This week in history (8 November – 14 November)

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. Tomoyuki Aihara became World Champion, with Dario Marchini in second place and Luis Maria Sanz in third place. Marchini also helped Italy become Men’s Team Kata World champions. They defeated Japan in the final. France finished in third place.

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. The Italian men’s team prevented Japan from having a clean sweep of kata titles, beating the Japanese team into second place.

The British kumite team continued their dominance of the team event winning their fifth consecutive title. They had won their first title in 1990.


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 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 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 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 are due to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. However, they were cancelled for the first time in their history due to Hurricane Katrina.


13 November

On 13 November 1943 David ‘Ticky’ Donovan was born, in Loughton, England. He is a highly respected former competitor, coach and founder of the Ishinryu style of Karate.

Originally a boxer, Donovan got started in Karate in 1965 when he and a friend attended a class run by Tatsuo Suzuki, a practitioner of Wado-Ryu. He almost quit after the first lesson, finding the pace a little slow. However, following a demonstration by Suzuki he was hooked.

Donovan practised Wado-Ryu for a number of years before making a switch to Shotokan Karate, being trained by Hirokazu Kanazawa and Keinosuke Enoeda. Following a break from Karate after sustaining a broken hand, Donovan switched styles to Kyokushinkai Karate, training under Steve Arneil. He was eventually awarded his 2nd Dan by Mas Oyama, the creator of the style.

With over thirty years as a British team coach, Ticky Donovan has coached some of the best British Karate talents, including (but not limited to) Wayne Otto, Molly Samuel, Vic Charles, Julliet and Jillian Toney.

As coach of the British team, Donovan spearheaded the most successful period in British competitive Karate. His teams won the World Championship Team Kumite event five times (1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990) in a row.


On 13 November 1970, the Toney twins (Jillian and Juliette) were born. They were both kumite competitors representing Britain at World and European levels.

Julliet Toney is a two-time World Karate Champion (1996, 1998) and has also won medals at European and World Games competing in the 60kg weight class.

Jillian Toney is no less impressive, having won World Games (1997) and European (1997) titles, and also winning silver medals at the World Championships (1992, 1994), competing in the 53kg weight class.


Between 13-16 November 2008, Douglas Brose won his first-ever World Championship medal at the 19th World Championships, held in Tokyo, Japan,. He won a bronze medal in the Men’s Individual -60 kg Kumite event, behind Danil Domdjoni and Darkhan Assadilov.


14 November

On 14 November 1889  Shito-ryu Karate founder, Kenwa Mabuni, was born in Okinawa.

Mabuni was one of the first Okinawan masters to teach his style of Karate on the Japanese mainland, eventually settling in Osaka in 1929. He initially trained under Yasutsune Itoso learning Shuri te, He later trained under Kanryo Higaonna learning Naha te from him. Always keen to learn new techniques he also studied under various Okinawan and Chinese masters.


On 14 November 1932, Yutaka Yaguchi was born in Hiroshima, Japan. He was the youngest of five children and came from a family of farmers.

Like many of the instructors to come out of the JKA, Yutaka Yaguchi was an exceptional fighter. He was known for his speed and strength. Apart from his technical ability, what stands out about Yaguchi is his warmth as an instructor. Those who have trained with him, have found him to be approachable, despite any language barriers.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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