Our Group is honored and humbled to be part of the 17th All Asia Shinkyokushin Karate Championship held in Singapore from September 1-3 2018. There are 25 different countries gathered together to participate on this event which is truly historic and will never be forgotten. Everyone worked so hard to make this event happen and it was fulfilling to be part of Shinkyokushinkai Philippine Team.
Preparation isn’t easy for us as a team due to continues heavy rains and Typhoons. We have to do indoor training in our homes and closed areas. Our Honbu in Makati City is at the roof top of VC Residence and most of the time we are training rain or shine. Despite of these challenges and difficulties, we still find ways to train for the love of Karate. Financial source is really difficult since we only support each other as a group coming from our own pockets from our simple jobs. We were rejected several times when we asked support from the local government although we are about to represent our country. Only councilor Cassy Sison from Manila District 6 had a heart to give us support which we are so grateful although we are not all from Manila.
We were lucky that the local news team from Net25 from Eagle Broadcasting covered our departure at Ninoy Aquino International Airport and gave us a chance for an interview on August 31, 2018. Sensei Richard Picar and Senpai Jane Dee Capili enthusiastically said on the interview that hopefully we can win from this event and show pride to our country. They also pin pointed that small groups representing the country for sports are neglected most of the time by the government and hopefully through this interview they will hear us. I still remember some letters we sent to Philippine Sports Commission but was disapproved. At that time, we just think of it that it wasn’t our time and we still needed to grow in numbers.
We arrived same day in Changi Airport Singapore and we we’re warmly welcomed by the host country. Everyone is excited and saw the beauty of Singapore with its diverse and progressive appearance. We arrived at the hotel together with the other delegates of 17th All Asia Shinkyokushin Karate Championship and showed respect to each other with a big OSU. We were also very fortunate to see the arrival of Daihyo Shihan Kenji Midori after our dinner at the hotel. We saw his humility by entertaining us happily without hesitation as we welcome him and took photos with with. He carried his of luggage and no one assisted him which made me see his simplicity and politeness. A true leader of a good character it is that he has been showing despite of his position and popularity. That is why this organization is growing continuously and all the other Shihans are following his humble leadership.
The next day (September 1, 2018), everyone prepared for breakfast and weigh in of all fighters and registrations. Shinkyokushinkai Philippines Team is represented by Senpai Jane Dee Capili for Women’s below 50 kg, Senpai Francis Fulgusino for Men’s below 75 kg and Marc Tristan Ilay for Men’s below 65 kg. Seeing other strong and veteran fighters like Dmitry Moisseyev from Kazakhstan, Takeshi Midori (Son of Daihyo Midori) from Japan and all other strong fighters made this event more exciting and thrilling. Everything is uncertain until the next day to come. I can see from our fighters that they are determined to fight with of their might although the huge pressure is along their sides. After the Weigh-in of all fighters and registration, the branch chiefs and country representatives are all gathered for for General Assembly and welcomed by the committees of 17th All Asia Shinkyokushin Karate Championship.
On the afternoon, seminar for all referees and side judges are led by the Shihan Isao Kobayashi and Shihan Fumiaki Nagashima. This is is also in preparation for the safety, unbiased and success of 17th All Asia Shinkyokushin Karate Championship event and everyone is calibrated. Everyone understood the importance of this seminar since it will be their correct and fair judgment by looking at the fighter’s performance by color either shiro or Aka that is reiterated by Shihan Kobayashi and not from which country the fighter from. The seminar also have written and practical examination and will be granted gold silver and bronze as their score to become the referee or side judge during the event.
The day has come for the 17th All Asia Shinkyokushin Karate Championship on September 2, 2018 and all the participants of the event were transferred from V-Hotel to Our Tampines Hub. Our emotions are mixed-up with excitement, tension, uneasiness and all but this is a long awaited and once in a lifetime event. After the arrivals of all WKO Shinkyokushinkai Leaders, Referees, Side Judges, Committees, Sponsors, and fighters in the event, the Opening Ceremony was started by a Taiko Drums by Sensei Jun Igarashi and everyone is in silence. All brave fighters proudly marched with their county name written on their placards. Several speeches by Shihan Kenji Midori, Shihan Patrick Teo, and other leaders and sponsors that made the fighters and audience inspired and excited.
The fight of Francis Fulgusino and Marc Tristan Ilay didn’t go well as they lost on the first round. However, our spirits lighten up when Senpai Jane Dee Capili won her first bout with Thailand fighter Chatkaew Yodhom. Everyone of us felt her spirit during her fight and courageousness. Her next bouts continued with another victory. Finally, she made it to the Championship to fight with China Fighter Wen Li. Before her last bout for championship, everyone prayed for her and cheered for her to do her best. Everyone of us are nervous yet positive that she can win the championship round. During her fight, we shouted our cheers passionately and wholeheartedly. A three minutes extension decided by the judges and referee is made and they continued with the fight. We shouted so load for the final 20 seconds and was heard by Senpai Jane during her fight and continuously fought with indomitable spirit. After that, she made it. She won and became the champion of women’s 50kg below category of 17th All Asia Shinkyokushin Karate Championship. Everyone of us are so happy for her and all the supporters in the country watching her live fight online. It was amazing and inspiring. After all the bouts for the 17th All Asia Shinkyokushin Karate Championship. The awards are given and Senpai Jane also won the Bushido Award aside from her Trophy for being the champion. Overall, all our efforts are never wasted despite of all the challenges.
The night after the event everyone celebrated the successful event with Sayonara Party together with all the leaders, committees, fighters and guests. It was a simple appreciation of all committee members who made the event successful and recognized. Shihan Midori approached each table with his simple appreciation to all the people joined and participated the event. His humility towards all of us really showed and he considered all of us as his family and not just an organization.
The following day, September 3 2018, International Karate Seminar and International Dan Grading Test was participated by me, Senpai Pio Orly Languisan, Senpai Paul Magahis and Senapi Jane Capili. This was led by Shihan Kenji Midori himself, Shihan Kobayashi, Shihan Miyoshi, Shihan Sojuto, Shihan Koi and other Shihans. This is very special to everyone of us and definitely historic to be part of this seminar and Dan test. The pressure is truly unimaginable since all the Main Leaders WKO Shinkyokushinkai are infront of you while Shihan Koi is instructing during the examination. The first part was Kihon, Ido Geiko, Kata, Physical and Flexibilty Exam. It was never the same with the usual training and grading test since the standards are strictly observed by the Shihans and they have to decide whether you passed or failed each part of the examination. After the first part is completed, Shihan Sojuto are calling names, our names and with a humble heart when our names are called we shouted a big OSU! It was breath taking but all three of us passed the first part of the examination. The second part is the Kumite which is a 1 minute for 10 round each sparring that we need to surpass, It was never easy and all of us need to show the Budo Spirit and all out techniques. First to 4 rounds are just fine and we can still move around and fight but the rest the 7 to 10 rounds are really exhausting but worth it since we showed our best with passion and commitment. Mas Oyama once said, “The heart of our karate is real fighting.There can be no proof without real fighting. Without proof there is no trust. Without trust there is no respect. This is a definition in the world of martial arts.” . We fought our best and all three of us passed the Dan Grading Test.
Senpai Pio Orly Languisan (4th from 2nd row), Senpai Paul Magahis (5th from 2nd row) and Senapi Jane Capili (5th from 1st row)
In my heart, this is just the beginning of our journey and we have so much in front of us to overcome as a Karateka.
Pio Orly “Yong” Languisan
1st Dan WKO Shinkyokushinkai Philippines