On 27 February 1948 Terence (Terry) O’Neill, one of the best karateka ever produced in Britain, was born in Liverpool, England.
O’Neill began his Karate training in 1963 when as a sixteen year old he lied about his age on his application to join the British Karate Federation (BKF). Under Keinosuke Enoeda and the JKA, he earned his 1st Dan in 1966.
O’Neill had a very successful competitive career, competing for over twenty years until retiring through injury. As a member of the famed Liverpool Red Triangle team he was KUGB individual kumite champion four times and individual kata champion seven times. He was KUGB grand champion on three occasions. He was a member of the Red Triangle team that won the team kumite on numerous occasions.
O’Neill also had a successful international career, representing Britain numerous times. He was part of the British Karate team that won the World Championship in 1975. He was also joint third at the 1974 World Champions.
O’Neill was the founder and publisher of the well respected Fighting Arts International magazine, first published in 1972. He has also carved out a successful acting career.
On 29 February 1940 3–time JKA All Japan Grand Champion, Hideo Ochi was born. In the 1970s he became the Chief
Instructor for JKA in Europe. Based in Germany he was also the National Coach for the German team.
In 2016 Ochi was awarded his 9th Dan.
On 1 March 1962 the British Karate Federation (BKF) issued a club affiliation certificate to the Liverpool Karate Club. The club formed in 1959 under Fred Giles, would eventually come to be known as the Red Triangle Shotokan Karate Club.
Initially club members received instruction from Vernon Bell, Terry Wingrove and Tetsuji Murakami. However, when the the BKF became affiliated with the JKA, Hirokazu Kanazawa travel to the dojo to instruct the students.
When the KUGB split from the BKF, the Red Triangle Club joined them. The full-time instructor of the club was Keinosuke Enoeda of the JKA.
Many top karate-ka got their start under Enoeda at the Red Triangle Dojo. This included Andy Sherry and Terry O’Neill.
The club also produced many top national and international competitors including Andy Sherry, Terry O’Neill, Bob Poynton, Billy Higgins and Frank Brennan.
On 2 March 1960 Gichin Funkoshi’s eldest son, Yoshihide, died aged 71.
Yoshihide Funakoshi is not as well known as his more talented younger brother Yoshitaka(Gigo). Little is known about his Karate ability. In his youth Yoshihide had trained under Master Yasutsune Itosu alongside his father.
Master Funikoshi and his eldest son had a complex relationship. Yoshihide had moved to Tokyo several years before his father. However, he fell in with a bad crowd and accrued gambling debts. He would borrow money from his father’s students, not paying them back.
Following the the deaths of son Yoshitaka in 1945 and his wife in 1947, Master Funakoshi was facing a difficult time, having given up teaching Karate and moving to Oita, Kyusho, during the war years. It was his son Yoshihide who persuaded him to return back to Tokyo to resume teaching, with his help. Funakoshi lived with Yoshihide and his family for the last ten years of his live.
Yoshihide strove to keep his father’s views about following a traditional approach to karate alive. He was not happy about the sporting direction of Karate. He would would eventually follow his father and become president of Shotokai.
On 3 March 1946 British Shotokan instructor, Bob Rhodes, was born in Leeds, England.
Rhodes began his training aged twenty, at the Leeds Shotokan Karate Club (Leeds SKC), under the instruction of Ronnie Wade.
As a green belt Rhodes started competing at the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) National Championships where he was part of a successful Leeds SKC team that came second in the team kumite event.
Rhodes went on to become a top competitor, winning events in both kata and kumite. His success eventually earned him a position on the England Karate squad. For eight years Rhodes was a member of of the KUGB National squad and the Great Britain All-Karate Styles squad.
The KUGB National squad was coached by Keinosuke Enoeda. As a member of this team Rhodes participated in many international kumite events.
Rhodes represented the KUGB several times at the All-Styles Championships in individual kumite. He was selected onto the Great Britain All-Karate Styles squad coached by Steve Arneil and featuring many greats of British Karate, including Terry O’Neill, Billy Higgins and David ‘Ticky’ Donovan. In 1975 the squad won the World Championship kumite title, defeating the previously undefeated Japanese in the final.
At the time of writing Bob Rhodes is an 8th Dan and continues to teach and give seminars.
On 4 March 1985 multiple European and World champion, Rafael Aghayev was born. He has won titles in several weight categorie, making him one of the most successful tournament competitors of his generation.
On 4 March 1952 David Frederick Hazard, a well-respected Shotokan karate practitioner, was born in Bow, London.
Dave Hazard began his Karate training aged sixteen at the KUGB affiliated Blackfriars Karate Club, under the instruction of Keinosuke Enoeda. Like most martial artists who had started training at the time, Hazard had begun his training in Judo.
In 1972 Hazard was awarded his 1st Dan by Enoeda and was awarded his 2nd Dan in 1974. Upon the recommendation of Enoeda, Hazard travelled to Japan to train at the JKA headquarters at Ebisu, Tokyo, participating in the JKA Instructors class. In 1977 he received his 3rd Dan from Masatoshi Nakayama.
Hazard returned to England in 1978, becoming a full time instructor affiliated with the KUGB.
In the early 1980s, twenty clubs in the South of England broke away from the KUGB to form the South of England Karate Union, which later changed its name to the Shotokan of England Karate Union (SEKU). The association was led by the respected Mike Dewey. With the expansion of the association, in 1985 Dewey asked his long time friend Hazard to join SEKU as Technical Director.
After nineteen years with SEKU, Hazard left in 2003 to form his own association, the Academy of Shotokan Karate (ASK), with the intention of promoting excellence in Shotokan as a martial art rather than a sport. The aim of ASK was endorsed by Keinosuke Enoeda, whose principles were used as guidelines for the association.
In 2007 an autobiography, Born Fighter, about Dave Hazard’s life was published.
On 4 March 1962 Charles Mack was graded to 1st Dan by Masatoshi Nakayama at the JKA headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. This earned Mack the dual distinction of being the first British subject to be awarded a Shotokan Dan grade in Japan and also the first British subject to be awarded a JKA black belt.
Mack was also an accomplished judo practitioner who was awarded his 1st Dan in 1953. He moved to Japan in 1958 to further his Judo. He started training at the JKA headquarters in Tokyo where four years later he was awarded his 1st Dan.
While in Japan Mack also earned black belts in jujitsu and aikido.
Mack returned to Britain in 1965 and started teaching Karate in Holborn, London. With the blessing of Nakayama he set up the International Shotokan Karate Association.