This week in history (16 August – 22 August)

16 August

On 16 August 1940, Kiyoshi Yamazaki was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. His father was a Kendo master, who taught his Kiyoshi Yamasaki and his brother, martial arts from an early age.

A student of one of the greatest Karate Masters of the 20th century in Yasuhiro Konishi, Kiyoshi Yamazaki has endeavoured to pass on many of his master’s lessons.

17 August

On 17 August 2000, Andy Hug was diagnosed with acute leukaemia, a type of cancer affecting blood and bone marrow. He had been feeling weak for some time. He was admitted to a hospital in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. Six days later he fell into a coma from which he did not wake.

18 August

Between 18-19 August 2001, Karin Prinsloo had her biggest international success, at the 6th World Games held in Akita, Japan. She won gold in the -60 kg Kumite event. She defeated Kellie Anne Shimmings of Australia, in the final. She was South Africa’s only Karate representative at the Games.

19 August

On 19 August 1992, the Japan Karatedo Rengokai awarded Ryusho Sakagami the rank of 10th Dan.

Sakagami was known as a walking encyclopedia on various martial arts by his contemporaries and dedicated his life to the pursuit of Budo. Apart from Karate he also held ranks in Kubodo (8th Dan); Aikido (5th Dan); Iaido (8th Dan); Jodo(7th Dan); Judo (5th Dan); and Kendo (7th Dan).

On 19 August 2014, Henri Plee, the “Father of European Karate“, died aged 91 years.

It was through Plee’s inquisitiveness that many of us have had the opportunity to practice the art we love. His encouragement of the likes of Vernon Bell and others has seen Karate spread across Europe and become a martial art practised by many.

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