For the WJKA this year, 2019, is a special year. We are at the early evening of the 7th WJKA World championship, organised in the town of Uitenhage. However we also celebrate that it has been 25 years that the WJKA was founded. More reason to make this WC an enjoyable and successful event.
The WJKA was officially founded in 1994 in an effort to close the gape between the different JKA styles a little. Many organisations followed, others denied the idea or are still hesitating. Time will tell if the JKA will ever be unified. I sincerely hope that this WC will contribute to this effort.
As in all other Martial Arts, also in Karate the battle with oneself is the toughest one. Once you have full control you are able to meet your opponent. Intensive and disciplined training will enlarge your self confidence and makes one grow beyond his limits. During the process one has to suffer a lot. It makes you what you are or what you can become.
With this in mind I think of the promise I have made, 2 years ago, to the parents of Johannes de Lange. A young Karateka from SA became a World Champion but could not enjoy this success long enough. The History is known, the promise will be fulfilled today. In Honour of a young very promising World Champion, I like to dedicate this World Championship to Johannes de Lange.
Dear competitors, life can be successful, can have ups and downs but also can be short and unexpected. If you are successful or unsuccessful today, remember Johannes. Remember the “2019 World Championships in memory of Johannes de Lange”. Enjoy the success and learn from the loss.
In conclusion, I like to offer my thanks and respect to the WOC SA and its co-workers. I also like to offer my thanks and respect to the referees and officials.
My thanks and respect for all competitors, coaches and instructors, who have worked for many years and who support this event. I wish you luck. Many will participate, only a few will be successful.
In conclusion I hope all parents, caretakers, spectators and parties concerned will enjoy the technical level and discipline, karate demands. Johannes will watch us.
Jan Knobel, 9th dan WJKA Chief Instructor and President WJKA
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