This week in history (23 December – 29 December)

23 December

On 23 December 1911 Kenko Nakaima was born. He was the grandson of Norisato Nakaima, founder of the Okinawan family karate style, Ryuei-Ryu.

Kenko Nakaima, the third headmaster of the style, is credited with opening it to non-family members. One of his top students was Tsuguo Sakumoto, a three-time WKF Kata World Champion.

25 December

On this day, 25 December 1938 Goju-ryu Karate master, Morio Higaonna was born in Naha, Okinawa.

Higaonna began his journey Karate journey by first studying Shorin-ryu Karate. He later changed to Goju-ryu Karate, studying under Ei’ichi Miyazato, the most senior student of Goju-ryu founder Chojun Miyagi.

Higaonna was awarded his 1st Dan by Miyazato in 1957. He has gone on to be one of the foremost Goju-ryu masters, promoting this style of Karate around the world.

29 December

On 29th December 2016, Frank Cope died aged 82 following a bout of illness.

Cope was a long-time member of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB). He become a pioneer of British Shotokan Karate, especially in the Liverpool area, becoming one of the first black belts in Britain.

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