Here we are, at the end of an era in Chito-ryu, with Soke set to step down as Supreme Leader and Sodai ready to take on his new role. I must say, I have mixed feelings. I have enjoyed immensely my training with Soke on his many visits to Eastern Canada. In 2008, when the Higashi group left, Soke promised us that he would look after us and make annual visits to guide our training. He has proven to be a man of his word. He has not let us down.
Soke has spent the last number of years preparing Sodai, in every way, to take his rightful place as Soke of Chito-ryu. Now, he is asking us to accept and show our support for the new leader. Will it be different? Of course it will, but it can still be great. As I look around the globe at all the senior Chito-ryu people, I see a much different group than was there in 1984. I believe this group is loyal to Soke and to Chito-ryu. I do not foresee the kind of separation that occurred in the past. The one thing, of which I am certain, is that we will be much stronger if we stick together and not go off in separate directions.
Since 1984, Soke has cultivated this group and I feel it is up to us to come together to make Chito-ryu strong and ensure its success for many years to come. I look forward to Soke Cup 2023, and I urge everyone to join the worldwide Chito-ryu family in welcoming the new Soke.