This week in history (27 Apr – 3 May)

27 April

On 27 April 1928 Tatsuo Suzuki, a master of Wado-ryū Karate, was born in Yokohama, Japan.

Suzuki began training under Wado-ryū Karate founder, Hironori Ohtsuka, while still a teenager. In 1956 Ohtsuka dispatched Suzuki to spread the style of Wado-ryū around the world.

On 27 April 1965, a JKA group of instructors consisting of Taiji Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda and Hiroshi Shirai gave a demonstration at the St. Georges Hall, Liverpool. All in attendance were in awe at the technical skill on display.

The group had been invited to the UK by Vernon Bell‘s British Karate Federation (BKF), who were now affiliated to the JKA. The group gave a series of demonstrations across the country.

In the audience were Andy Sherry and Frank Cope who have said that the event had a great influence on them.

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, Okamoto was responsible for developing Shotokan Karate in Africa and the Middle East. Considered a phenomenal teacher, he was known for teaching self-defence techniques.

1 May

On 1 May 1949, the Japan Karate Association(Nippon Karate Kyokai) was formed. Kichinosuke Saigo was the first president of the association, with Isao Obata the first chairman.

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