This week in history (22 April – 28 April)

24 April

On 24 April 1965 a JKA group of instructors consisting of Taiji Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda and Hiroshi Shirai gave their second authorised demonstration at the Hornsey Town Hall, London.

The group had been invited to the UK by Vernon Bell‘s British Karate Federation (BKF), who were now affiliated to the JKA. The group gave a series of demonstrations across the country.


25 April

On 25 April 1888 Goju-ryu founder, Chojun Miyagi, was born. He began training under noted Okinawan master, Kanryo Higaonna in 1902.

By the time of Higaonna’s death in 1915, Miyagi had become one of his top students. To improve his skills Miyagi travelled to the Fuzhou area of China, where he studied under Higaonna’s teacher Ru-ru Ko.

In 1928 Miyagi registered the name of Goju-ru Karate with the Dai Nippon Butokukai in Japan.


26 April

On 26 April 1957 the founder of Shotokan Karate, Gichin Funakoshi died in a Tokyo hospital, aged 88. He was surrounded by close family and his devoted student, Shigeru Egami.

Arguments over Funakoshi’s funeral arrangements eventually led to arguments among his students and split within Shotokan Karate.

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On 26 April 1965 the third authorised demonstration in Britain by JKA instructors, Taiji Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda and Hiroshi Shirai in took place at Poplar Town Hall, London. The previous two events had been well received by the general public.

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On 26 April 1994, Kyokushin Karate founder, Mas Oyama died aged 70 from lung cancer.

Born Choi Yeong-eui, in Japanese occupied Korea, Oyama spent most of his life in Japan. His martial arts journey began at the age of nine when he started learning Chinese Boxing from Li Xiangzhi, a seasonal worker on Oyama’s sister’s farm in Manchuria.


27 April

On 27 April 1965 a JKA group of instructors consisting of Taiji Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda and Hiroshi Shirai gave a demonstration at the St. Georges Hall, Liverpool. All in attendance were in awe at the technical skill on display.

The group had been invited to the UK by Vernon Bell‘s British Karate Federation (BKF), who were now affiliated to the JKA. The group gave a series of demonstrations across the country.

In the audience were Andy Sherry and Frank Cope who have said that the event had a great influence on them.

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