On this day….(June 21)

On this day, 21 June 1957, journalist John Greenhaigh wrote perhaps the first ever article on Karate in Britain. The article appeared in the Romford Recorder newspaper.

The piece, entitled “…..is Bringing ‘Killer’ Sport to Britain”, starts with the following paragraph:

A short, chubby-faced Hornchurch man is to introduce a killer sport to Britain. He is 33-year old ‘black-belt’ jujitsu and karate expert, Vernon Bell, of 137 Hillview Avenue, Emerson Park. At his parents’ house at 12, Maybush Road, Hornchurch, twelve students practice karate, in which each blow is meant to kill or cripple.

The article goes on to provide some inaccurate facts, such as karate being a three thousand year old art or a Karate black belt stopping a large bull with a flick of his wrist. It was easy to exaggerate as the general public were largely uninformed about Karate.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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