This week in history…(11 September – 17 September)

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.


On 11 September 1970 Michael Randall, Christopher Adamou and Nicholas Adamou graded were 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.


On 11 September 1982, Yoshinobu Ohta arrived at Heathrow Airport, in London, with Matsuo Kon. They were met by Keinosuke Enoeda.

Ohta replaced Hideo Tomita as Enoeda’s new assistant. He had been recommended by Katsunori Tsuyama. He would be Enoeda’s assistant for the next 20 years. He mainly assisted Enoeda at his Marshall Street dojo, in London. He also assisted in various courses, seminars and teaching duties.


On 11 September 2001, the world was shocked by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. The attack hit Tadashi Nakamura and Seido Karate on a personal level. New York fire captain, Pat Brown, a first responder, died in the attack. Brown was a Seido Sensei.


12 September

On 12 September 1961, Molly Samuel, a multiple European and World Champion, 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 honours 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)

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

At the time Wakai was 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)

14 September

On 14 September 2011, Edward ‘Bobby’ Lowe died peacefully in his sleep Edward ‘Bobby’ Lowe died peacefully in his sleep on 14 September 2011, at Queens Hospital Honolulu, Hawaii. He was survived by his wife Betty, daughter Barbara, and son Michael.

Known as the ‘Instructor’s Instructor‘, Lowe was Mas Oyama’s oldest and most senior student. He was Oyama’s first uchi-deshi (live-in student). He opened the first Kyokushin school outside of Japan.


15 September

On 15 September 1938, Fumio Demura, a pioneer of American Karate, was born in Yokohama, Japan.

Demura arrived in the US in 1965 at the invitation of another American pioneer, Dan Ivan. He started teaching at Ivan’s dojo.


Between 15 September to 5 October 1976, Motokuni Sugiura visited several universities in the United States to see how Karate was being taught. He was a Professor of General Education at Asia University. He accompanied the Asia University Alumni Association on a number of trips to see how Karate was being taught around the world. He had previously visited Malaysia to see how Karate was being taught in the country.


17 September

On 17 September 1936, Norman Robinson, a legend of South African Shotokan Karate alongside the likes of Stan Schmidt, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was the youngest of eight children (five boys and three girls). His father Jack, was a famous Judo instructor who helped introduce the sport to South Africa.


On 17 September 1966, Shigeru Oyama, no relation to the Kyokushin founder Mas Oyama, took the 100-Man Kumite Challenge. A renowned fighter, he was undefeated in Japan. During his challenge, he had 122 fights. He is quoted as saying:

100 kumite is the hardest thing I ever did in my life. It is probably the hardest thing anyone can do in the Karate world. You don’t beat the 65th man with your body. That’s all gone by then. You beat him with your spirit.
Shigeru Oyama


On 17 September 1988, the 1st Sursee Cup was held in Sursee, Switzerland. The Open Weight Tournament was organised by the Swiss Karate Association. Andy Hug defeated Kenji Midori in the final.


On 17 September 2005, the Japanese Cultural Centre of Hawaii recognised Bobby Lowe for his contributions to Karate. He and fellow recipient, James Miyagi were presented with their awards at the Celebration of Lifetime Achievement dinner, held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Known as the ‘Instructor’s Instructor‘, Lowe was Mas Oyama’s oldest and most senior student. He was Oyama’s first uchi-deshi (live-in student). He opened the first Kyokushin school outside of Japan.

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1 comment

    • Terry Titmus on September 11, 2023 at 10:01 am
    • Reply

    The Adamou brothers were my very first Senseis, they taught me Shotokan at the Walthamstow YMCA in 1970. I was fortunate to be graded by Kanazawa when he visited.

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