Spotlights of 2015

2015 has been a good year for this site. Here are some of the Spotlight posts that have helped to esablish the site.

Rafael Aghayev

SPOTLIGHT: Rafael Aghayev – The Panther of the East

Described as “The Saviour of WKF Karate Kumite”, Rafael Aghayev is a multiple European and World champion in kumite in several weight categories,  and one of the most successful tournament competitors of his generation. Antonio Espinosa, WKF president, has described him as “A brilliant of the world karate”.

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Vernon Bell The Father of British KarateSPOTLIGHT: Vernon Bell – The Forgotten Pioneer

Over the years, Bell’s name has been largely forgotten in favor of  other notable instructors such as Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda and Masao Kawasoe. It could be argued that without Bell karate would not have developed such a following in the United Kingdom. Bell has rightly been called “the Father of British Karate”.

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Pauline Bindra

SPOTLIGHT: Pauline Laville-Bindra – Shotokan’s Tigress

Pauline Laville-Bindra is a true pioneer in the world of karate. She was the first woman in Britain to earn a JKA (Japan Karate Association) black belt in karate, and went on to train for over forty years, eventually reaching the rank of 8th dan and becoming one of the highest graded female Shotokan practitioners in the world.

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Antonio Jose Diaz

SPOTLIGHT: Antonio Diaz – Mr Consistent

Antonio Jose Diaz Fernandez, to give him his full name, is one of the most impressive and consistent tournament kata competitors of his generation. His kata performances are both rhythmic and dynamic at the same time.

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Michael Milon

SPOTLIGHT: Michael Milon – The Shooting Star of Karate

Widely regarded as a true legend in the world of tournament karate, Michael Milon was one of the most famous and talented karateka of the late 1990s. Milon was considered an inovative competitor, his kata performances characterized by quick, fluid and powerful techniques.

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Masatoshi Nakayama.fw

SPOTLIGHT: Masatoshi Nakayama – A Legacy of Excellence

It could be argued that no person has done more to expand Shotokan karate around the the World, thus  carrying on the legacy of Gichin Funakoshi, than his long time student and anointed successor, Masatoshi Nakayama. As the cheif the instructor of the Japan Karate Association (JKA), he oversaw the expansion of Shotokan Karate from an art practiced only in Japan, to an art practiced internationally by a diverse range of people.

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Tsuguo Sakumoto 3-Time WKF World Champion

SPOTLIGHT: Tsuguo Sakumoto – A Legend In His Own Time

Tsuguo Sakumoto is unmistakable with his clean shaven head and his intense gaze. He is a three time WKF World Champion in kata and when watching him one cannot fail to be mesmerized by his power, speed and grace. By wining successive world championships with the kata Anan, he put the Okinawan family style of Ryuei-ryu karate on the international map.

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Luis Maria Sanz

SPOTLIGHT: Luis Maria Sanz De La Hoz – The “Last Link”

Described as “the last link between traditional and competitive karate” Luis Maria Sanz holds a notable place in karate, being the first non-Japanese man and the first Shotokan Karateka to become WKF World champion in 1992.

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Rika Usami

SPOTLIGHT: Rika Usami – The Kata Queen

This diminutive Japanese lady ranks as one of the most recognizable faces in the world of tournament Karate. Rika Usami’s kata performances are mesmerizing displays of grace, strength, and speed, all in equal measure.

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Luca Valdesi

SPOTLIGHT: Luca Valdesi – The King of Tournament Kata

Luca Valdesi is widely regarded as one of the greatest tournament kata competitors. He is a 22-time European Champion and 6-time World Champion in individual and team kata. His performances are characterized by his strength and rhythm.

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Eddie Witcher.fw SPOTLIGHT: Eddie Whitcher – Embodying the spirit of Karate-do

Described as “embodying the spirit of Karate-do”, Eddie Whitcher started training at the  dawn of karate in the United Kingdom. He was the first British subject to earn the grade of 3rd Dan from the Japanese Karate Association (JKA) at their Tokyo headquarters, in 1971.

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Have a great 2016.


Author: Patrick Donkor

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