sincerity, dedication, hard work, and fear of the Lord is necessary for leaders or aspiring leaders for their organization to succeed.”
Canon said that he looks forward to upgrading the karate standard in the Philippines and helping those achieve their dreams not only in karate but also in education. Further, Canon mentioned that the organization aims to have educated instructors to handle the training of the youth and provide a decent way of earning a living and helping build a better community.
“The celebration of our 1st anniversary is important to see how fast and far we have been in our journey towards our passion in karate and seeing our improvement as we practice daily, learning from the past and not repeat the same mistakes, and finally, being grateful to God for helping us grow as a person with good moral values and as an organization that upholds discipline and life preservation,” Canon ended.-Marlon Bernardino-