On this day….(June 17)

On this day, 17 June 1938, the Chief Instructor for the JKA in Belgium, Satoshi Miyazaki was born in Sagai, Japan.

Miyazaki began practicing judo at the age of twelve. He began his Karate practice, aged fifteen, training with a neighbor. Training was tough as was normal for the time and he loved it. On completing high school he took and passed his black belt grading before Goju-ryu master, Mahatokai.

In 1956 Miyazaki enrolled at Takushoku University to study economics, having been persuaded by Masatoshi Nakayama to do so. He joined the university’s famed Shotokan Karate school as a white belt, studying under Nakayama. Nakayama would be his instructor for the next eleven years. As expected, training was tough and intensive.

Miyazaki eventually became a member of the Takushoku Karate team that included Shiro Asano, Hideo Ochi, Kazumi Tabata and Katsuya Kisaka. The team were very successful, winning the All-Japan University Championships.

On completing his degree, Miyazaki was asked by Nakayama to enroll on the 1961 JKA Instructor Course. Others enrolled on that year’s course included Ueki Masaaki and Keinosuke Enoeda.

Many of the graduates of the JKA’s instructor Course eventuall left Japan to spread the JKA’s brand of Karate. Miyazaki eventually got the chance to travel abroad in 1967, when he was asked to take over from Taiji Kase, who had been teaching in Belgium for six months.

Miyazaki became the Technical Director of the Belgian Karate Federation (BAKF), a position he held until his untimely death in 1993. Apart from establishing Shotokan Karate in Belgium, Miyazaki taught many courses across Europe.

Miyazaki was very loyal to the JKA and never got involved in the internal politics that occurred, following the death of his mentor Masatoshi Nakayama.

Following an operation for a stomach condition in 1992, Miyazuki resumed his teaching and training. He only let a select number of confidants know just how serious his condition was. On 31 May 1993 Satoshi Miyazaki died from stomach cancer aged only fifty-five. A measure of the man was that being in a lot of pain and had knowing for a year that his condition was terminal, he continued teaching and training.

Miyazaki was cremated in a Buddhist ceremony attended by many of the top Japanese Instructors. Half of his ashes were flown back to Japan with the other half remaining at his Brussels dojo.


Author: Patrick Donkor

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