This week in history… (4 July – 10 July)

4 July

On 4 July 1935, Keinosuke Enoeda, a legend of Shotokan Karate, was born in Fukuoka, Japan, to a family of samurai lineage.

Enoeda began his martial arts training in Judo aged 7. He eventually reached the grade of 2nd Dan. He entered Takushoku University, aged 19, because of its strong Karate club. Enoeda was awarded the rank of 1st Dan in 1955, aged 21. He later captained the university’s famed Karate Club.

Graduating from Takushoku University with a degree in Economics, Enoeda eventually entered the JKA’s Instructor program in 1959, under the instruction of Masatoshi Nakayama and Hidetaka Nishiyama.  In 1963 he became the JKA All-Japan Karate Kumite champion.

Following a brief stay in Hawaii, Enoeda was invited to the UK to assist Hirokazu Kanazawa in developing Karate in Britain. He mainly taught in Liverpool.

On 4 July 1987, the English Karate Board (EKB) held its 3rd National Championships at the Crystal Palace, London. The EKB consisted of members from all the major styles of Karate in England, and nine different associations took part in the individual and team events.

Like the previous year, Shotokan’s Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) won the majority of titles on offer. The KUGB won 12 golds, 8 silvers and 4 bronzes. Frank Brennan was once again the Grand Champion, winning both the Men’s Individual Kata and Heavyweight Kumite titles. He won a further two titles, winning the Men’s Team Kumite and Men’s Team Kata events.

On 4 July 1999, Kyokushin legend, Hiroki Kurosawa took part in Pride 6. He faced Nobuaki Kakuda. Kakuda had practised Kyokushin and Seidokaikan Karate and was also a kickboxer. Kurosawa defeated Kakuda in their match.

On 4 July 2004, history was made when Australian, Naomi Ali (Woods) became the first woman to pass the 100-Man Kumite Challenge. She completed the challenge in a respectable 3 hours 8 minutes. By the end of the challenge, she was almost unconscious and had sustained broken fingers and toes. Ali was the first was also the first woman to attempt a 50-Man Kumite Challenge.

5 July

On 5 July 1957 the first photographs of karateka training in Britain, appeared in the Romford Recorder. The photographs were part of an article, ‘Forbidden Sport Taught Here – Japanese Fights Often Ended in Death”‘ which was a follow-up to an article written on 21 June.

The two photographs were taken at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch, and showed Vernon Bell countering attacks from Trevor Guilfoyle, a white belt at the time.

6 July

On 6 July 1952, the Father of European Karate, Henri Plee, was graded to 2nd Dan In Judo under Mikinosuke Kawaishi.

7 July

On 7 July 1995 Shukokai master, Shigeru Kimura, died following a massive heart attack. He was only 54 years at the time. He was a lifelong student of Shukokai founder Chojiro Tani. A two-time All-Japan champion, he was dedicated to the promotion of Shukokai Karate around the world.

8 July

On 8 July 1927, Okinawan Karate master, Kentsu Yabu, give a Shorinji-Ryu demonstration at the Nuuanu YMCA in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was assisted in the demonstration by Ankichi Arakaki. The demonstration was a young Richard Kim’s first introduction to Karate

9 July

On 9 July 1943, Andy Sherry, Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), was born.

Sherry is one of the highest-ranked Shotokan practitioners in the United Kingdom, having been one of the first people awarded a JKA 1st Dan in Britain in 1966 by Keinosuke Enoeda. Now a 9th Dan and one of the most senior Shotokan karateka in Britain, he has been instrumental in the growth of Shotokan in the country.

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