This week in history (1 July – 7 July)

2 July

On 2 July 2013 Shoei Miyazato, a Kobayashi Shorin-ryu master and early student of Katsuya Miyahira (the successor to Chosin Chibana), died aged 85 years.

Although born in Okinawa, Miyazato attended elementary and high school in Osaka, Japan. As it was during the 2nd World War he had to undergo mandatory training in Kendo, Judo and military affairs.

At the age of 13 Miyazato began learning Shito-ryu from his uncle. At age 17 he also began to learn boxing.

Miyazato and his family eventually returned back to Okinawa from Japan. He decided to take his Karate training seriously, joining the dojo of Katsuya Miyahira. Miyazato progressed rapidly, eventually becoming Miyahira’s assistant instructor. 1955 he was the first student in the dojo to be awarded a black at the level of 3rd Dan.

In 1959 Miyazato, along with his wife, six children and his parents emigrated to Cordoba, Argentina. He opened his own dojo located on the roof of his house.

Miyazato taught in Cordoba for over fifty years, producing his first black belt in 1966. He would eventually have 60 schools in 15 Argentinian states, as well as schools in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain, Sweden and Israel. He received Argentinian residency in 1979. In honour of his contributions a monument was erected in Cordoba in 2007.

Miyazato was awarded his 6th Dan in 1965 and would eventually receive the rank of 8th Dan in 1974.

Even though Miyazato lived in Argentina, he kept in contact with his teacher, Miyahira, and other Okinawan masters. He even sent some of his students to train in Okinawa.

Shoei Miyazato died at his home from respiratory failure.


3 July

On 3 July 1965 Hirokazu Kanazawa took his first teaching trip to The British Karate Federation’s (BKF) York dojo. He was there for a week.

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On 3 July 1971 the 5th KUGB Championships were held at Crystal Palace, London. Terry O’Neill won his first ever KUGB kata title. G. Haslam became kumite champion. The Liverpool Red Triangle Club won its fifth straight team kumite title.

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On 3 July 2006 Christophe Pinna, one of the best competitors of his generation, was awarded the National Order of Merit for his services to sport. The ceremony was held at Beau Rivage Beach in Nice.


4 July

On 4 July 1935 Keinosuke Enoeda, a founding member of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), was born in Fukuoka, Japan, to a family of samurai lineage.

Enoeda began his martial arts training in Judo aged 7. He eventually reached the grade of 2nd Dan. He entered Takushoku University, aged 19, because of its strong Karate club. Enoeda was awarded the rank of 1st Dan in 1955, aged 21. He later captained the university’s famed Karate Club.

Graduating from Takushoku University with a degree in Economics, Enoeda eventually entered the JKA’s Instructor program in 1959, under the instruction of Masatoshi Nakayama and Hidetaka Nishiyama.  In 1963 he became the JKA All-Japan Karate kumite champion.

Following a brief stay in Hawaii, Enoeda was invited to the UK to assist Hirokazu Kanazawa in developing Karate in Britain. He mainly taught in Liverpool. He eventually became the Chief Instructor of the KUGB.

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On 4 July 1987 the English Karate Board (EKB) held its 3rd National Championships at the Crystal Palace, London. The EKB consisted of members from all the major styles of Karate in England and nine different associations took part in the individual and team events.

Like the previous year, Shotokan’s Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) won the majority of titles on offer. The KUGB won 12 golds, 8 silvers and 4 bronzes. Frank Brennan was once again the Grand Champion, winning both the individual kata and heavyweight kumite titles. He won a further 2 titles, winning the team kumite and team kata events.


5 July

On 5 July 1957 the first photographs of karateka training in Britain, appeared in the Romford Recorder. The photographs were part of an article, “Forbidden Sport Taught Here – Japanese Fights Often Ended in Death“, which was a follow-up to an article written on the 21 June.

The two photographs were taken at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch and show Vernon Bell countering attacks from Trevor Guilfoyle, a white belt at the time.


7 July

On 7 July 1995 Shukokai master, Shigeru Kimura, died following a massive heart attack. He was only 54 years at the time. He was a lifelong student of Shukokai founder Chojiro Tani.

Kimura was a two-time All-Japan kumite champion, and was dedicated to the promotion of Shukokai Karate around the world.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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