This week in history (8 April – 14 April)

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 great Budo masters Jigoro Kano and Morihei Uesiba. An accomplished martial artist, Mochizuki held a 10th Dan in Aikido; a 9th Dan in Jujutsu; a 8th Dan in Judo; a 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 The 18th Annual Traditional Karate Tournament International was hosted by Osamu Ozawa for the last time.

Ozawa organised the first tournament in 1981 at the Maxim Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, in front of 150 spectators. 12 instructors were invited to give talks and demonstrations. From humble beginnings the tournament would go on to become one of the biggest traditional Karate tournaments in the world.

14 April

On 14 April 1956 Henri Plee, the Father of European Karate, was graded to 3rd Dan by the great Judo master Ichiro Abe. He started his Judo practice around 1945 under Mikonosuke Kawaishi.

In 1953 Plee came into contact with martial arts historian, Donn Draeger who sent him a film showing Shotokan legends Isao Obata and Masatoshi Nakayama training. This gave him an interest in Karate.

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