This week in history (13 August – 19 August)

14 August

On 14 August 1934 the founder of American Goju-ryu Karate, Peter George Urban, was born in Jersey City, USA. Serving in the US Navy he was stationed in Yokohama, Japan. In 1953 he began studying Karate as a student of Richard Kim. In 1954 he was transferred to Tokyo. There he was introduced by Kim to Masutatsu Oyama and Gogen Yamaguchi and was allowed to train with them.


On 14 August 1945 William ‘Billy’ Higgins, a member of the first non-Japanese team to win the World team kumite title in 1975, was born in Bootle, England. A phenomenal fighter famed for his lightning fast techniques, Higgins enjoyed a long and distinguished competitive career at domestic and international level. He is the winner of multiple titles at European and World level.


On 14 August 1960 the second British Karate Federation (BKF) Summer School was held at the Imperial Private Hotel in Scarborough, England. The ten-day residential course started on Sunday the 14th and finished on Thursday the 25th. Tetsuji Murakami was the instructor of the course and was assisted by Vernon Bell. Attendees were graded on the final day of the course.

On 19 July 1995 Japanese millionaire and patron of the martial arts, Ryoichi Sasakawa, died from heart failure aged 96 years. While not a practitioner of any martial art he had a long involment with arts such as Karate, as a benefactor and sponsor. He also held presidental positions in organistions such as the All Japan Karrate-Do Organisation (FAJKO) and the World Shorinji Kempo Organisation.

As head of FAJKO Sasakawa  gave the opening address at the 1st World Karate-Do Championship held in Japan in 1970.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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