This week in history (4 May – 10 May)

3 May

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

A legend of Karate much has been written about Kanazawa. For many years he has been one of the most recognisable faces of Karate. Considered by many to be the greatest of the Shotokan Masters, he is arguably one of the best technicians to come out of the JKA.

On 3 May 2014, Bob Rhodes and Billy Higgins were promoted to 8th Dan. Andy Sherry presented them with their certificates at the 48th KUGB National Championships,

5 May

On 5 May 1941, Terence ‘Terry’ Stanley Victor Wingrove, an early pioneer of British Shotokan was born in London.

Wingrove started practising Judo under Ted Mossom in 1952. In 1956 he started practising Judo under Vernon Bell, and also Jiujitsu. Bell invited him to become one of his first Karate students.

On 5th May 1968, Walter Seaton was awarded a JKA 1st Dan. Seaton practised both Shotokan and Wado-ryu Karate for about three years.

6 May

On 6 May 1960, Frank Brennan was born in Liverpool.

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

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

Only men were allowed to take part in the Championships. 50 men took part in the kata event; 88 in the kumite event; and 31 in the team kumite event.

Terry O’Neill won the Individual Kata event, with G. Haslam winning the Individual Kumite event. London won the Team Kumite event.

On 6 May 1996, Andy Hug took part in the K-1 Grand Prix held in the Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan. On his side of the drawer, he defeated Bart Vale of the US.; Duane Van Der Merve of South Africa; and Ernesto Hoost of The Netherlands to reach the final. He faced Mike Bernardo of South Africa who had defeated him a year earlier. Hug defeated Bernardo to become the K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.

10 May

On 10 May 1957, the founder of Shotokan Karate, Gichin Funakoshi, was laid to rest at the Zen Sho-ji temple in Kakiu. He was cremated and his ashes laid alongside those of his wife.

Funakoshi had died on 26 April, in a Tokyo hospital, surrounded by his close family and his student Shigeru Egami.

On 10 May 1969, the 3rd KUGB National Championships were held at Crystal Palace, London.

Competitors from the Liverpool Red Triangle Team dominated the tournament. In the kata final, Andy Sherry defeated Chris Adamou, winning his third kata title. Terry O’Neill defeated Danny Bryceland in the kumite final. Sherry and O’Neill joined forces with other members of the Red Triangle Team to win the team’s third consecutive team kumite title.

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