The 7th World Karate Championships in weight categories in Kielce has had a remarkable opening. There was a presentation of 40 country delegations, who entered the stage accompanied by karate students from Kielce and the sounds of the Shinkyokushin theme song. Before the fights started, players had also had the opportunity to watch a performance by dancers from the Kielce Dance Theatre, as well as had been cheered by the organizers’ uplifting speeches.
At the official opening of the 7th World Karate Championships in Kielce’s Hala Legionów, there were as many as 178 contestants forming part of 40 national delegations. While walking into stage, they were accompanied by young karatekas from Kielce. The ceremony was enriched with a performance from the Kielce Dance Theatre, whose dancers wore Polish red and white outfits. At the same time, Japanese traditions were also honored as the participants could hear the sounds of taiko drums.
Once everyone was already on stage, Maciej Mazur – the most awarded Polish karateka and the vice-champion of the 2019 WKO World Open Shinkyokushinkai Karate Championships – stepped forward and coordinated the process of Dojo Oath swearing.
The stage was then entered by the representatives of local administration, including the Marshal of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship Andrzej Bętkowski and the Mayor of Kielce Bogdan Wenta. They were joined by the president of World Karate Organization Kenji Midori, the president of the Polish Shinkyokushinkai Karate Organization and the president of the Championships Organizing Committee Tomasz Kęćko.
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“Since you’re all gathered here today, it means that the motto of sosai Masutatsu Ōyama has come true. Make the impossible possible, he once said. The founder of Kyokushin style has inspired us all and it is thanks to him that karate has become the way of life for so many of us who are here today” – shihan Karpiński said.
Anna Krupka, an MP from Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship and the Deputy Minister of Sport and Tourism, has in turn expressed her joy over the fact that Kielce gets to organize such a high-profile event. “I wholeheartedly believe the championships will strengthen Kielce’s position as an important point on the world’s martial arts map, as well as help Kielce and Świętokrzyskie become part of sports history” – she remarked. Moreover, she also took the opportunity to touch upon the message of this year’s competition. “Heiwa means peace. Therefore, we are today employing the principles of Budō and sending the words of support to our Ukrainian friends” – she highlighted.
The opening was concluded with a singing performance from Marcin Siegieńczuk, who is both a dance music artist and a sensei. He sang ‘Become the World Champion” in three languages: Polish, English and Japanese.
Wszyscy współorganizatorzy i organizatorzy: Anna Krupka, Wiceminister Sportu i Turystyki, Zbigniew Koniusz, Wojewoda Świętokrzyski, Andrzej Bętkowski, Marszałek Województwa Świętokrzyskiego, Prezydent Miasta Kielce Bogdan Wenta, Kenji Midori, prezydent Światowej Organizacji Karate, Remigiusz Karpiński, prezes Polskiej Federacji Karate Shinkyokushinkai, Tomasz Kęćko, przewodniczący Komitetu Organizacyjnego VII Mistrzostw Świata Karate w Kategoriach Wagowych, życzyli zawodnikom wspaniałych emocji i satysfakcji z siebie.