This week in history (6 July – 12 July)

6 July

On 6 July 1952, “Father of European Karate“, Henri Plee, was graded to 2nd Dan in Judo under Mikinosuke Kawaishi.

7 July

On 7 July 1995 Shukokai master, Shigeru Kimura, died following a massive heart attack. He was only 54 years at the time.

Kimura was a lifelong student of Shukokai founder Chojiro Tani. A two-time All-Japan champion, he was dedicated to the promotion of Shukokai Karate around the world.

8 July

On 8 July 1927, Okinawan Master Kentsu Yabu, gave a Shorinji-ryu demonstration at the Nuanu YMCA in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was assisted in the demonstration by Ankichi Arakaki. A young Richard Kim was in the audience that saw the demonstration.

9 July

On 9 July 1943 Chief Instructor of the KUGB, Andy Sherry, was born.

Sherry is one of the highest-ranked Shotokan practitioners in the United Kingdom, having been one of the first people awarded a JKA 1st Dan in Britain in 1966 by Keinosuke Enoeda. Now a 9th Dan and one of the most senior Shotokan karateka in Britain, he has been instrumental in the growth of Shotokan in the country.

12 July

On 12 July 1956 Hiroo Mochizuki, the son of Yoseikan founder Minoru Mochizuki, arrived in France to conduct a number of Karate courses.

Born in 1936 Hiroo Mochizuki began his martial arts training in the eclectic Yoseikan system of his father, Minoru, who had studied under the three great Budo masters, Gichin Funakoshi, Morihei Ueshiba and Jigoro Kano. He incorporated aspects from each of these masters into his Yoseikan system.

Hiroo Mochizuki arrived in Marseille on 12 July 1956 and went onto Toulon, However, there had been a mix-up with his schedule. He was meant to have taught a course held at Coullioure between 15 – 30 July. Henri Plee stepped in to take the course, with Mochizuki arriving at Coullioure on the 30th and teaching for another 4 days.

On 12 July 2011, Wado-ryu master, Tatsuo Suzuki died in London.

Suzuki was a direct student of Wado-ryu founder, Hironori Ohtsuka, having started Karate at the age of 14. He was instrumental for the spread of Wado-ryu across Europe. Suzuki arrived in the UK in January 1965 (he had previously visited during a world tour), settling in London. He was one of the earliest Japanese masters to arrive and teach in the UK. As a member of the All Britain Karate Association (ABKA) he and his assistants spread Wado-ryu across the UK.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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