This week in history (5 February – 11 February)

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

On 9 February 1929 Shotokan master Taiji Kase was born in Chiba, Japan.

Kase had studied Judo before beginning karate. He earned a 2nd Dan in Judo by the age of 15. He started his Karate training in 1944 under the guidance of Yoshitaka Funakoshi and Shigeru Egami. He was awarded his 3rd Dan in 1949, while attending Senshu University.

In 1965, as a member of the JKA, Kase led the Japanese delegation that included Hirokazu Kanazawa and Keinosuke Enoeda, on a tour demonstrating Shotokan Karate to the rest of the world.

On 10 February 1966 Andy Sherry and Joseph Chialton became the first students in Great Britain to be graded to 1st Dan by the Japan Karate Association (JKA).

The grading took place at the Liverpool Karate Club which was located at 157 Everton Road. The grading was conducted by Keinosuke Enoeda.

On 11 February 1966 Jack Green, instructor of the British Karate Federation’s Blackpool dojo, was graded to 1st Dan under Keinosuke Enoeda. He was the third man in Great Britain to be award his 1st Dan after Andy Sherry and Joseph Chialton had been graded the previous day in Liverpool.

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