This week in history (23 October – 29 October)

26 October

On 26 October 1957 the Federation Internationale De Karate (FIK) was formed at the headquarters of the French Karate Federation, located at 34 rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve, Paris.

Present at the creation of the FIK was Vladimiro Malatesti (representing Italy), Vernon Bell (representing Great Britain), Jurgen Seydel (representing Germany), Henri Plee (representing France) and Hiroo Mochizuki (representing Japan and Yoseikan Karate).

The Federation Internationale De Karate had the following aims:

  • To foster closer ties between karateka from around the world.
  • To co-ordinate the activity of karate in all nations
  • To establish technical and organisational rules
  • to organise and supervise international events
  • To represent karate on the international sports scene

28 October

On 28 October 1939, Keigo Abe was born in Iyoshi, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

A direct student of Masatoshi Nakayama, Abe graduated from the JKA Instructors Program in 1965. He was a long serving instructor at the Japan Karate Association’s hombu. After the JKA split in 1990 he became Technical Director of the JKA (Matsuno faction). In 1999 Abe resigned from the JKA and formed his own association, Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA).

Noted for his phenomenal back fist, Keigo Abe is featured in three volumes of Masatoshi Nakayama’s Best Karate Series (volumes 3, 4, 9)

On 28 October 1957, the 1st All Japan Karate Association Championships were held at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, and was organised by the JKA. The tournament was formulated by Masatoshi Nakayama, to add a more competitive approach to training. It was the first tournament to have match rules.

The tournament was limited to individual men’s kata and kumite; and team kata and kumite. The first kata champion was Hiroshi Shoji who performed Unsu. Hirokazu Kanazawa was the first kumite champion.

On 28 October 1957, the 1st All Japan University Karate Tournament is held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Shiro Asano becomes the first All Japan University Champion.

29 October

On 29 October 1939, Shiro Asano was born in Tokyo.

A student of Masatoshi Nakayama, Asano attended the Takushoku University, becoming a prominent member of the university’s famed karate club. In 1957 he won the inaugural All Japan Universities Championship. This was followed by another win in 1958.

After graduating from university Asano enrolled on the Japan Karate Association’s instructor program. After graduating from the program he becoming a full time instructor for the JKA in 1963.

As part of the JKA’s expansion, Asano was sent to teach in Germany. He was then invited to the United Kingdom, first going to Liverpool, before finally taking up permanent residence in Nottingham around 1968.

In 1974 Asano was appointed chairman and Chief Instructor to the Shotokan Karate International (Great Britain) SKI(GB), the British branch of Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF), headed by Hirokazu Kanazawa. Eventually Asano also become the Chief Instructor for the Shotokan Karate International European Federation (SKIEF).

Shiro Asano is famed for his superb timing in kumite.

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