This week in history (6 May – 12 May)

6 May

On 6 May 1960 Frank Brennan was born.

Brennan has arguably been described as one of the most technically gifted karate-ka of his generation. As a competitor, he was equally comfortable in kata or kumite. Totally respected by his opponents, JKA great, Masahiko Tanaka, once said that part of the Japanese team’s training strategy was how to beat him.

Today Brennan is a member of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) Technical Committee, that includes Andy Sherry, Terry O’Neill, Bob Poynton, Bob Rhodes and Billy Higgins.

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On 6 May 1972 the 6th KUGB Championships were held at Crystal Palace, London. Terry O’Neill retained his kata title. G. Haslam retained his kumite title. London won the the team kumite title.


9 May

On 9 May 1970 the 4th KUGB National Championships took place in Crystal Palace, London.

Andrew Sherry became Grand Champion for the second time, having previously won the the title in 1968. Sherry performed his favourite kata, Empi, in winning the kata title.

The Liverpool Red Triangle Team continued their dominance of the team kumite event, winning the title for the fourth straight year. The team included Grand Champion Andrew Sherry and Terry O’Neill.


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 if his wife.

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

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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 Andrew 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.


13 May

On 13 May 1933 Charles Naylor, a former Vice-Chairman of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), was born in Hubli, South West India.

Naylor left school aged 14 and for a time worked as a cabin boy. He eventually arrived in Liverpool, England in 1948, aged 15. After achieving a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in electrical engineering and completing two years of National Service in the RAF, he eventually joined English Electric in 1960.

Naylor began his Karate training in 1961 aged 28. He had been introduced to Karate by his work colleague Fred Gille. Gille was the first British Karate Federation (BKF) member from Liverpool. He was trained by Vernon Bell and opened the first Karate club in Liverpool, around 1959/1960.

As a BKF member Naylor trained under Gille, Bell and Tetsuji Murakami by attending various courses. Following the BKF’s affiliation to the Japan Karate Association (JKA), Keinosuke Enoeda became the resident instructor of the Liverpool Dojo in 1965.

In 1966 the Liverpool Dojo ceased its affiliation with the BKF, becoming a founding member of the KUGB. The Chief Instructor of the KUGB was Hirokazu Kanazawa, with Enoeda acting as his deputy.

By 1966 Naylor had achieved the rank of 1st Kyu and was running a dojo in Rainford, Merseyside, eventually moving to St. Helens.

Charles Naylor received his 1st Dan from Hirokazu Kanazawa on 28 August 1966.

Naylor’s wife, Dot, was among the first group of woman to begin training at the Liverpool Dojo, eventually reaching the rank of 3rd Dan.

Charles Naylor became the Assistant General Secretary of the KUGB in 1967. He would eventually become the Vice-Chairman of the KUGB, eventually holding the rank of 7th Dan.

Charles Naylor died on 14 March 2007.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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