This week in history…(24 April – 30 April)

24 April

On 24 April 1965, the second authorized demonstration by the JKA in Britain took place at Hornsey Town Hall, London. The touring party consisted of Japanese instructors, Taiji Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda, and Hiroshi Shirai.

25 April

On 25 April 1888, Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-Ryu Karate, was born in Naha, Okinawa.

26 April

On 26 April 1957, Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate, died in a Tokyo hospital, aged 88. His family and close student Shigeru Egami were at his bedside.

On 26 April 1965, a touring party from the JKA gave their third authorized demonstration in Britain. The party consisted of Taiji Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda, and Hiroshi Shirai. The demonstration took place at Poplar Town Hall, London.

On 26 April 1994, Kyokushin Karate founder, Mas Oyama, died of cancer, in Tokyo, Japan. He was succeeded as the head of the International Karate Organisation (IKO) by Shokei Matsui.

On 26 April 2014, the 20th anniversary of Mas Oyama’s death occurred. Russian, Tariel Nikoleishvili attempted the 100-Man Kumite Challenge in front of IKO–1 head, Shokei Matsui, and also Francisco Filho and Artur Hovhannisyan. He completed the challenge in 3 hours and 21 minutes. He won 64 fights; drew 27 flights; and lost 9 fights.

28 April

On 28 April 2020, Yoshinao Nanbu died. This was following a long illness. He was survived by his wife Sonia and daughter Sume.

Nanbu was one of the most talented martial artists of his generation. As a pioneer of Shito-Ryu Karate in Europe, his desire to test the authenticity of his Karate won him many admirers and influenced the likes of Dominique Valera.

A lifelong martial artist, Nanbu was never afraid to walk his own path. His self-reflection led to the development of Sankukai and Nanbudo, both of which have developed a following worldwide.

30 April

On 30 April 1957, the British Karate Federation (BKF) held its very first grading. Two students were graded.

On 30 April 2009, Hideki Okamoto died from stomach cancer. By the time of his death, he had been promoted to 8th Dan.

A graduate of the JKA Instructors Course, he was responsible for developing Shotokan Karate in Africa and the Middle East. Considered a phenomenal teacher, he was known for teaching self-defence techniques.

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