This week in history (1 Feb – 7 Feb)

1 February

On 1 February 1960, Michael Manning became the first British Karate Federation (BKF) student to grade to 1st kyu.

Manning was one of Vernon Bell‘s original Karate students. He was nineteen when he started training with Bell in Jiujitsu in 1956. Manning was described as having a withered right arm.

By the time he graded, Manning had been training for four years. He was an active member of the BKF, often teaching the beginners classes.

Unfortunately, Manning had his leg broken by Tetsuji Murakami during a hard training session. After this incident, Manning gave up Karate.


On 1 February 1981 American Shotokan legend, Osamu Ozawa, opened his new dojo in Las Vegas. Earlier that year he had organised the 1st Traditional Karate Tournament to publicise the opening of the new dojo. The event held at the Maxim Hotel and Casino would go on to become one of the biggest and prestigious traditional martial arts tournaments in the world.


4 February

On 4 February 1949, Michael Nursey, a founding member of the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA) was born.

Nursey started training in Karate when he was eighteen, under Keinosuke Enoeda and John Van Weenen. After achieving his 4th Kyu Nursey continued his training with Hirokazu Kanazawa, Shiro Asano and Michael Randall.

Nursey gained is 1st Dan in 1971 under Kanazawa. He gained his 2nd Dan in 1974 and his 3rd Dan in 1978, both under Kanazawa.

In 1979, together with Eddie Whitcher, Michael Randall, Greg Durrant, John Van Weenen and Chris and Nick Adamou, Nursey established the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA).


5 February

On 5 February 1964, Vernon Bell received his 1st Dan from the Japan Karate Association (JKA), following the British Karate Federation (BKF) formally agreeing to become the JKA’s agents in Britain. This was more of an honorary grade as Bell never took an actual grading examination.


6 February

On 6 February 2016, Takeshi Oishi was officially inaugurated as the new Vice Chief Instructor of the JKA.

A formidable fighter, Oishi is one of the longest-serving instructors at the JKA. Known for his exceptional timing, he was unbeaten in all competitions for over six years.


7 February

On 7 February 2004 Shotokan master Tetsuhiko Asai, was made an Honorary President of the Russian National Far East University in Vladivostok. This was in recognition for his contribution to the development of education, science and culture. He was presented with a pocket watch.

Author: Patrick Donkor

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.