This week in history (7 Jan – 13 Jan)

8 January

On 8 January 1945 Pauline Bindra (nee Laville), who holds the distinction of being the first woman in Britain to earn a JKA (Japan Karate Association) black belt in Karate, was born in Middlesbrough, England.  

Pauline Bindra has had a great influence on British Karate. Apart from the personal accolades of being the first female black belt in Britain and one of the highest ranked female Shotokan practitioners in the world; she has also taught and influenced many of the top Shotokan instructors currently teaching in the UK. She has been a founding member of several major Karate governing bodies in the UK. She has helped found her own successful association and established a successful martial arts equipment company. Pauline Laville-Bindra can be rightly thought of as a Karate pioneer. 


On 8 January 1981 Shigeru Egami died from a brain tumour. He was 68 years old. An early student of Gichin and Yoshitaka Funakoshi, it is a pity that many karateka in the West know very little about this elite martial artist. He fully understood Gichin Funakoshi’s believe that Karate was more than a physical pursuit. He understood that Karate had a very strong mental element to it.

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