This Week in history (11 December – 17 December)

12 December

On 12 December 1965 Hirokazu Kanazawa held his first grading at the British Karate Federation’s Nottingham dojo.

The British Karate Federation had arranged with the Japan Karate Association (JKA) for Kanazawa to reside in the United Kingdom for a year, teaching Shotokan karate.

13 December

On 13 December 1947 Tsuguo Sakumoto was born in the Okinawan village of Onna.

Sakumoto  is a practitioner of Ryuei-ryu is an Okinanwan style of karate created by the Nakaima family. He is also a three time Karate World Champion, winning in 1984 (Maastrict), 1986 (Sydney) and 1988 (Cairo). He is also a two-time winner of the World Games (1985 and 1989) and a two-time winner of the World Cup(1987 and 1989).

At the time of writing Sakumoto is the president of the World Karate Kobudo Ryuei-Ryuho-Kai. He is also the Technical Chairman of the World Karate Federation (WKF).


On 13 December 1958 Vernon Bell makes the mention of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) for the first time, in a letter to Henri Plee. It seems he had only recently become aware of their existence. Bell and his association, the British Karate Federation (BKF), were affliated to Yoseikan karate

14 December

On 14 December 1963 The First European karate competition held at the Pierre Coubertin Stadium, Paris, France.

France, Belgium and Britain were the only countries that participated in a triangular team tournament.

The British team were representatives of Vernon Bell’s British Karate Federation (BKF). The team consisted of Brian Hammond, Andy Sherry, Ron Mills, Jimmy Neal and Terry Wingrove. Hammond was a 4th kyu, with the rest of the team being brown belts. The other teams consisted mainly of black belts.

Tournament karate was still a relatively new sport. It could be bloody affair, with competitors being knocked out and sometimes being carried away on stretchers. The Belgians defeated the British 2-1, but lost to the French 4-0. The French beat the British 3-1, thus winning the entire tournament.

15 December

On 15 December 1958 the 2nd French National Karate Tournament was held at rue du Gabon, Paris, France.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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