This week in history (29 June – 5 July)

29 June

On 29 June 1935, Gosei (Norimi) Yamaguchi, the eldest son of Gogen (Jitsumi) Yamaguchi, was born in Shinjing, Manchuria.

Gosei Yamaguchi started training at the age of 4, under the watchful eye of his father.

In 1964 Gosei Yamaguchi was sent to the United States to replace his younger brother, Gosen, at the San Francisco State University Karate club. He eventually established Goju-Kai Karate-Do USA.


30 June

On 30 June 1956, noted martial arts historian, Donn Draeger left the Marine Corps.

Draeger held the rank of lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He attended Georgetown University in Washington DC. However, he moved to Japan, where he continued his studies at Sophia University.


2 July

On 2 July 2013 Shoei Miyazato, a Kobayashi Shorin-ryu master and early student of Katsuya Miyahira (the successor to Chosin Chibana), died aged 85 years.

Although born in Okinawa, Miyazato attended elementary and high school in Osaka, Japan. As it was during the 2nd World War he had to undergo mandatory training in Kendo, Judo and military affairs.

At the age of 13, Miyazato began learning Shito-ryu from his uncle. At age 17 he also began to learn boxing.


3 July

On 3 July 1965, Hirokazu Kanazawa took his first teaching trip to The British Karate Federation’s (BKF) York dojo. He was there for a week.


On 3 July 1971, the 5th KUGB Championships were held at Crystal Palace, London. Terry O’Neill won his first-ever KUGB kata title. G. Haslam became kumite champion. The Liverpool Red Triangle Club won its fifth straight team kumite title.


4 July

On 4 July 1935 Keinosuke Enoeda, a founding member of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), was born in Fukuoka, Japan, to a family of samurai lineage.

Enoeda began his martial arts training in Judo aged 7. He eventually reached the grade of 2nd Dan. He entered Takushoku University, aged 19, because of its strong Karate club. Enoeda was awarded the rank of 1st Dan in 1955, aged 21. He later captained the university’s famed Karate Club.

Graduating from Takushoku University with a degree in Economics, Enoeda eventually entered the JKA’s Instructor program in 1959, under the instruction of Masatoshi Nakayama and Hidetaka Nishiyama.  In 1963 he became the JKA All-Japan Karate kumite champion.

Following a brief stay in Hawaii, Enoeda was invited to the UK to assist Hirokazu Kanazawa in developing Karate in Britain. He mainly taught in Liverpool. When Kanazawa returned to Japan, Enoeda eventually became the chief instructor of the KUGB.


On 4 July 1987 the English Karate Board (EKB) held its 3rd National Championships at the Crystal Palace, London. The EKB consisted of members from all the major styles of Karate in England and nine different associations took part in the individual and team events.

Like the previous year Shotokan’s Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) won the majority of titles on offer. The KUGB won 12 golds, 8 silvers and 4 bronzes. Frank Brennan was once again the Grand Champion, winning both the individual kata and heavyweight kumite titles. He won a further 2 titles, winning the team kumite and team kata events.


On 4 July 1999, Hiroki Kurosawa took part in Pride 6. He faced Nobuaki Kakuda. Kakuda had practised Kyokushin and Seidokaikan Karate and was also a kickboxer. Kurosawa defeated Kakuda in their match.


On 4 July 2004, history was made when Australian, Naomi Ali (Woods) became the first woman to pass the 100-Man Kumite Challenge. She completed the challenge in a respectable 3 hours 8 minutes. By the end of the challenge, she was almost unconscious and had sustained broken fingers and toes. Ali was the first was also the first woman to attempt to 50-man Challenge.


5 July

On 5 July 1957 the first photographs of karateka training in Britain, appeared in the Romford Recorder. The photographs were part of an article, “Forbidden Sport Taught Here – Japanese Fights Often Ended in Death“, which was a followup to an article written on 21 June.

The two photographs were taken at 12 Maybush Road, Hornchurch and show Vernon Bell countering attacks from Trevor Guilfoyle, a white belt at the time.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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