This week in history (2 April – 8 April)

On April 4, 1947 Mikio Yahara, one of the most dynamic fighters to come out of the JKA, was born in Ehime Prefecture.

Yahara is a firm believer in a budo approach to Karate. In 2000 he broke away from the JKA to form his own organisation, Karatenomichi World Federation (KWF). The organisation is built on the principle of “one strike, one kill” where all techniques are practiced with a martial mindset.

On April 5, 1870 founder of Motobu Ryu, Chōki Motobu, was born in Okinawa.

Motobu was the third son of a noble family. As a third son he was not allowed to learn the family martial art of Motobu Udundi. This meant he trained under various Okinawan masters such as Anko Itosu, and Sokon Matsumura. A street fighter, he would get into fights using the techniques he had learnt.

On April 7, 2004 , American Karate pioneer, Peter Urban died.

Urban began training in Goju-ryu Karate under Richard Kim in Japan when he was eighteen. He later trained with two other Karate legends in Gogen Yamaguchi and Mas Oyama.

In 1959 Urban started teaching Goju-ryu, introducing the Karate style to the United States. In 1966 he founded the American Goju Association.

On April 8, 1944 Michael Randall, who was training in Karate prior to the arrival of the JKA in Britain, was born.

Randall joined the British Karate Federation (BKF) in 1964. As a member of the BKF he had the opportunity to train under Tetsuji Murakami and Hiroo Mochizuki.

After the arrival of the JKA in 1965, Randall began training with Hirokazu Kanazawa. He was a part of Kanazawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ alongside Eddie Whitcher, Nick Adamou, Chris Adamou, Mick Peachey, Will Mannion and Jack Johnson. They were a group of students totally dedicated to training with Kanazawa.

In 1967 Randall received his 1st Dan from Kanazawa.

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