This week in history (20 May – 26 May)

20 May

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 for the visit was to check the feasibility for sending JKA instructors to teach in Europe.

23 May

On 23 May 1952 Shito-ryu founder, Kenwa Mabuni died aged 63 in Tokyo, Japan.

In his native Okinawa Mabuni studied Shuri-te from Anko Itosu. He later learned Naha-te from Kanryo Higaonna. He was one of the first Okinawan masters to teach Karate in in Japan. He moved to Osaka, Japan in 1929, where he taught his style of Hanko-ryu. He eventually renamed the style to Shito-ryu in honour of Itosu and Higaonna.


On 23 May 1971 Edward Whitcher graded for 3rd Dan at the JKA headquarters in Tokyo, under Masatoshi Nakayama. He was the first British subject to do this.

Whitcher had spent a couple of months living in Japan and attending the gruelling Instructors Course. His grading kata was Kanku-dai.

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