This week in history (4 September – 10 September)

4 September

On 4 September 1931, Kenneth Funakoshi, a distant relative of Gichin Funakoshi, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hirokazu Kanazawa, who was a former Grand Champion in Japan, had arrived in Hawaii in 1960 to represent the Japan Karate Association (JKA) as Chief Instructor, at the behest of Masatoshi Nakayama.

Funakoshi, who was in his early twenties, began training with Kanazawa three times a week. Prior to Kanazawa’s arrival he had studied Judo from the age of ten. He later studied Kempo.

Kanazawa departed Hawaii after an eighteen month stay. He was replaced by Masataka Mori. Mori was eventually replaced by Tetsuhiko Asai. In 1969 Funakoshi was appointed Chief Instructor after Asai‘s departure.

7 September

On 7 September 1959, the first British Karate Federation (BKF) Summer Course began. It was a six day course held at the Ippon Judo Club, located in the basement of the Imperial Private Hotel, Scarborough, Yorkshire.

Conducted by Vernon Bell the course was limited to twenty students. The course was open to men or women who were existing BKF members between the ages of sixteen and fifty-five. In a grueling schedule, the training times were 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm for the duration of the course.

10 September

On 10 September 1965, Charles Mack became the first British subject to be awarded a 2nd Dan in Shotokan Karate from the Japan Karate Association (JKA). He was awarded his grade by Masatoshi Nakayama at the JKA’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Mack had previously been awarded his 1st Dan by Nakayama three years earlier, again being the first British subject to be awarded a JKA 1st Dan in Japan.

In the same year Mack was awarded his 2nd Dan, he was also awarded a 5th Dan in Judo from the Kodakan, the home of Judo. He was awarded his grade from Risei Kano, son of Judo founder Jigaro Kano.

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