On 8 January 1933, Chuck Merriman, a pioneer of Goju-Ryu Karate in America was born in Waterford, Connecticut.
For many years Chuck Merriman has been one of the most recognisable faces in Karate. This American Karate pioneer has featured on the cover of many martial arts publications. He has been instrumental in popularising Goju-Ryu Karate around the world.
On 8 January 1945 Pauline Bindra (nee Laville), who holds the distinction of being the first woman in Britain to earn a JKA (Japan Karate Association) black belt in Karate, was born in Middlesbrough, England.
A student of Keinosuke Enoeda, Pauline Bindra has had a great influence on British Karate. Apart from the personal accolades of being the first female black belt in Britain and one of the highest-ranked female Shotokan practitioners in the world; she also taught and influenced many of the top Shotokan instructors currently teaching in the UK. She was a founding member of several major Karate governing bodies in the UK. She helped found her own successful association and established a successful martial arts equipment company.
Pauline Laville-Bindra can be rightly thought of as a Karate pioneer.
On 8 January 1981, Shigeru Egami died from a brain tumour. He was 68 years old. An early student of Gichin and Yoshitaka Funakoshi, it is a pity that many karatekas in the West know very little about this elite martial artist. He fully understood Gichin Funakoshi’s belief that Karate was more than a physical pursuit. He understood that Karate had a very strong mental element to it.