This week in history…(8 January – 14 January)

On 8 January 1933, a pioneer of Goju-Ryu Karate in America, Chuck Merriman was born in Waterford, Connecticut.

For many years Chuck Merriman has been one of the most recognisable faces in Karate. This American Karate pioneer has been featured on the cover of many martial arts publications. He has been instrumental in popularising Goju-Ryu Karate around the world.

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.

A student of Keinosuke Enoeda, 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 also taught and influenced many of the top Shotokan instructors currently teaching in the UK. She was a founding member of several major Karate governing bodies in the UK. She 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 karatekas in the West know very little about this elite martial artist. He fully understood Gichin Funakoshi’s belief that Karate

On 9 January 2015, Siam Camp 2015 took place at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. It was the 14th Shotokan Karate Gasshuku held in Bangkok. Apart from Fujikiyo Omura, the other JKA instructors teaching were Koichi Sugimura and Tatsuya Naka.

On 11 January 1988, Nicholas Pettas watched his first Karate class and knew he had found what he wanted to do. As he was under the age of 18, he had to get his mother’s and stepfather’s approval. Once the necessary papers had been signed, he joined the Kyokushin Karate dojo of Humberto Budtz.

On 11 January 1998 Chojiro Tani, the founder of Shukokai Karate, died from liver cancer.

As a student, Tani had trained under Kenwa Mabuni at the Doshisha University club studying Goju-Ryu Karate which had been started at the club by Chojun Miyagi. He would also travel to Osaka to train with Mabuni. He eventually changed styles from Goju-Ryu to Shito–Ryu, some years later. After graduating, Tani had been invited to teach at the club. Years later, under his leadership, the club changed from Goju-Ryu to teaching Tani–Ha Shito-Ryu. However, the club returned to teaching a mixture of Goju-Ryu and Shito-Ryu. Eventually, Tani’s style of Shito-Ryu became known as Shukokai.

On 13 January 1934, Maynard Miner was born in Brooklyn, New York.

A pioneer of Shotokan Karate in the United States, Maynard Miner helped lay the foundations of Shotokan Karate in the US. His many students include the likes of George Cofield, John Mullin, and many others. Like many of his generation, he learned his Karate in the postwar Japan of the 1950s.

On 13 January 1999, Eisuke Akamine died, aged 73.

Akamine taught Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai from his Shinbikan dojo in the village of Tomigusuku. He had been a senior student of the Kobudo master, Shinkin Taira.

On 13 January 2015, four inaugural inductees were inducted into the Finnish Karate Association’s Hall of Fame. The inductees were Kari Kuula, Kai Wikberg, Auvo Niiniketo, and Sari Laine.

An Individual Kumite competitor, Sari Laine is the winner of multiple titles at the National, European, and World levels. She appears in the Guinness Book of Records for winning the most Karate medals.

On 14 January 2021, Steve Arneil sent a letter to the IFK members stating that he would be retiring as President of the IFK and David Pickthall would become his successor with immediate effect. The IFK Executive Board had previously agreed with the decision on 3 January.

Pickthall became only the second president of the IFK. Arneil remained on the Executive Board as the Founder of the IFK. Liam Keaveney was appointed Vice-President of the IFK.

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    • CJ on January 12, 2024 at 5:18 pm
    • Reply

    What is your background in karate?

    1. I have been training for a number of years

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