This week in history (30 April – 6 May)

On 30 April 1957 the British Karate Federation (BKF) held its very first grading in Britain, on the lawn at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch. Two students, Trevor Guilfoyle and Gerald Tucker were both graded to 6th kyu.


On 3 May 1931, Shotokan master and legend, Hirokazu Kanazawa, was born in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, Japan.

Kanazawa, a student of Gichin Funakoshi and Masatoshi Nakayama, was one of the first graduates of the JKA Instructors Course. He would go on to become the JKA first All Japan kumite champion and also the first JKA All Japan Grand Champion.

However it is as an instructor that Kanazawa is best known. He has taught in many countries and has been in an inspiration to many students.


On 6 May 1960, Frank Brennan was born.

Brennan can arguably be considered as one of the most technically gifted karate-ka of his generation. He is one of the few competitors to be equally comfortable doing either kata or kumite, excelling in both disciplines. As a competitor he was totally respected by his opponents. JKA great, Masahiko Tanaka, once said that part of the Japanese team’s training strategy was how they could beat him.

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On 6 May 1972, the 6th KUGB Championships are held at Crystal Palace, London.

Terry O’Neill from the Liverpool Red Triangle Club retained his kata title, performing Unsu in the final. G. Haslam retained his kumite title. London won the team kumite event, halting the Liverpool Red Triangle Club’s run of five consecutive titles.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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