This week in history (9 May – 15 May)

9 May

Between 9 – 12 May at the 48th European Karate Championships was 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 had 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.

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 to 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 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.

15 May

On 15 May 1947, Steve Cattle was born. Until his untimely death, aged only 47, he was one of the longest practicing Shotokan practitioners in Britain. He was also a keen historian of Karate.

Cattle began his Karate training in 1963, after applying for membership with the British Karate Federation (BKF) in York. He moved to Liverpool to study Degree in Divinity. It was at this time he started training with Keinosuke Enoeda.

In the late 1980’s Cattle left the KUGB and joined Taiji Kase’s World Karate Shotokan Karate Association (WKSA).

On 15 May 1993, Ray Dalke announced that the 20th Riverside National Karate Championships would be his last event. He had decided to take early retirement. The championships continue to be one of the premier tournaments in the United States.

On 15th May 2008, Henri Plee was awarded the National Order of Merit by French President Jacques Chirac. The award was in recognition of his martial arts expertise. He was awarded the rank of Knight. Later that year on 12 December Jacque Delcourt presented him with the Knights Insignia of the National Order of Merit. At an event held at the offices of the European Magazine in Paris. Delcourt gave a speech detailing Plee’s life and his close links to the history of French Karate. He also read two congratulatory letters from Jacques Rogge of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Antonio Espinos of the World Karate Federation (WKF).

On 15 May 2011, Ray Dalke was elected to the University of California, Riverside Athletics Hall of Fame. This was in recognition of his successful coaching career at the University.

As a coach, Dalke oversaw one of the most successful collegiate Karate programs in the United States. During his tenure, the Karate team won five National Collegiate Championships and had eight individual National Collegiate Karate Champions.

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