This week in history (20 September – 26 September)

20 September

On 20 September 1934, Takayuki Kubota, a pioneer of martial arts in the United States, was born in Yashiro-Shi, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. He was the fourth of six children, having four brothers and one sister. His family was descended from a samurai clan that had once invaded the island of Okinawa.


On 20 September 1950, Cathy Cline, the highest-ranked woman in the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF), was born in Buffalo, New York. She was the first woman to receive the rank of 8th Dan from Teruyuki Okazaki and Yutaka Yaguchi. She is widely recognised as a brilliant instructor and is one of the best Shotokan instructors in the United States.


On 20 September 1969, Terutomo Yamazaki competed in the 1st All Japan Open Karate Tournament, held at the Metropolitan Gymnasium, Tokyo. A full-contact tournament, with no protective equipment used, it was open to martial arts from other styles.

Yamazaki felt the pressure to succeed at the tournament. He felt Kyokushin’s reputation was at stake. In the tournament, he fought six times. He won five fights by knockout and one by decision. In the tameshiwara section, he set the tournament’s first record, by breaking 16 boards. He became the first-ever champion of the tournament.


Between 20-21 September 2013, Tomiko Mitsuoka hosted a special training session at her dojo, as part of Hitoshi Kasuya’s international tour, for the World is Karate-Do Federation (WSKF).


21 September

On 21 September 1980, Ronnie Christopher was promoted to 1st Dan by Keinosuke Enoeda.

One of the best competitors of his generation, Christopher won numerous titles nationally and internationally. He was part of the British team that won the 1990 Shoto Cup in Sunderland, England, defeating the previously undefeated Japan in the Team Kumite final.


22 September

On 22 September 1972, James Field gave up competing to concentrate fully on teaching. He opened his own dojo for the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) Santa Monica Dojo. For the next couple of years, he concentrated on teaching his students. Known as a technician he brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to his teaching. He was a strict but compassionate teacher, only wanting the best from his students.


Between 22-23 September 2018, Shotokan practitioner Dario Marchini and his wife Christina Restelli, were invited by the Shotokan Braunschweig club to give a training course to celebrate the club’s 55th anniversary.

Both Marchini and Restelli have won numerous European and World Championships.


23 September

On 23 September 1965, Sergio Takamatsu, a Wado-Ryu practitioner was born. His father Koji Takamatsu was one of Wado-Ryu founder’s, Hironori Ohtsuka’s original students, and was a pioneer of Wado-Ryu Karate in Brazil.


24 September

On 24 September 1974, Masao Kawasoe arrived in the UK to assist Keinosuke Enoeda at the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB).


On 24 September 2004, noted martial artist Teruo Hayashi died from lung cancer in Osaka, Japan.

Described as one of the last great Japanese Budo masters,  Hayashi is the founder of the Hayashi-Ha branch of Shito-Ryu Karate. He trained under some of the greats of Japanese and Okinawan Karate, including Seiko Higa, Kenko Nakaima, and Kosei Kuniba.


On 24 September 2011, Christophe Pinna was awarded his 6th Dan. The honorary grade was presented to him by Nice Deputy Mayor, Christian Estrosi.


On 24 September 2015, Karin Prinsloo was graded to a Level C Instructor, Level D Examiner, and Level C Judge by the Japan Karate Federation (JKF).


25 September

On 25 September 2016, Miki Nakamachi competed at the 59th JKA All Japan Karate Championships. She normally performed the kata Gojushiho Sho in competition. However, in honor of her son, Hugo, she decided to perform the kata Unsu. Meaning ‘Cloud Hands’, she saw Unsu as representing her son’s little hands in the clouds. Hugo had died two days after being born, from a medical complication.

She was very happy with her sixth-place finish. She wasn’t interested in winning the event.


26 September

On 26 September 1969, The 1st All Japan Open Karate Tournament took place at the Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo. A full-contact competition, the tournament was open to martial artists from other styles. Both Terutomo Yamazaki and Yoshhiji Soeno made it to the final, where Yamazaki won the title.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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