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Dear members of Itosu-ryu Karatedo International Federation

Dear members of Itosu-ryu Karatedo International Federation

I hope you, your families and your Itosu-kai group are safe and well in these unprecedented times. I have had many enquiries from around the world about my wellbeing and safety. I would like to say thank you all very much for you concern, it is very heart-warming. I’m happy to say I am healthy however I have closed the Itosu-kai headquarters on a temporary basis. This is in line with local and national advice, but I hope to restart classes as soon as it is safe to do so.

We sent notification regarding the cancellation of the 80th anniversary of Itosu-kai, celebrating goodwill and international friendship and the 53rd Itosu-kai Japan National Karatedo Championship in September. Cancelling this important event was a very difficult decision for me. However, that decision had to be made on health and safety grounds due to the increasing global spread of Covid-19 and all the uncertainty that was creating. Since making that decision, the number of Covid-19 cases has increased in Japan. Currently (April 19th) we have 10,000 cases and just over 200 people have passed away. This is a global pandemic and I am sure the situation is similar in your country. In Japan, the Prime Minister has declared a national state of emergency in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. While he does not have the political power to institute a “hard lockdown” which has taken place in some other countries, our constitution gives the governors of prefectures the power to call for schools and some businesses to close until the 6th of May. I don’t know when this pandemic will end, or societies return to normal, but I really hope all of us can get through this situation safely as soon as possible. Some Itosu-kai branches have told me they are using online technology to stay in touch, teach and motivate students while some have gathered in large spaces like parks and practiced outside. These are great ideas, and everyone is to be commended on finding alternatives. As President of IKIF, I appreciate your efforts to maintain our legacy of Itosu-ryu karatedo in these challenging times. As I said earlier, I or anyone else do not know how long this global situation will last, but I believe we can overcome our challenges through the spirit of karatedo which we have acquired through our hard training. I look forward to seeing you in the future and practicing together again.

Sincerely Yours Sadaaki Sakagami President and Soke Itosu-ryu Karatedo International Federation

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