This week in history (12 October – 18 October)

12 October

On 12 October 1939, American Shotokan pioneer, James Field was born in Sandy Bay, Jamaica. He and his family emigrated to the United States.

James Field was one of the first four Americans certified to teach Shotokan Karate in the United States. A technical martial artist, he was also a successful competitor.


On 12 October 2019, Shotokan Karate pioneer, James Field, celebrated his 80th birthday. His students threw him a birthday bash at his Santa Monica Dojo.


15 October

On 15 October 1924, Gichin Funakoshi resumed teaching at Keio University. This was a year after the “Great Kanto Earthquake” earthquake. Isao Obata and his fellow students had rebuilt the dojo.

The earthquake had taken place on 1 September 1923. It registered a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter Scale and devastated the cities of Tokyo, and Yokohama. An estimated 100,000+ people died. The Keio university dojo was among the many buildings to be destroyed in Tokyo. Also, the plates for Funakoshi’s book ” Okinawa Kenpo Karate” were lost.


On 15 October 1965, Tadashi Nakamura became the second man to complete the 100-Man Kumite Challenge. The ultimate mental and physical challenge had been previously completed by Steve Arneil.


On 15 October 1976, Kyokushin legend, Tadashi Nakamura, established the World Seido Karate Organisation.

Nakamura had wanted a style of Karate that represented his own beliefs. He established his own style called Seido Juku Karate. Seido means ‘Sincere Way‘.


17 October

On 17 October 1974 Doug James ran his very first beginner’s class at the Harrarby Community Center. The name of his club was the Cumbria School of Karate. This club would eventually become the headquarters (Hombu) of his association, the British Karate-Do Chojinkai Association (BKCA). The BKCA comprises of clubs in Cumbria, North Lancashire and the North East of England.

Born in 1946, James began studying Wado-ryu Karate under instructor Fred Kidd in 1967.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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