This week in history…(8 May – 7 May)

8 May

On 5 May 1998, Gennaro Talarico won his first senior European gold medal at the 33rd European Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia, where he defeated teammate Salvatore Loria to win the -75 kg Men’s Individual Kumite title.


On 8 May 2017, the Islamic Solidarity Games were held in Baku, Azerbaijan. It finished on 12 May. Rafael Aghayev won yet another kumite title, at his home games.


9 May

Between 9 – 12 May at the 48th European Karate Championships held in Budapest, Hungry, Rafael Aghayev returned to his winning ways. He defeated Dutchman, René Smaal in the final of the -75 kg kumite event.


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 were laid alongside those of his wife.

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


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, Andy 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.


11 May

On 11 May 1966, much to the dismay of many students, Hirokazu Kanazawa departed the UK for South Africa. His contract with the BKF came to an end and was not renewed. Kanazawa had built a fierce and loyal devotion from his students, especially those from the London area. They felt directionless and wanted to be taught by no one other than Kanazawa.


On 11 May 2019, at the 53rd KUGB National Championships, Bob Rhodes was presented with an award for being a long-standing member of the KUGB, by Andy Sherry. By this time, he had been a member of the KUGB for fifty years and was also a member of the KUGB Technical Committee alongside Andy Sherry, Terry O’Neill, Bob Poynton, Billy Higgins, and Frank Brennan.


12 May

On 12 May 2006, Hamish Adam was appointed a Director at the Scottish Karate Governing Body (SKGB). A Wado-Ryu practitioner, Adam has won many Scottish, British, European, and World titles.


On 12 May 2017, Cyril Cummins died following a short battle with cancer. A pioneer of Shotokan Karate in the West Midlands of England, Cummins was known as the “Trainer of Champions“. For over 50 years he trained many National, European, and World Champions. Some of his successful students included Ronnie Christopher, Slater Williams, Franklyn Doras, and Ronnie Canning.


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 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 with 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.

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.


Between 13 – 15 May 2005, the 40th European Championships were held at San Cristobal de La Laguna, Spain. Rafael Aghayev changed weight classes. Fighting in the -70 kg event, he defeated Ivan Leal of Spain in the final.


On 13 May 2006, Mas Tsuroka, the Father of Canadian Karate, was awarded his 10th Dan by the National Karate Association (NKA). That same year he was one of the five original inductees into the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame.


14 May

On 14 May 1958, Motokuni Sugiura received his license as a Physical Education Instructor from the Ministry of Education.

A great thinker on the essence of Karate and how it should be taught, Motokuni Sugiura dedicated his life to Karate. As an instructor, he focused on developing strong basics. As the second Chief Instructor of the JKA, he oversaw a turbulent period in their history.


On 14 May 1972, Nobuaki Kanazawa was born in Tokyo, Japan. An accomplished master in his own right, known for his dynamic style of Karate, he is the son of one of the greatest Shotokan practitioners, Hirokazu Kanazawa.


On 14 May 1977, the film, ‘Karate for Life‘, was released. It was the final film in a trilogy of films based on the life of Kyokushin Karate founder, Mas Oyama. The trilogy’s first film, ‘Karate Bullfighter,’ was released on 9 August 1975, in Japan. Later that year, on 27 December, the second film, ‘Karate Bearfighter‘ was released in Japan.


On 14 May 1986, Miki Rebecca Nakamachi was born Miki Rebecca Waterhouse (Nakamachi is her married name), in Kobe Japan. She is older than her identical twin sister, Vanessa Aya.

Known as the ‘JKA’s Queen of Hearts‘, Miki Nakamachi wears many hats. She is an instructor, a competitor, and a mother. She has won numerous kata titles nationally and internationally. Karate has helped her develop a very strong mindset. This has helped her cope with some of the tragedies in her life.


On 14 May 2022, the JKA Shinhankai promoted Kazuhiro Sawada to 8th Dan. A longtime member of the JKA (Japanese Karate Association), he has been at the forefront of helping to establish Shotokan Karate in Belgium. Like many of the JKA Masters of his generation, he is very technical.

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1 comment

    • John on May 8, 2023 at 9:08 am
    • Reply

    Need more on Sensei Ray Fuller

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