On this day….(January 20)

On 20 January 1909 Gōju-ryu legend, Gōgen Yamaguchi, was born. Nicknamed the Cat, he was famed for his feline-like speed and prowess. Yamaguchi was a direct student of Gōju-ryu Karate founder, Chojun Miyagi. He began training with him in 1929.

On 20 January 1938 Cyril Cummins, a pioneer of Shotokan in Central England, was born. Cummins began his Karate training in 1964 at the Kyu-Shin-Kan School of Judo Ltd, located in Birmingham. His initial instructors were Jonny Brown, Tommy Ryan and Les Hart. They had learnt their Karate mainly from Hidetaka Nishiyama‘s book, Karate: The Art of ‘Empty-Hand Fighting. They eventually joined the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB). Cummins gained his 1st Dan in 1966 from the Budo of Great Britain. After training with Hirokazu Kanazawa, he re-took his Dan grade under the auspices of the JKA/KUGB.

On 20 January 1984, the 3rd World Open Tournament took place in Tokyo, Japan. The three-day event (20-22 January) was organised by Mas Oyama’s International Karate Organisation (IKO). 192 competitors from 60 countries took part in the tournament. Japan claimed the top three positions. Makoto Nakamura defeated Keiji Sanpei in the final. Akiyoshi (Shokei) Matsui finished in third place.

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