This week in history…(26 June – 2 July)

26 June

On 26 June 1965, Hirokazu Kanazawa took his first teaching trip to the British Karate Federation’s (BKF) Dundee dojo. He was there for a week.

The Dundee dojo was located at the Dundee United Sporting Club in Coupers Alley, Wellgate. It was run by William McGuire who had become a BKF member in February 1965.

27 June

On 27 June 1954, Ernie Molyneux was born in Liverpool, England.

Recognised as one of the best Goju–Ryu instructors in the world, Molyneux has been at the forefront of British Goju-Ryu Karate for many years.

30 June

On 30 June 1956, martial arts historian, Donn Draeger left the Marine Corps. He held the rank of lieutenant.

After leaving the army he attended Georgetown University in Washington DC. However, he moved to Japan, where he continued his studies at Sophia University.

1 July

On 1 July 1969, Gary Viccars had his first grading at the Kyokushin Karate dojo of Bill Paauw located in Geelong, Australia. He had started training the previous year.

2 July

On 2 July 1939, Steve Muhammad was born Steve Sanders in Indianola, Mississippi, United States.

Once said to have the fastest hands in Karate, Muhammad is a nine-time World Champion. A pioneer of tournament Karate, he made it acceptable for black people to compete in tournaments at a time when favouritism and racism existed in many tournaments.

On 2nd July 2008, Del Saito established the Saito-Ha Shito-Ryu. He felt it was the right time to establish his own school of Shito-Ryu Karate.

On 2 July 2013, Shoei Miyazato, a Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu master and early student of Katsuya Miyahira (the successor to Chosin Chibana), died aged 85 years.

Although born in Okinawa, Miyazato attended elementary and high school in Osaka, Japan. As it was during the 2nd World War he had to undergo mandatory training in Kendo, Judo and military affairs.

At the age of 13 Miyazato began learning Shito-ryu from his uncle. At age 17 he also began to learn boxing.

Miyazato and his family eventually returned back to Okinawa from Japan. He decided to take his Karate training seriously, joining the dojo of Katsuya Miyahira. Miyazato progressed rapidly, eventually becoming Miyahira’s assistant instructor. 1955 he was the first student in the dojo to be awarded a black at the level of 3rd Dan.

In 1959 Miyazato, along with his wife, six children and his parents emigrated to Cordoba, Argentina. He opened his own dojo located on the roof of his house.

Miyazato taught in Cordoba for over fifty years, producing his first black belt in 1966. He would eventually have 60 schools in 15 Argentinian states, as well as schools in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain, Sweden and Israel. He received Argentinian residency in 1979. In honour of his contributions, a monument was erected in Cordoba in 2007.

Miyazato was awarded his 6th Dan in 1965 and would eventually receive the rank of 8th Dan in 1974.

Even though Miyazato lived in Argentina, he kept in contact with his teacher, Miyahira, and other Okinawan masters. He even sent some of his students to train in Okinawa.

Shoei Miyazato died at his home from respiratory failure.

On 2 July 2021, Steve Arneil, the founder of the BKK (British Karate Kyokushinkai) and the IFK (International Federation of Karate), died, aged 86. British and world Kyokushin lost a true legend.

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