May 1, 2020.

Dear AAKF Members:

I hope this message finds you and your family well. In late March of this year, I flew into the Pacific Northwest to visit with my daughter. The previously planned spring-break visit morphed into her move-back to Texas. Her school, like other US colleges, has instituted lock-down rules and distance learning. So we packed her belongings and drove home for the summer, or until the DOVID-19 pandemic recedes.

I had looked forward to time with her to reacquaint ourselves. However, the usually relaxed, scenic five-day journey turned eerie and somewhat unsettling. We stayed at mostly empty lodgings under the furtive glances of innkeepers. Whenever resupplies were in need, we joined other frantic shoppers in scouring mostly empty shelves – thankfully food and gasoline were plentiful. We traversed highways with few or no cars within sight. My daughter and I could have been extras in post-apocalyptic movie scenes. Thankfully, the worst part of the journey was only having to eat out of boxes every meal.

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely be the most challenging, worldwide event in my lifetime, and perhaps yours too. My club at the University of Texas closed in March in view of potential health hazards, as did other AAKF clubs nationwide. While there are indications of stabilization, near future prospects remain unclear.

To practice an abundance of caution for our members, I regret to inform that the following events have been cancelled or postponed.

1. The National Seminar and Championships (Dallas, TX) scheduled for late June is cancelled. This decision was very difficult but necessary, as my region had looked forward to hosting the events. The National Championships were held without interruption for the past 58 year. The SW Region will pick up where we left off, and welcome all our members in 2021 instead. Details will be posted online by January, 2021.

2. The much-anticipated WTKF World Championship is cancelled until further notice. Please consult the website at https://www.wtkfederation.org/competitions for further updates.

3. The AAKF Spring National Seminar (Madison, WI) is tentatively postponed till September, 2020; pending revised lockdown policies in the State of Wisconsin. An update will be provided as soon as final plan is in place.

Be advised that senseis in many regions are holding online training sessions. Online trainings are also held by international instructors of the World Traditional Karate-do Federation (www.wtkfederation.org/online). For local events, please consult your regional website or contact your Regional Director.

In particular, Sensei Mahmoud Tabassi of the Mid-Atlantic Region invites you to join him online at 5 PM, Monday and Wednesday, and at 2 PM, Saturday (East Coast Time). Please reach out to Sensei David Fosse ( mooncalf1313@yahoo.com ) for a weekly link to participate via Zoom.

Martial arts training instills purpose, resolve and a sense of discipline. Through training, we come to accept that uncertainty is inevitable, but seek solutions within our physical and mental reach. It is through aspiration of the spirit that we learn to wade through mental “discomfort zones.”

Apart from social-distancing, wellness practices help to ward off infections. Mokuso meditation in seiza strengthens our spirit. At-home kata training offers a transcending experience that removes us from tension and anxiety in these troubled times.

As a final note, I strongly encourage everyone to renew your AAKF annual membership. Your endorsement is the lifeline of our organization. Please make this effort to sustain our community, so that we can move forward together to a better future.

 

With best-health wishes to you and your family,

Sincerely yours,

 

Alex W. Tong,

President.