What is the organization’s name?
The organization’s official name as registered with the Registry of Societies is “World Karate Organization Shinkyokushinkai (Singapore)” (UEN T13SS0037B).
In our communications, we may be called “WKO Shinkyokushinkai Singapore” (‘World Karate Organization’ in its acronym, and without the parentheses around the word ‘Singapore’). The preferred acronym to describe our organization is “WKOSS”.
The following names may be used to refer to us:
– WKO Shinkyokushin Singapore
– Shinkyokushinkai Singapore
– Shinkyokushin Singapore
– World Karate Organization
– WKO Singapore
Our official website is www.wkosingapore.com
So WKOSS must be belonging to some international body?
Yes, WKOSS is affiliated to NPO World Karate Organization Shinkyokushinkai led by Shihan Kenji Midori of Japan. Let’s call this international body “Shinkyokushinkai” henceforth in this FAQ.
Shihan Patrick Teo is the appointed Singapore branch chief of Shinkyokushinkai. Hence, WKOSS is the Singaporean branch of Shinkyokushinkai.
What is NPO World Karate Organization Shinkyokushinkai?
Shinkyokushinkai is the forward-looking, democratic, non-profit organization formed to advance the causes of Kyokushin Karate.
Kyokushin Karate, founded by the late Sosai Masutatsu Oyama in 1956, has developed into a world class Budo (martial art form). In 2003, the organization name was reformed to NPO World Karate Organization Shinkyokushinkai. We have inherited the will and tradition of Kyokushin Karate, and will carry on to develop and spread this magnificent Budo to the world with true and pure spirit.
Under the main philosophy to “Master our Mind”, the activities of Shinkyokushinkai is centered on the activity policy of “Nurturing Youth”, “Social Contribution”, and “International Exchange”.
The teaching and learning of Karate, the activities of domestic and overseas Branches, charity activities for the Marrow Donor Program, blood donation activities, international cooperation activities, and the organizing of various tournaments, are all held under the main philosophy and activity policy. We will continue with our activities, with the goal of becoming the strongest and largest Karate organization in the world, in all factors.
Karate as an Olympic sport
Shinkyokushinkai is also leading the campaign for full-contact karate, the hallmark of Kyokushin Karate, as an Olympic sport. Several breakthroughs have been achieved in Japan. With this ambitious goal in sight, Shinkyokushinkai is putting aside differences and reaching out to all practitioners of full-contact karate. See exciting developments at www.facebook.com/JFKO.OFFICIAL
JFKO stands for Japan Full-Contact Karate Organization. Shihan Kenji Midori is also the chairman of this organization and it is working with IOC Japan for the inclusion of full-contact karate as an Olympic Sport.
Tell me more about WKOSS
WKOSS has 10 dojos (training grounds) around Singapore.
We follow the Activity Policy as laid out by Shinkyokushinkai and seek to improve our learning of Kyokushin Karate in body, technique and spirit.
Can I join more than one martial arts group?
Of course, you may train with more than one martial arts, it is an individual’s choice. However, Kyokushin Karate is a practical and complete fighting system. It is also very rigorous and demanding. WKOSS welcomes all martial arts enthusiasts to train with them.
Can I be a member of WKOSS and concurrently, another Kyokushin Karate group?
Yes you may do so. However, you are expected to be fair to the organizations that you joined; you are expected to pay separate fees as they are separate organizations. Also, during training, you are expected to wear the appropriate dogi (karate uniform) that represents the different organizations.
Most importantly, keep an open mind and develop your karate with a pure and true spirit. A true karate-ka is humble, always seeking wisdom and strength, and not other desires.
What if I want to retain my membership with another Kyokushin Karate group in my home country?
Singapore is a cosmopolitan society and there are many expatriates who train with WKOSS while wanting to retain their affiliation of the Kyokushin Karate group of their home country. We are the leading Kyokushin Karate group in Singapore and we definitely want to keep you rooted in your training of Kyokushin Karate. We are friendly and with convenient training locations, WKOSS welcomes you!
Please adhere to the protocols as described in question 6.
Is there such a thing as “conversion” from other Kyokushin Karate groups? How do we go about it?
With the validation and approval by Shihan Patrick Teo, there can be a one-time conversion from other Kyokushin Karate groups. The kyu or dan in which you may be converted into could be different from your other Kyokushin group. Before conversion can happen, you have to join and train with WKOSS for a while.
After this conversion, if you continue to subscribe to WKOSS and another Kyokushin Karate group, you are expected to promote in your kyu or dan in separate streams.
If Shinkyokushinkai is inheriting the true Kyokushin Karate and carrying on with its traditions, why do you change the name to Shin (新xin, new) Kyokushin-Kai (極真会jizhen hui), and why does your dogi spot a different kanji?
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin Karate (the martial art form, full-contact karate), also founded Kyokushinkai-Kan (the association) and International Karate Organization (IKO, the international administration and governing body Kyokushin Karate). Kyokushinkai-Kan and IKO can be thought as synonymous.
Soon after the death of Sosai Oyama in 1994, there were doubts surrounding the supposedly-appointed second-generation leadership of Kyokushinkai-Kan; these lead to rights and patent issues surrounding the use of the names Kyokushinkai-Kan and IKO. As a result, splinter groups formed and began to depart from the one body that Sosai Oyama founded; splinter groups even claimed the names Kyokushinkai-Kan and IKO, insisting that they are the real followers of Sosai Oyama and teaching true Kyokushin Karate. Besides splinter groups, there were even more senseis that formed their independent schools and spotting the same Kyokushinkai kanji on their uniforms.
As we all soon found out, rights and patents are commercial assets and all the politicking was for franchising Kyokushin Karate! Whatever happened to the training and development of Kyokushin Karate, and the virtues of dojo oaths we’ve been reciting? Kyokushin Karate was degenerating with all the breakups and quests for commercializing the Budo.
Looking at the state of affairs, Shinkyokushinkai decided that Kyokushin Karate should not be back-pedaling. We move on resolutely to form a new democratic organization, concerned with the advancement of Kyokushin Karate, and very importantly, being a Kyokushin Karate body that will not be commercialized. We boldly put the non-profit tenet in front of our organization name and operate by this legal requirement. We also established our Activity Policy distinctly so that this organization has a non-profit focus, remains democratic, socially-responsible and sustainable.
Resolved to move Kyokushin Karate forward in a new way, we reformed ourselves as Shinkyokushinkai. We changed the names and any assets that may embroil ourselves into lawsuits and squabbles. Rather than wasting time on unproductive debates, we would rather spend effort on training, keeping Kyokushin Karate affordable and developing further.
We can say assuredly that Shinkyokushinkai operates with the most sustainable organizational model; its objective of advancing Kyokushin Karate will not be disrupted by events, such as those that plagued the original IKO.
Looking at all the good works done by Shinkyokushinkai (see also question 3), and the forward-planning made by us, we take pride in the stuff that we are doing and naysayers will be convinced by our sincerity and actions, that we are probably most aligned to the vision that Sosai Oyama had!
What is the history of Karate? And Kyokushin Karate?
There are plenty of write-ups about this and you can read them at your own pace in the internet.
The one thing that you would probably find out for yourself after reading all the articles, is that karate and almost all forms of martial arts are constantly evolving.
Divergence from Kyokushin Karate didn’t only happen after Sosai Oyama’s death; several distinct karate groups were formed by Sosai Oyama’s students even as he was alive. Many groups bearing the banner of Kyokushin come and go. The only thing that really matters is how Kyokushin Karate can endure through the test of time and evolve to become an international sport & cultural heritage. For this, we place our trust in Shinkyokushinkai. Join us in our journey to experience the ultimate, true martial-way! Osu!