2015 The Budokwai and Japan Karate Association Anniversary Back

April 19, 2015

The Budokwai, Europe’s oldest Japanese martial arts club in continuous existence, celebrated the 50th anniversary of JKA Karate in England with a series of demonstrations in front of VIPs, guests and members at the club’s premises in Chelsea on Sunday, April 19th.

On April 20th, 1965, the first four Japanese JKA instructors, Senseis Jiri Kase, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Keinosuke Enoeda and Hiroshi Shirai arrived in London to begin instructing in England, following a series of demonstrations in London and the provinces. JKA Karate at The Budokwai began later that year when Charlie Mack, a 2nd Dan and also a 5th Dan in Judo and 1st Dan in Aikido, returned from Japan. He was later succeeded by a number of Japanese instructors at The Budokwai including Senseis Enoeda and Ohta.

The current members of the Budokwai include several and former members of the England squad and many were to the forefront of the demonstrations on April 19th, together with junior members of the club. Among those present were: George Draganov, who unfortunately could not take part because of an injured knee, Rachel O’Halloran, Jana Sersnova, Abigail Good, James Purcell, Chiara Chung Halpern, Jacqueline Voros and Marie Douillet. Their slick demonstrations under the direction of Senei Sue Waughman, the chief instructor at The Budokwai, and Sensei Jason Ramsay, the deputy chief instructor, was much appreciated by the capacity crowd at the club, which was decorated with balloons and the JKA insignia.

The demonstrations were preceded by a welcome from Peter Blewett, the chairman of The Budokwai. This was followed by a speech by John Goodbody, vice-president of the club, who was present at the first session of the JKA instructors in 1965, and by Simon Marchant-Jones, the treasurer of JKA England, who outlined the development of Karate in England and Dominique Demeure, of The Budokwai’s Karate committee.

Among the VIPS present was Mrs. Enoeda, the widow of Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda who died in 2003, Sensei and Mrs. Tomita, Mr and Mrs Buck, and Tony Sweeney, the president of The Budokwai. Following the demonstrations there was a lunch provided for all the participants, with everyone looking forward to the next 50 years of JKA Karate at the most famous and distinguished Martial Arts club in the country.

The Budokwai would like to thank everyone who was involved in this event, and to John Goodbody who wrote the celebratory brochure, to photographer David Finch, and to Nick Powell who filmed the event.

Visit the gallery at this link:

Visit the Budokwai website at this link

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