Welcome to the official website of the
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF
Kokusai Renmei Karatedo Kyokai
OPEN LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Welcome to the official webpage of the International Union of Karatedo Organizations (IUKO).
Over the past 30 years, the art of traditional Karatedo has been greatly divided by organizational politics, dishonorable financial practices, different sport Karate rules, and tremendous ego driven issues. And lets throw in a side order of overly judgmental attitudes, polarizing philosophies, and underdeveloped individuals in leadership positions. These realities have driven the 21st century traditional Karate world to a very dark and fragmented place.
In the late 1990's, I realized the magnitude and long term effects of these problems, and out of curiosity I began researching the historical relationships between the founders of traditional Karatedo, and their students. This lead me to researching the founding of the different "style based" Japanese and Okinawan Karatedo organizations, and their working relationships with each other.
In 2001, I went to Japan for a few months for advanced training and do further research. I conducted many interviews and gained many surprising insights into Karatedo history and technique. If I had to sum up my time in Japan with one word, it would be DEMYSTIFIED! The Japanese/Okinawan mystique that I always loved, was actually clouding my understanding. Like a flash of lightning, I realized how confused people have become in the 60-70 short years traditional Karate has been promulgated outside of Japan & Okinawa.
In 2002, it became obvious to me that traditional Karate was being quickly overshadowed by Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Brazilian "Jujutsu", the UFC and K1 style training and fighting. Most traditional Karate dojo owners I knew at the time began having problems getting new students into their dojos, and MMA schools
started popping up and FILLING UP! And that was the real beginning of the struggle for traditional Dojos to survive.
In 2005, I did a comparison and contrast study of traditional Karatedo in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. I studied the number of styles, sub-styles, legitimate international organizations, sport competition rules and business related issues. The founders of traditional Karatedo cooperated with each other on a regular basis. For the most part, the leaders of modern day Karatedo do not. The founders of traditional Karatedo shared techniques and katas, and even shared dojos together. For the most part, the leaders of modern day Karatedo do not. The founders of traditional Karatedo even exchanged advanced students so the next generation of Karatedo practitioners would have a larger body of knowledge. For the most part, the leaders of modern day Karatedo guard their students from contact with outside instructors for financial and ego driven reasons. I realized that this reality coupled with the rise of MMA was rapidly equating to traditional Karatedo dying the death of a thousand paper cuts. I saw the need for a NEW ORGANIZATIONAL CONCEPT! After much thought and consideration, I founded the INTERNATIONAL UNION OF KARATEDO ORGANIZATIONS (IUKO) to act as a matrix for traditional Karate practitioners to UNITE for the preservation and promulgation of traditional Karatedo.
IUKO MEMBERSHIP IS OPEN TO ALL LEGITIMATE STYLES OF TRADITIONAL KARATEDO THAT HAVE A JAPANESE/OKINAWAN LINIAGE. Many dojo owners that have been independent for a long time, have found a comfortable and truly supportive organizational home in IUKO.
Many dojo owners that remain part of a Japan/Okinawan organization, join IUKO because they want a more educated and professional approach to unfettered open minded development. No traditional Karatedo style is complete. The opportunity to train with traditional Karateka from other styles, breaths new life into everyones Karate life. Many leadership positions are available to you to champion the IUKO concept in different parts of the world. I encourage you to fill out the information form, and we will contact you. Lets have a chat, and see how IUKO could be a supportive benefit to you, your students and the dojos business.
Sincerely yours I remain,
Thomas A. Casale
President and CEO
International Union of Karatedo Organizations.