This week in history…(30 January – 5 February)

31 January

On 31 January 1999 Keigo Abe resigned from the Matsuno faction of the JKA.

Masatoshi Nakayama, the Chief Instructor of the JKA, died in 1987. Tokyo businessman, Nobuyuki Nakahara became the Chairman of the JKA. A number of instructors, led by Tetsuhiko Asai, disagreed with the decision. This led to a split in the JKA. What followed was a 10-year legal battle between the Nakahara faction, which included Motokuni Sugiura, Masaaki Ueki, Yoshiharu Osaka, and Masahiko Tanaka. The rival Matsuno faction was led by Asai and included Abe, Akihito Isaka, Mikio Yahara, and Masao Kagawa. Abe was named the Technical Director of the Matsuno faction of the JKA.

In 1999 the Japanese High Court ruled in favour of the Nakahara faction of the JKA. The decision led to a split in the Matsuno faction. Abe resigned from the faction.

On 31 January 2002, Francisco Egea was involved in a life-threatening traffic accident. His car crashed and rolled over several times. He was taken to the Getafe Hospital where he was found to have suffered severe head, eye, and chest trauma. He eventually recovered after six years of physical therapy. However, he was partially deaf in his right ear.

1 February

On 1 February 1960, Michael Manning became the first British Karate Federation (BKF) student to grade to 1st kyu.

Manning was one of Vernon Bell‘s original Karate students. He was nineteen when he started training with Bell in Jiujitsu in 1956. Manning was described as having a withered right arm.

By the time he graded, Manning had been training for four years. He was an active member of the BKF, often teaching beginners classes.

Unfortunately, Manning had his leg broken by Tetsuji Murakami during a hard training session. After this incident, Manning gave up Karate.

On 1 February 1981 American Shotokan legend, Osamu Ozawa, opened his new dojo in Las Vegas. Earlier that year he had organised the 1st Traditional Karate Tournament to publicise the opening of the new dojo. The event held at the Maxim Hotel and Casino would go on to become one of the biggest and most prestigious traditional martial arts tournaments in the world.

4 February

On 4 February 1949, Michael Nursey, a founding member of the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA) was born.

Nursey started training in Karate when he was eighteen, under Keinosuke Enoeda and John Van Weenen. After achieving his 4th Kyu Nursey continued his training with Hirokazu Kanazawa, Shiro Asano and Michael Randall.

Nursey gained his 1st Dan in 1971 under Kanazawa. He gained his 2nd Dan in 1974 and his 3rd Dan in 1978, both under Kanazawa.

In 1979, together with Eddie Whitcher, Michael Randall, Greg Durrant, John Van Weenan and Chris and Nick Adamou, Nursey established the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA).

5 February

On 5 February 1964, Vernon Bell received his 1st Dan from the Japan Karate Association (JKA), following the British Karate Federation (BKF) formally agreeing to become the JKA’s agent in Britain. This was more of an honorary grade as Bell never took an actual grading examination.

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