This week in history (6 April – 12 April)

7 April

On 7 April 1963 Yoshiaki Ajari a student of Hironri Ohtsuka, established the United States Wado-Kai Karate-Do Federation.

Ajari had originally moved to the United States in 1957 to study Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

On 7 April 2004, American Karate pioneer, Peter Urban died.

Urban began training in Goju-ryu Karate under Richard Kim in Japan when he was eighteen. He later trained with two other Karate legends in Gogen Yamaguchi and Mas Oyama.

In 1959 Urban started teaching Goju-ryu, introducing the Karate style to the United States. In 1966 he founded the American Goju Association.

8 April

On 8 April 1944 Michael Randall, who was training in Karate prior to the arrival of the JKA in Britain, was born.

Randall joined the British Karate Federation (BKF) in 1964. As a member of the BKF, he had the opportunity to train under Tetsuji Murakami and Hiroo Mochizuki.

After the arrival of the JKA in 1965, Randall began training with Hirokazu Kanazawa. He was a part of Kanazawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ alongside Eddie Whitcher, Nick Adamou, Chris Adamou, Mick Peachey, Will Mannion and Jack Johnson. They were a group of students totally dedicated to training with Kanazawa.

In 1967 Randall received his 1st Dan from Kanazawa.

11 April

On 11 April 1907, Minoru Mochizuki, founder of the Yoseikan dojo, was born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

Mochizuki was one of the few men to have been a direct student of the three great Budo masters, Jigoro Kano, Morihei Ueshiba and Gichin Funakoshi. An accomplished martial artist, Mochizuki held a 10th Dan in Aikido; a 9th Dan in Jujutsu; an 8th Dan in Judo; an 8th Dan in Kobudo; a 5th Dan in Kendo; a 5th Dan in Karate; and a 5th Dan in Jojutsu.

It was Mochizuki’s believe that Japanese martial arts had become too fragmented into separate disciplines. To address this he established the Yoseikan dojo in Shizuoka, as a place where the major techniques found in Japanese martial arts could be consolidated.

12 April

On 12 April 1998, the 18th Annual Traditional Karate Tournament International was hosted by Osamu Ozawa for the last time on.

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