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60 years of karate in Schweinfurt: The TG celebrates its anniversary

When the Japanese Arthur Hisatake presented his budo sport karate to the judo department of the Schweinfurt gymnastics community in the summer of 1962, no one could have foreseen that this idea would develop into its own karate department within five years in the TG 1848, which in April 1966 took first place at the first “Official German Karate Championships” in Schweinfurt and, in addition, the German Judo Federation in 1966 included this then completely unknown sport as “Section Karate” in the Judo Federation, alongside Aikido and Kendo. The following information is taken from a press release by TG 1848 Schweinfurt.

On September 24th, the anniversary will be celebrated with a big ceremony, awards and numerous performances from 5.30 p.m. in the sports hall of the gymnastics community in Schweinfurt. The evening will be streamed live via the homepage of the Bavarian Karate Association www.karate-bayern.deas well as via Facebook on “Karate TG Schweinfurt 1848 eV” and “Mighty Eye Online TV”.

Schweinfurt became the cradle of Kyokushinkai Karate in Germany in the early 1960s. Arthur Hisatake, who was born in Hawaii, was serving in the US Army in Schweinfurt at the time and wanted to pass his sport on to young athletes after work. In the beginning, “some” karate was practiced within the judo department after the training. However, it quickly turned out that a little training was not enough to learn the karate techniques perfectly. The small group from the judo department began to do independent karate training parallel to the judo training in the then newly built underground gym.

The Kyokushinkai style was trained

The Kyokushinkai style was trained. This is considered the hardest of its kind among the many karate styles. In Germany, however, Shotokan karate has prevailed over the years. The training took place on the bare wooden floor of the underground gym. It was therefore not necessary to build up mats, as in judo. Even in the first years of competition, the championships were held without mat construction.

The then 16-year-old Peter Förster was there from the start and later headed the karate department for 32 years. He now also played a key role in the celebration evening on September 24th. He uses many photos to review the history of the department.

The main part of the laudatory speech is dedicated to the coaching activity of the head coach Arthur Hisatake, who coached the department for five years, led it to the German championship in 1966 and then brought members of the karate department to the European Championships in Paris in 1966 and London in 1967. During this “Schweinfurt time” Arthur Hisatake also built up the refereeing system and the belt examination system in Germany, because at that time there were no generally applicable belt examination regulations.

Between 1962 and 1968 Schweinfurt was considered the German karate stronghold and the then national coach Bernhard Götz (3rd DAN degree) held his national best courses three to four times a year in the TG gym. Udo Hofer, also one who trained at the TG right from the start under Arthur Hisatake, founded the Schweinfurt karate club in 1972, which today has its domicile in the youth center of the city of Schweinfurt under Budokan 72 Schweinfurt.

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