The European Cup 2017 is finished, but what remains, is a fantastic memory for all of us. Many people told me that it feels like coming home, that ‘I can be myself’ here… And that is where we, at I-karate Global, stand for. Everyone has his or her place here. Participation and inclusion are our main goals. It is not only the competition but everything around it, the preparation, meeting new people, traveling…Participants from several countries make the experience rich : 35 disabled participants from Belgium, 29 Hungarian disabled athletes, Ireland 25 … and even with more volunteers (yes, they work for free) that’s really amazing!!!!
It is not about “they can forget their disability for one day” … NO! Most of them learned to live with that. It is the mutual acceptation that counts, because disabled athletes, trainers, coaches , parents don’t see the disability anymore, that’s why this event is so special. Look at it like a big symphonic orchestra. The one with the violin cannot play the flute, but together they produce and send a perfect sound into the world and beyond. Also for trainers, coaches and parents it is like coming home because for once there are no strange looks or strange behaviour from people who don’t understand. I am sure Karateka’s and judges felt another energy during these competitions, we can see now what a wide range of possibilities karate offers. How important this system is for the future. It was one big family transcending country borders…The thinking of a regular karateka: “we need to be strong as an individual and keep on training hard until we die” fades away when you experience these events. NO! Sharing your karate experience with everyone is another higher purpose in life and makes you a better person! This is also a strong message for all the other para-sports: be creative with your sport so that all disabled people, regardless of their disability, can join your sport! Let’s call it evolution. We cannot stand still. Talking about things is nice but actions are 1000 times more important at this very moment. Let’s move on, all together and be positive for what the future can bring for us.
This quote of Gichin Funakoshi is always in my mind and heart:
“They are playing around in the leaves and branches of a great tree, without the slightest concept of the trunk”.