This week in history (16 March – 22 March)

17 March

On 17 March 1990, the 7th World Championships (3rd Shoto Cup) took place at the Crowtree Leisure Centre, Sunderland, England.

The two-day saw competitors from thirty countries taking part in seven events, i.e. four individual events and three team events.

18 March

On 18 March 1964 Shotokan legend Keinosuke Enoeda was promoted to 5th Dan, becoming the 25th person to be awarded the rank by the JKA.

On 18 March 1964 Christophe Pinna, one of the best competitors of his generation, was born in Nice, France.

Pinna was famed for his dynamic kicking ability, and he won multiple titles at European and World level.

On 18 March 1995 Kenji Yamaki, who would become World Champion later that year, completed the 100-Man Kumite Challenge in 3 hours 27 minutes.

Yamaki won 83 fights (22 by Ippon, 61 by decision); drew 12 flights; and lost five fights. He started to feel cramps in his legs after his 50th fight. After his 60th fight, his whole body hurt. After his 70th fight, he became groggy and could hardly stand. By this time his spirit and fighting instinct got him through the challenge.

20 March

On 20 March 1928, Gichin Funakoshi gave a Karate display with fifteen of his students, by Imperial invitation at the place grounds of Sainei-kan.

On 20 March 1955, the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Was founded. Masatoshi Nakayama was appointed Chief Instructor and Masatomo Takagi appointed Secretary of the association.

On 20 March 1957, Paul Mead was born. He is a former SKI British, European, and World Champion.

On 20 March 1999, Thomas LaPuppet died after a four-year-long battle with cancer. He was survived by his wife Mary Caroll-LaPuppet and their son Thomas Marice.

Known as the “Gentleman of Karate“, Thomas LaPuppet was a pioneer of American karate. A ferocious competitor, he was nicknamed “La Puppet (The Puppet)” for his ability to mimic other fighters.

22 March

On 22 March 1995 Brazilian, Francisco Filho, a future World Champion, attempted the 100-Man Kumite Challenge.

Filho completed the challenge in 3 hours 8 minutes. He won 76 flights (26 by Ippon, 50 by decision); drew 24 fights; and lost 0 fights. To date, Filho is the only man (apart from Mas Oyama) to complete the challenge twice, successfully.

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    • Barry Rodgers on March 16, 2020 at 2:53 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Patrick. Is this correct. “On 20 March 1955, the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Was founded”? While there is some confusion over 1948 vs 1959, The JKA site references 1948 for the JKA founding.

    1. Hello Barry.

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. You are correct that there is some confusion as to the date the JKA was founded. The following film says that the JKA was founded in 1948/49 after the war when Funakoshi’s students got together ( I think the 1959 date refers to when various groups like the Shotokai and some of the university clubs left the original JKA, following disagreements over Funakoshi’s funeral arrangements.

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