On this day, 4 March 1952, David Frederick Hazard, a well-respected Shotokan karate practitioner, was born in Bow, London.
Dave Hazard began his karate training aged sixteen at the KUGB affiliated Blackfriars Karate Club, under the instruction of Keinosuke Enoeda. Like most martial artists who had started training at the time, Hazard had begun his training in judo.
In 1972 Hazard was awarded his 1st Dan by Enoeda and was awarded his 2nd Dan in 1974. Upon the recommendation of Enoeda, Hazard travelled to Japan to train at the JKA headquarters at Ebisu, Tokyo, taking the infamous JKA Instructor’s course. In 1977 he received his 3rd Dan from Masatoshi Nakayama.
Hazard returned to England in 1978, becoming a full time instructor affiliated with the KUGB.
In the early 1980s, twenty clubs in the South of England broke away from the KUGB to form the South of England Karate Union, which later changed its name to the Shotokan of England Karate Union (SEKU). The association was led by the respected Mike Dewey. With the expansion of the association, in 1985 Dewey asked his long time friend Hazard to join SEKU as Technical Director.
After nineteen years with SEKU, Hazard left in 2003 to form his own association, the Academy of Shotokan Karate (ASK), with the intention of promoting excellence in Shotokan as a martial art rather than a sport. The aim of ASK was endorsed by Keinosuke Enoeda, whose principles were used as guidelines for the association.
In 2007 an autobiography, Born Fighter, about Dave Hazard’s life was published.
On this day, 4 March 1962, Charles Mack was graded to 1st Dan by Masatoshi Nakayama at the JKA headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. This earned Mack the dual distinction of being the first British subject to be awarded a Shotokan Dan grade in Japan and also the first British subject to be awarded a JKA black belt.
Mack was also an accomplished judo practitioner who was awarded his 1st Dan in 1953. He moved to Japan in 1958 to further his judo. He started training at the JKA headquarters in Tokyo, where four years later he was awarded his 1st Dan.
While in Japan Mack also earned black belts in jujitsu and aikido.
Mack returned to Britain in 1965 and started teaching karate in Holborn, London. With the blessing of Nakayama he set up the International Shotokan Karate Association.