This week in history (29 April – 5 May)

30 April

On 30 April 1957 the British Karate Federation (BKF) held its very first grading. Two students, Trevor Guilfoyle and Gerald Tucker, were graded to 6th Kyu. The grading took place on the lawn of 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch, Essex. The grading was conducted by Vernon Bell.


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 as the first Chairman.

A major meeting had taken place to discuss and plan for the future of Shotokan Karate. Almost every ranking Shotokan practitioner, from the oldest to the youngest was present. Representatives from all the top universities, i.e. Keio, Takushoku, Hosei, Senshu and Waseda, attended the meeting.


3 May

On 3 May 1931 Karate legend, Hirokazu Kanazawa was born in Iwate Prefecture, Japan.

Kanazawa was the first official JKA instructor to reside in the UK, from April 1965 to May 1966. Vernon Bell of the British Karate Federation (BKF) had affiliated with the JKA earlier that year. Kanazawa, alongside Taiji Kase, Keinosuke Enoeda and Hiroshi Shirai had given a number of demonstrations across the country that were very well received.


5 May

On 5 May 1941 an early pioneer of British Karate,Terence ‘Terry’ Wingrove, was born. He had started practising Judo and Jujitsu under Vernon Bell. Bell had invited Wingrove to attend his Karate classes taught at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch, Essex. Wingrove would go onto to become one of the first British Shotokan instructors.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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