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

9 October

On 9th October 1922 Vernon Bell, the Father of British Karate was born in Ilford, Essex.

Initially, Bell started learning Karate from Henri Plee who was responsible for introducing Karate into Europe. Bell was responsible for bringing Tetsuji Murakami and Hiroo Mochizuki to teach for the British Karate Federation (BKF). He was also responsible for inviting the JKA into the UK, to teach their version of Shotokan Karate.

10 October

On 10 October 1928, Shotokan Karate master, Hidetaka Nishiyama, was born.

Nishiyama attended the famed university, Takushoku, studying economics. In 1949 he was named the Captain of the Karate team, after joining earlier that year.

In the early 1950s, Nishiyama was part of a group, including Masatoshi Nakayama and Isao Obata, selected to teach military personnel from the Strategic Air Command (SAC). By 1960 he had been promoted to 5th Dan and was becoming an important member of the Japan Karate Association (JKA).

In the 1960s Nishiyama moved to the United States. He went on to form the All-American Karate Federation (AAKF). He was also a founding member of the Pan American Karate Union and the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF).

He died in 2008 following a long battle with cancer.

On 10 October 1957, a photograph was taken of Vernon Bell performing tameshiwara (the art of breaking objects) and was published in an unknown newspaper. The article, under the heading ‘Secret “Sportsmen” Train to Kill’ was written by journalist Dez Marwood. In the article, a photograph shows Bell breaking a thin piece of wood balanced between two chairs. The technique he used was a downward shuto (knife-hand strike).

15 October

On 15 October 1924, Gichin Funakoshi resumed teaching Karate at Keio University. The dojo at the university had been rebuilt by his students, following the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 which had destroyed it. This was the first university Karate club in Japan, at Keio University. One of the early students at the club was Isao Obata.

On 15 October 1976, Tadashi Nakamura established the World Seido Karate Organisation. He broke ties with his teacher, Mas Oyama. Students like William Oliver followed him to the new organization.

Between 15–18 October 1998, the 14th World Karate Championships were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Terry Daly helped coach England to a silver medal in the Team Kumite event behind France.

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.