In 2016 we featured some very talented martial artists in our Spotlight section. Yet again researching and writing these Spotlights was a real pleasure. There are many spotlights scheduled for 2017 so please visit the site regularly.
Although his name is not immediately recognizable as some other Okinawan masters, Kenko Nakaima is responsible for making the family karate style of Ryūei-ryū open to the wider public. It is this style that introduced the kata Anan to the karate tournament world.
For many, Yoshimi Inoue’s name will be associated with the many great kata champions he coached, that included Mie Nakayama, Atsuko Wakai and Ryoko Abe. However, Inoue was more than a great coach. He was a martial artist first and foremost. What made him a unique and successful coach was that he saw competition as being just one part of karate. He still stressed the martial aspects of karate in his day to day training.
It is arguable that the name Jim Alcheik is not as revered as it should be in martial arts circles. Alcheik was a true pioneer of martial arts in Europe, being one of the first Europeans to train in Japan. He was proficient in Aikido, Kendo, Karate and Judo. Vernon Bell, the father of British Karate, described him as the greatest martial artist to come out of Europe. However, for many the name of Jim Alcheik has been largely forgotten.
Shigeru Egami has been described as fearsome and possessing both physical and psychological strength. Although not commonly recognized in the West, Egami is considered Gichin Funakoshi’s one student who most closely followed his Principles, especially in the believe that Karate was not just a physical pursuit.
The true essence of Karate is the forging of one’s character/spirit through hard training. No man typifies this principle more than Steve Arneil. He was the second man to complete the grueling One Hundred Man Kumite Challenge, after the great Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama.
Takayuki Mikami has had a lot of firsts in his Karate journey. He was one of the first students enrolled on the JKA Instructor course. He was also the first professional JKA instructor to teach full-time in a foreign country.people.
For people of a certain generation in the United Kingdom the name Ticky Donovan is synonymous with British Karate. As a competitor he was part of a World Championship winning team. As a coach and manager he guided the British Karate team a golden era of success at world level.
Aidan Trimble is one of those special martial artists who has managed to navigate the path between having a successful tournament career and also remaining true to the traditions of Karate. A talented fighter, once listed as one of the top ten greatest fighters, he has won numerous honors. As head of The Federation of Shotokan Karate he has carried on the strong traditions found in Karate.
Have a great 2017.