This week in history…(9 January – 15 January)

9 January

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.

11 January

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, 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.

13 January

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 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.

14 January

On 14 January 2021, Steve Arneil sent a letter to the IFK (International Federation of Karate) 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.

15 January

On 15 January 1963, Akiyoshi (Shokei) Matsui was born in Chiba, Japan. Of Korean heritage, he was named Moon Jang-gyu.

Considered by some to be a “Kyokushin Karate genius“, Shokei Matsui was the youngest man to become Kyokushin World Champion. A tough competitor, he won 50 out of 56 fights. He is also one of the few people to have completed the gruelling 100-man Kumite Challenge, unique to Kyokushin Karate.

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