This week in history (9 September – 15 September)

9 September

On 9 September 2015 Goju-ryu master, Teruo Chinen, died in Spokane, United States.

Born in 1941, Chinen trained as a teenager under Goju-ryu founder, Chojun Miyagi. He later trained extensively under one of Miyagi’s main students, Ei’ichi Miyazato.

Chinen first travelled to the United States in 1969, initially for what was meant to be a three-month visit. However, he ended up settling in the city of Spokane.


10 September

On 10 September 1965 Charles Mack became the first British subject awarded a 2nd Dan in Shotokan Karate from the Japan Karate Association (JKA). Masatoshi Nakayama awarded him his grade at the JKA’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Mack had previously been awarded his 1st Dan by Nakayama three years earlier, becoming the first British subject awarded a 1st Dan by the JKA in Japan.

In the same year Mack was also awarded a 5th Dan from the Kodakan, the home of Japanese Judo. He received his grade from Risei Kano, son of Judo founder Jigaro Kano.


11 September

On 11 September 1934 Colin Williams, the founder of the Bukonkai Karate International (BKI) association, was born. He started training in the early days of Karate in the United Kingdom.

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On 11 September 1970 Michael Randall, Christopher Adamou and Nicholas Adamou graded to 2nd Dan under Hirokazu Kanazawa. All three men had started their Karate training with the British Karate Federation (BKF) in 1964.

When Kanazawa began teaching for the BKF Randall and the Adamou brothers trained relentlessly with him and became part of a group of students, including Eddie Whitcher, Mike Peachey, Will Mannion and Jack Johnson, known playfully as the Seven Samurai who were totally devoted to him.

When the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) was formed, they were among the students who followed Kanazawa to the new organisation. All three men earned their 1st Dan from Kanazawa in 1967.


12 September

On 12 September 1961 Molly Samuel, a multiple world champion, was born in Paddington, West London.

Samuel was Britain’s first individual female World Karate Federation (WKF) World Champion. She was a pioneer of women’s competitive Karate, paving the way for many of Britain’s future world champions.

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On 12 September 1971 Atsuko Wakai, a four-time kata World Champion, was born in Gifu, Japan.

Wakai is the only woman to win four consecutive world kata titles. This feat earned her an entry in the Guinness Book of Records and made her one of the most dominant world champions, male or female.


15 September

On 15 September 1938 Fumio Demura, a pioneer of American Karate, was born in Yokohama, Japan.

Demura arrived in the US in 1965 at the invitation of another American pioneer, Dan Ivan. He started teaching at Ivan’s dojo.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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