This week in history…(6 November – 12 November)

6 November

On 6 November 1964, Pathe Pictorial released a colour film showing Vernon Bell’s British Karate Federation (BKF) students training at the Kentish Town dojo. The film lasting three minutes was shown in cinemas across Britain.

Eddie Whitcher can be seen in the film. At the time he was a blue belt.


Between 6-8 November 1987, at the 4th World International Tournament held in Tokyo, Akiyoshi(Shokei) Matsui became the youngest man, at 21 years old, to become world champion. He faced Andy Hug of Switzerland in the final.


On 6 November 2004, Shotokan master, Taiji Kase, became very ill and was admitted to hospital. He was allowed to go home as he seemed to have recovered. However, he would eventually fall into a coma from which he would not wake.


7 November

On 7 November 2006, Gary Viccars was promoted to 7th Dan by Yoshikazu Matsushima and John Taylor. He underwent a physical test for his grading, in Australia. He was one of the few people worldwide to undergo a physical examination for 7th Dan.


8 November

On 8 November 1965, Hirokazu Kanazawa held his second official grading at the Lyndhurst Hall dojo in London. Keinosuke Enoeda was also present at the grading. Ray Fuller was successful, receiving the temporary grade of 3rd Kyu.


Between 8-11 November 1990, the 10th World Championships were held in Mexico City, Mexico. Japan continued their dominance in the Men’s and Women’s Individual Kata event, with Tomoyuki Aihara and Yuki Mimura walking away with the honours. Dario Marchini and Luis Maria Sanz finished in second and third place behind Aihara. The Italian men’s team prevented Japan from having a clean sweep of kata titles, beating the Japanese team into second place.

Terry Daly reached the quarter-finals of the Kumite Open Ippon event. The British kumite team continued their dominance of the team event winning their fifth consecutive title. Daly’s students, Wayne Otto and Charles Bailey were in the team that defeated France in the final. Otto also became a World Champion by winning the Kumite Open Sanbon event


9 November

Between 9-10 November 1974, the 6th Open Karate Tournament was held in Tokyo. The tournament was won by Katsuaki Sato, with Takashi Azuma and Hatsuo Royama in second and third place.


On 9 November 1997, the K–1 Grand Prix was held at the Tokyo Dome, Japan. Andy Hug reached the final by defeating Pierre Guente of Canada; Masaaki Satake of Japan; and Peter Aerts of The Netherlands. He lost to Ernesto Hoost in the final.


10 November

On 10 November 1967, New Zealander, John Jarvis took the 100-Man Kumite Challenge. He had been in Japan training with Mas Oyama when he was asked to take the challenge. He had previously spent two years in the UK training with Steve Arneil. He had learnt from Loek Hollander’s attempt, which had taken place earlier that year on 5 August. He became the fifth man to successfully pass the challenge. He actually ended up facing 115 opponents.


On 10 November 1968, the daughter-in-law of Master Gichin Funakoshi died. She was the wife of Funakoshi’s oldest son Yoshihide (Giei).

Yoshihide Funakoshi is not as well-known as his more talented younger brother Yoshitaka (Gigo). Little is known about his Karate ability. In his youth, Yoshihide had trained under Yasutsune Itosu alongside his father.

Master Funakoshi and his eldest son had a complex relationship. Yoshihide had moved to Tokyo several years before his father. However, he fell in with a bad crowd and accrued gambling debts. He would borrow money from his father’s students, not paying them back.

Following the deaths of his son Yoshitaka in 1945 and his wife in 1947, Gichin Funakoshi was facing a difficult time. He had given up teaching Karate and moved to Oita, Kyusho, during the war years. It was his son Yoshihide who persuaded him to return back to Tokyo to resume teaching, with his help. Funakoshi lived with Yoshihide and his family for the last ten years of his live.

Yoshihide strove to keep his father’s views about following a traditional approach to Karate alive. He was not happy about the sporting direction Karate was taking. He would eventually follow his father and become President of the Shotokai.


11 November

On 11 November 1934, Colin Williams was born. Williams a Shotokan practitioner, started his training during the early days of Karate in the United Kingdom, in the 1950s.

In the 1980s he founded the Bukonkai Karate International (BKI) association. He was the association’s Chief Instructor. In 1998 he founded the Malta Bukonkai Karate Karate Association. Many of the island’s leading Shotokan instructors got their start under Williams. He is considered to be the Father of Maltese Karate.

After a long battle against leukaemia, Colin Williams died at the age of 67. More than 250 mourners attended his funeral service.


12 November

On 12 November 1933, Anthony Mirakian was born in Havana, Cuba. His parents, Ruben and Vartouhi Mirakian were Armenians who fled their country due to the genocide.

A pioneer of Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate in the United States, Mirakian was an exponent of traditional Karate as he had been taught in Okinawa.


On 12 November 1964, Julie Nicholson was born in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear.

Nicholson started Shotokan Karate under the guidance of John Holdsworth and Jeff Barwick, at the age of 9. She eventually came under the instruction of Keinosuke Enoeda.

She began her competitive career in 1976 eventually becoming a member of the KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain) squad from 1983 until she retired in 2000.

At the World Shotokan Karate Association Championship in 1999, Nicholson won the kata event and came third in the kumite event. At the KUGB National Championships in 2001, she became the first woman to win both the kata and kumite events, thus becoming Grand Champion.

Nicholson is now a senior instructor for the KUGB. She also runs the successful Ronin Karate Club, alongside her husband John Holdsworth.


On 12 November 1972, Frank Nowak and his wife Kora relocated to Australia. He became the first fully qualified JKA Shotokan instructor to arrive and teach in the country. He established dojos in Miranda and South Sydney.


On 12 November 1993, UFC1 took place at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. The winner of the tournament would win $50,000. Always looking to test himself, Gerard Gordeau had replied to an advert looking for fighters to take part in the competition, which was a no-holds tournament.


On 12 November 1996, Shokei Matsui issued an open letter to IKO members. In the letter, he tried to put members’ minds at rest. He stated that it was everyone’s duty to keep Mas Oyama’s dream alive. This was mainly due to Oyama’s will being contested by his family. He had given a verbal will while on his deathbed. A Japanese High Court, based in Tokyo, had found this will to be invalid.


Between 12 to 13 November 2005, the 26th National Collegiate Karate Championships were due to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. However, they were cancelled for the first time in their history due to Hurricane Katrina.


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1 comment

    • Anonymous on November 7, 2023 at 11:13 pm
    • Reply

    Nov 10 is Gichin Funakoshi’s birthday.

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