This week in history (16 July – 22 July)

18 July

On 18 July 1959 Tetsuji Murakami made his first ever visit to England to teach for the British Karate Federation (BKF). He also conducted a number gradings at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch, Essex. 

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On 18 July 1963 Vernon Bell received a letter from his German counterpart, Jurgen Seydel, informing him that Tetsuji Murakami was not an official representative of the JKA in Europe. Murakami had made the claim that he was a member of the JKA and was thier sole representative in Europe.


19 July

On 19 July 1957 Hoang Nam, working on behalf of the French Karate Federatiom, conducted his first lesson and grading for the British Karate Federation at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch, Essex. 

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On 19 July 1957 the first black and white film was taken by Independent Television News (ITN) showing Karate training in Britain. It features Hoang Nam, Vernon Bell and students training at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch, Essex. 

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On 19 July 1959 Vernon Bell graded to 2nd Dan in Yoseikan Karate under Tetsuji Murakami. At the same grading Michael Manning became the first British Karate Federation student to grade to 2nd Kyu.

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On 19 July 1960 the first known contact via letter is made between Vernon Bell and Minoru Mochizuki. Mochizuki holds a special place in martial arts history. He is one of the few men to have been a student of Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba; Judo founder Jigaro Kano; and Shotokan Karate founder Gichin Funakoshi.

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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 he gave the opening address at the 1st World Karate-Do Championship held in Japan in 1970. 


20 July

On 20 July 1957 the first public demonstration of Karate in Britain was given by the British Karate Federation (BKF) at Valentines Park, Ilford. 


21 July

On 21 July 2010 the Karate world was shocked to hear of the death of Pauline Bindra from a brain aneurysm. She was survived by her husband Lee and their three children Danny, Elida and Jason. At the time of death she was one of the highest ranked female Shotokan practitioners.


22 July

On 22 July 1967 the 1st KUGB Championships took place at the Alexandra Palace in London. Jack Green won the individuke kumite title, with Andy Sherry winning the individual kata title. Liverpool Red Triangle won the first of its five consequtive team kumite titles. 

Author: Patrick Donkor

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