This week in history (17 May – 23 May)

17 May

On 17 May 1969, Keinosuke Enoeda married Reiko Hayashi. Charles Naylor, who would become a stalwart of the KUGB was his best man. The newlyweds settled in Kingston Surrey.


18 May

On 18 May 1966, Wayne Otto, a multiple European and World Champion, was born in Hackney, London.

Otto is one of the most successful fighters to come out of Britain. He appears in the Guinness Book of Records, as having won the most Karate Championship medals for a male competitor. Nicknamed the “Black Shark” and the “Black Pearl” by his rivals, he was the backbone of many successful British and English teams coached by Ticky Donovan.


19 May

On 19 May 1991, Akira Masuda became the 12th man to complete the 100-Man Kumite Challenge. He was the last man to complete the challenge while Kyokushin Karate founder, Mas Oyama was alive.

The challenge, devised by Oyama, is famous for being one of the most difficult challenges in Karate. By the time Masuda faced his 60th opponent in the trial, he was extremely exhausted. He showed tremendous spirit in his last forty fights, fighting on pure instinct.


20 May

On 20 May 1942, Robin Rielly, American Shotokan Karate, was born.

Rielly began practising Karate in the early 1960s in Okinawa. He went on to become one of the first Americans to be promoted to 6th Dan in Shotokan. He was also the first American appointed to the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) Technical Committee.


On 20 May 1964, the Foreign Affairs Officer for the JKA, Kazuo Nagai, arrived in London as part of a feasibility tour of Europe. The purpose of the tour was for the JKA to send instructors to teach in Europe.


On 20 May 1989, Karate legend, Gogen (Jitsumi) Yamaguchi died in Tokyo, Japan. He was 80 years old. With Gosei Yamaguchi heading his own association in the United States, Gosen Yamaguchi became the head of the International Karatedo Gojukai Association (IKGA) and the All Japan Karate-Do Gojukai Association.


22 May

On 22 May 1962, Akira Masuda was born in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Like most Japanese boys, he was taught Judo at school. By the time he was in high school, he had become Captain of the school’s Judo team.

An exceptional fighter known for his strong kicks, Akira Masuda is one of a select few individuals to have completed the gruelling 100-man Kumite Challenge of Kyokushin Karate. He was the last man to complete the challenge in front of Kyokushin Karate founder, Mas Oyama.


On  22 May 1965, Steve Arneil turned up for his normal training session and was told he would be attempting the 100-Man Kumite Challenge. His first fight lasting around fifteen seconds ended with him knocking out his opponent. He would go on to knockout thirty-four of his opponents. He did lose some fights, but importantly he survived. The challenge lasted around two hours forty-five minutes. At the end of the challenge, his body was covered in bruises.


On 22 May 1994, around one hundred Caltech alumni gathered in the university’s gymnasium, to honor Tsutomu Ohshima on the occasion of his retirement. He had been a Caltech staff member for 37 years.


23 May

On 23 May 1952, Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu Karate, died at the age of 63. His eldest son, Kenei, succeeded him as the 2nd Chief Instructor of Shito-Ryu Karate-do. Many of his other top students founded their own versions of Shito-Ryu.


On 23 May 1971, Eddie Whitcher graded for 2nd Dan at the JKA headquarters in Tokyo, under Masatoshi Nakayama. He was the British subject to do this.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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