This week in history…(25 December – 31 December)

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

Higaonna began his Karate journey by first studying Shorin-Ryu Karate. He later changed to Goju-Ryu Karate, studying under Eiichi Miyazato, a senior student of Goju-Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi. His main instructor was Anichi Miyagi, another direct student of 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.

On 25 December 1976, Hawaiian, Bobby Lowe was promoted to 7th Dan by Kyokushin Karate founder, Mas Oyama.

On 27 December 1975, the film, ‘Karate Bearfighter‘ was released in Japan, as part of a trilogy of films based on the life of Mas Oyama. Sonny Chiba played the role of his teacher, Mas Oyama. The first film in the trilogy, ‘Karate Bullfighter‘ was released on 9 August 1975 in Japan. The final film in the trilogy, ‘Karate for Life‘, was released on 14 May 1977.

On 28 December 1993, Ryusho Sakagami died from heart failure. His son, Sadaaki, succeeded him as the 4th generation successor of the Itosu-Ryu Karate style.

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

In many ways, Cope was ahead of his time, practising things that would not gain major popularity for many years. He was also considered a great teacher, being able to identify a student’s weakness and provide a way for them to fix it.

On 30 December 1960, former SKIF European and World Champion, Aidan Trimble was born in Nottingham, England. He was a long-time member of Hirokazu Kanazawa‘s Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF), eventually leaving to form his own association, The Federation of Shotokan Karate.

Until injury curtailed his competitive career in 1983, Trimble was a top competitor. He won the SKI (GB) kumite title three times (1980, 1982, 1984) and won the 1st SKIF World Championships kumite title (1983).

Apart from heading his own association, Aidan Trimble is an author with over eight books to his name. He also travels the world conducting courses and seminars.

On 31 December 1971, Keinosuke Enoeda’s son, Daisuke, was born. This was the culmination of a big year for him.

Enoeda appeared at the beginning of the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. He also replaced Hirokazu Kanazawa as the JKA Chief Instructor in Europe.

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