This week in history…(2 October – 8 October)

4 October

On 4 October 1924, Motokuni Sugiura, a former Chief Instructor of the JKA, was born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

Sugiura earned his 1st Dan aged only 20. At university, he had been taught by Gichin Funakoshi and his son Yoshitaka. After he graduated in 1944 he joined the Tsuchiura Navy Flying Corps, serving for a year.

After leaving the Navy he resumed his Karate training under Masatoshi Nakayama. By 1955 he had earned the grade of 3rd Dan. He started working full-time for the JKA in their Guidance Division. In 1957 he was appointed Director of the JKA and was assigned to managing the instructors at the main dojo in Tokyo.

In 1991 he was appointed the second Chief Instructor of the JKA. The following year he was awarded his 9th Dan.

Between 4-6 October 2019, the 11th Kodosai Japanese Cultural Event was held at the Holiday Inn in Basildon, Essex. The event coincided with the 70th Anniversary of Basildon as a new town.

Terry Daly was one of 26 instructors from around the world invited to promote friendship through martial arts.

5 October

On 5 October 1955, Guujse van Mourik was born in the central Netherlands town of Zeist. Her early exposure to martial arts was through the sport of Judo. She would eventually receive the grade of 2nd Dan. She competed in the Dutch Championships and won medals on four occasions (1974, 1976, 1978, 1979).

6 October

On 6 October 1936, Stan Schmidt, a pioneer of South African Shotokan Karate, was born in Kokstad, South Africa.

Sometimes called the “Father of South African Karate“, Schmidt was at the forefront of establishing Shotokan Karate in South Africa as a member of the Japan Karate Association (JKA). He is one of the highest-ranked Westerners in the JKA.

Schmidt has been described as the best non-Japanese Shotokan sensei by the likes of Terry O’Neill and Dave Hazard and also as “A teacher of teachers“.

7 October

On 7 October 1958, Tomio Imamura was born in Kagoshima, Japan.

Known for his quiet demeanor, Imamura has been described as a “brilliant technician“, known for his exceptional kumite. A two-time world champion, he is one of the best fighters of his generation.

8 October

On 8 October 1953 Gōju-Ryu founder Chōjun Miyagi died, aged only sixty-five.

Born on the island of Okinawa, Miyagi had begun his training in 1902 under Kanryo Higaonna. By 1915 Miyagi had become one of Higaonna’s top students.

Miyagi’s Karate style of Gōju-Ryu was introduced to Japan in 1928 via the Kyōto Imperial University Club. In 1934 the name of Gōju-Ryu Karate was registered with the Dai Nippon Butokukai, the authority responsible for governing Japanese martial arts.

Chōjun Miyagi died following a heart attack.

On 8 October 1962, the sculptured bust of Chojun Miyagi was placed in the Naha Police Gymnasium. A Budo demonstration was also held to mark the 10th anniversary of Miyagi’s passing.

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