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.
I attended the London Karate Club in Holborn in 1966 under the tuition of Charles Mack.
Charles also ran a training program at the Budokwai in South Kensington. The style was Shotokan.
I broke my leg at the London Budokwai delivering a roundhouse kick against a Persian combatant, who blocked my kick with a high knee. I was transported St. Stephens hospital and was unable to work for three months.
Charles Mack was a very powerful player. I believe his strength came from his judo. He was 5th Dan Judo, 2nd Dan Karate and 1st Dan Aikido when I knew him. I believe he was the first westerner to earn three Dan grades in different martial art disciplines.
Charles Mack lived in Worlds End with his Japanese wife. For some years he had lived in Japan where he taught English.
Thank you for the comment Mr Evans.
I greatly appreciate you providing more insight Charles Mack. I feel there is a need to shed light on many of the pioneers who paved the way for the art we love so much.
Thank you for your speedy reply Patrick.
Great reverence was shown to the art in those early days, and the styles were pure, unadulterated by western ways.
Charles Mack fostered training that incorporated a healthy component of free sparring, kumite, as well as kata.
Other training programs, such as the Blackfriars club run by Kanazawa, who was at that time an All Japan Champion, were more focused on kata.
I can recall being lifted off my feet with a yoko geri while three step sparring with Charles Mack. The kick was delivered in a relatively slow fashion, but was strong enough to cause my feet to leave the ground.
Charles Mack was a powerfully built man, and I at that time was probably a little under 10 stone.
I also recall being thrown down the hall at the Holborn club, when he wanted to demonstrate how to provide a strong blocking technique by having others hold his arm to prevent the motion.
Charles Mack was a great early contributor to the teaching of Shotokan Karate in London. I would be very interested to learn of people’s experiences of training with Charles Mack.
Like you, I would be very interested in learning more about Charles Mack (and other instructors). It is very easy to forget some of the great martial artists that have preceded us.
I trained under Charles Mack in the early 80s in Victoria London , he certainly stood out as an excellent instructor , I used to help with the warming up of the students prior to Mr Mack teaching .
He was brilliant , much admired by all present
Thank you for your information on Charles Mack.
As I have recorded elsewhere, I trained with Charles Mack at the London Karate Club in Holborn and at the London Budokwai.
I believe he was the first European to gain Dan grades in Japan in three martial arts.
When I trained with him in 1966 he held:
Judo 5th Dan
Karate 2nd Dan
Aikido 1st Dan