This week in history (16 November – 22 November)

16 November

On 16 November 1928 Mitsusuke Harada was born in Dalian, China, then a part of the Japanese Empire.

Harada began his training in 1945, under Genshin Hironishi (a senior student of Gichin Funakoshi), at the original Shotokan dojo in Zoshigaya, Tokyo. He also had the opportunity to be taught by Yoshitaka Funakoshi.

In 1948 Harada entered Waseda University to study economics and commerce. There he met Shigeru Egami and Tsutomu Ohshima, both who would have a profound influence on his Karate.

On 16 November 1963 the British Karate Federation (BKF) became affiliated to the Japan Karate Association (JKA).

In a six-page letter to Masatomo Takagi, the JKA Managing Director, Vernon Bell formally agreed to the BKF severing ties with Yoseikan Karate with whom they had been affiliated since 1957. In the same letter Bell accepted a Shodan from the JKA.

Earlier that year Bell had written letters to the JKA seeking clarification of the BKF’s status. Bell had been led to belief that Yoseikan were the official body of Japanese Karate. In fact, Yoseikan specialized in teaching Judo and Aikido and were not authorized representatives of Karate in Europe.

On 16 November 2008, the 19th World Karate Championships, held at the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan ended.

Japan was the most successful country at their home tournament, winning a total of nine medals including four golds.

Luca Valdesi won his third individual world title at this tournament, with Antonio Diaz winning the silver.

Rafael Aghayev won two gold medals in the open and 70kg kumite events. He won his first individual title at the previous World Championships in 2006.

Hoang Ngan Nguyen continued her successful tournament career winning the women’s individual kata event.

17 November

On 17 November 1917 noted martial artist, Richard Kim, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kim began his martial arts training aged six, when his mother enrolled him in judo classes. In 1927 he began his Karate training after witnessing Okinawan master, Kentsu Yabu, giving a demonstration of Shorinji-ryu Karate at the Nuuanu YMCA in Hawaii. He went to Japan in 1930 to continue his training with Yabu.

Richard Kim also trained in Japan, in the combat style of Daito-ryu under Yoshida Kotaro.

Kim did not limit his training just to Shorinji-ryu and Daito-ryu. He studied Yang style Tai Chi from Chen Chin Wuan and also learnt Ba Gua from Chao Hsu Lie. He trained with Mas Oyama and eventually with Goju-ryu master, Gogen Yamaguchi.

18 November

On 18 November 2004 the 17th World Karate Championships were held at the Monterrey Arena, Monterrey, Mexico.

Goju-ryu practitioner Atsuko Wakai from Japan, won her fourth consecutive Word individual kata title. She is one of the most successful tournament competitors, having also won titles at the World Games, Asian Games and All-Japan Karate-do Championships.

Shotokan practitioner, Luca Valdesi, won his first World individual kata title. He won a second gold by helping Italy win the team kata event against the Japanese team. This was also his first world team kata title.

Shito-ryu practioner, Elisa Au from the United States won double gold in the +60-kg kumite and open kumite events. She is the first American woman to win a World title, having first won in 2002. +60-kg kumite event

The Japanese team topped the medal table winning four golds and one silver.

19 November

On 19 November 1963 Shotokai master, Mitsusuke Harada arrived in England from Belgium following an invitation from Judo great, Kenshiro Abbe. Harada had started his Karate training in 1943 under Gichin Funakoshi and Shigeru Egami.

Kenishiro Abbe’s organisation, the British Budo Council, had invited Harada to give a Karate demonstration at the Royal Albert Hall during the National Judo Championships, on 23 November 1963. Although billed as a Shotokan master in the event programme, Harada had already made the switch to Shotokai.

On 19 November 2011 Jacques Delcourt died. He played an important role in making Karate a truly global art. He was instrumental in helping to create the European Karate Union, the forerunner of many of top organisations in the world today.

Jacques Delcourt was born in Paris, France on 21 August 1928. During World War II he joined the resistance when he was only 15, eventually joining the Civil and Military Organisation (CMO). At age 16 he was wounded and assigned to the 110th Infantry Regiment.

Delcourt began his martial arts career with martial art great, Henri Plee, in the art of Judo. Plee was also his teacher when he later made the switch to lean Karate.

In 1961 Delcourt was appointed the head of French Karate, which at the time was still a branch of the Judo Federation.

In 1963 history was made when the first international Karate tournament took place in Paris. Delcourt and the French Federation were joined by federations from Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Great Britain. These federations went on to form the European Karate Federation (EKF) in 1965, with Delcourt becoming the organisation’s first president. In 1966, the first European Karate Championships were held in Paris

In 1970 the World Union of Karate-do Organisations (WUKO) was formed as an international governing body for the EKF and the Federation of All Japan Karate-do Organisation (FAJKO), with Delcourt becoming President of the organisation. At the insistence of FAJKO president, Ryoichi Sasakawa, the first World Karate Championships took place in Tokyo, Japan. In time WUKO would become the World Karate Federation (WKF).

Delcourt stepped down as President of the EKF in 1997. However, he was made an honorary President of the organisation. Between 1980 to 1992 he was a member of the French Olympic Committee.

Jacques Delcourt died on 19 November 2011 at his home in the South of France, aged eighty-three.

21 November

On 21 November 1982 the 6th World Championships commenced in Taipei, Taiwan, finishing on 25 November.

Japan continued their dominance of world Karate by topping the medal table with six golds, two silvers and four bronzes.

Mie Nakayama began her dominance of the women’s individual kata event by winning the first of her three individual titles. At the previous World Championships, she had won silver.

Seiji Nishimura, a student of Wado-ryu founder, Hironori Ohtsuka, won the men’s 70-kg kumite event.

The championships also saw the beginning of Britain’s dominance in men’s kumite at world level. Pat McKay and Geoff Thompson won individual honours, taking gold medals in the 80-kg and the +80-kg kumite events respectively. Alfie Borg won a silver in the 75-kg kumite event. Stewart McKinnon and Jerome Atkinson won bronze medals in the 60-kg and open kumite events. Britain took the team kumite event, beating Italy in the final. Britain finished second in the medal table with three golds, two silvers and four bronzes.

On 21 November 1984 Ray Dalke and several other senior American instructors formed the American JKA Karate Association (AJKA). They resigned from the ISKF. They were unhappy that instructors who had over twenty years of experience were not allowed to have a say in the direction of American Karate. It was ironic that this was the reason why the ISKF had split from the AAKF several years earlier.

22 November

On 22 November 1984, the second day of the 1992 World Championships took place at Maastricht, Netherlands.

For the first time in the championship’s history, Britain topped the medal table, winning a total of eight medals (four golds, one silver and three bronzes) ahead of Japan.

Britain’s main successes came in the kumite events. Pat McKay retained his 80-kg world title. Jim Collins won the 75-kg event with Cecil Hackett winning the bronze. Jerome Atkinson won the +80-kg title. Vic Charles won bronze in the open kumite event. Beverly Morris won bronze in the women’s 60-kg event. Yvette Bryan won a silver medal in the +60-kg kumite event.

Britain continued their dominance of the team kumite event, winning their second world team title in a row.

Japan dominated the kata event, winning four out of six available medals. In the men’s individual kata event Japan won gold and silver with Tsuguo Sakumoto and Masashi Koyama. This was the first of Sakamoto’s three individual world titles.

In the woman’s kata event, Mie Nakayama won gold, with Setsuko Takagi winning silver. This was Nakayama’s second consecutive world title.

On 22 November 1992 the final day of the 11th World Championships took place at Granada, Spain.

Spain topped the medal table at their home championships, winning a total of eleven medals (four golds, two silvers and five bronzes).

Spaniard, Luis Maria Sanz De La Hoz, competing in his second World Championships, beat Japan’s Ryoke Abe to become the first Shotokan karateka and first non-Japanese man to win the men’s kata title.

Great Britain Karate team won 4 golds, 1 Silver at the 11th in the kumite events. Willie Thomas (70-kg), Wayne Otto (75-kg) and Molly Samuel (60-kg) won gold with Jillian Toney (53-kg) winning silver. The men’s team won the team title.


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