This week in history (10 September – 16 September)

10 September

On 10 September 1965 Charles Mack became the first British subject awarded a 2nd Dan in Shotokan Karate from the Japan Karate Association (JKA). Masatoshi Nakayama awarded him his grade at the JKA’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Mack had previously been awarded his 1st Dan by Nakayama three years earlier, becoming the first British subject awarded a 1st Dan by the JKA in Japan.

In the same year Mack was also awarded a 5th Dan from the Kodakan, the home of Japanese Judo. He received his grade from Risei Kano, son of Judo founder Jigaro Kano.


11 September

On 11 September 1934 Colin Williams, the founder of the Bukonkai Karate International (BKI) association, was born. He started training in the early days of Karate in the United Kingdom.

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On 11 September 1970 Michael Randall, Christopher Adamou and Nicholas Adamou graded to 2nd Dan under Hirokazu Kanazawa. All three men had started their Karate training with the British Karate Federation (BKF) in 1964.

When Kanazawa began teaching for the BKF Randall and the Adamou brothers trained relentlessly with him and became part of a group of students, including Eddie Whitcher, Mike Peachey, Will Mannion and Jack Johnson, known playfully as the Seven Samurai who were totally devoted to him.

When the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) was formed, they were among the students who followed Kanazawa to the new organisation. All three men earned their 1st Dan from Kanazawa in 1967.


12 September

On 12 September 1961 Molly Irene Samuel , one of the most successful British competitors, was born in Paddington, West London.

Samuel was Britain’s first individual female World Karate Federation (WKF) World Champion. She was a pioneer of women’s competitive Karate, paving the way for many of Britain’s future world champions. Her major honors include:

  • World Championships, Individual Kumite (-60-kg) – 1st Place (1992)
  • World Championships, Individual Kumite (-60-kg) – 2nd Place (1986)
  • World Championships, Individual Kumite (-60-kg) – 3rd Place (1990)
  • World Championships, Team Kumite – 1st Place (1992)
  • World Games, Individual Kumite (-60-kg) – 1st Place (1993)
  • World Cup, Individual Kumite (-60-kg) – 1st Place (1987, 1989, 1993)
  • World Cup, Team Kumite – 1st Place (1990, 1991, 1992 1994)
  • World Cup, Team Kumite – 2nd Place (1989, 1993)
  • European Championships, Individual Kumite (-60-kg) – 1st Place (1986, 1987, 1989, 1992)
  • European Championships, Team Kumite – 1st Place (1990, 1992)
  • European Championships, Team Kumite – 2nd Place (1991, 1993)
  • British Championships, Individual Kumite (-60-kg) – 1st Place (1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992)
  • British Championships, Team Kumite (-60-kg) – 1st Place (1987, 1988, 1990, 1992)
  • English Championships, Individual Kumite (-60kg) – 1st Place (1985, 1986, 1987 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994)
  • English Championships, Team Kumite – 1st Place (1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994)

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On 12 September 1971 Atsuko Wakai, a four-time kata World Champion, was born in Gifu, Japan.

Wakai is the only woman to win four consecutive world kata titles. This feat earned her an entry in the Guinness Book of Records and made her one of the most dominant world champions, male or female.  Her major honours include:

  • World Championships – Individual kata – 1st place (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004)
  • World Games – Individual kata – 1st place (1997, 2001, 2005)
  • World Cup – Individual kata – 1st place (1997)
  • Asian Karate Championships – 1st place (1997, 1999, 2001, 2004)
  • Asian Games – Individual kata – 1st place (1998, 2002)

Author: Patrick Donkor

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