8th Dan Kodokan Judo 1938 – 2010
In 1972 Akinori Hosaka became the chief coach of Sale Judo Club in Sale, Cheshire, a position he retained until his death in 2010. For nearly 40 years he coached many hundreds of Judoka that all regarded him with immense respect and gratitude. He also produced, helped and influenced many players that rose to National and International competitive standards (most notably Jane Bridge, Britain’s first World Champion).
Mr Akinori Hosaka was born in Akita Ken in the province of Akita in the north of Japan’s main island on January 17th 1938. At aged 18 he won the Akita Ken Junior Open Championship and then attended the top Judo University of the time: Nihon University, studying law. His Judo regime at this time consisted of training six hours a day, 6 days a week with competitions on most Sundays.
At 20 years old he was a finalist in the 2nd Dan Kodokan Student Championship and was later graded to 3rd Dan in a Kodokan Batsugun Contest, which is a “Winner stays on” line-up, where anyone who beats five or more of their own grade earns a grade promotion.
At 21 years old he was a finalist in the 3rd Dan Kodokan Student Championship and then at 22 years old fought Isao Inokuma for half an hour in the All Japan University Championships. At the end of the first ten minute round neither had managed to achieve a winning score and so the contest was extended for a further 10 minutes. At the end of which, the situation was still the same so they fought for a further ten minutes, an incredible exhibition of skill given the weight advantage of Inokuma. The decision went to the judges who declared Isao Inokuma the winner (the year before Isao Inokuma had won the All Japan Open weight Championship and would 4 years later go on to take a Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics).
After university he mainly trained at the Kodokan and at only 23 years old he was appointed the Sindai Police Judo Instructor. In the same year he won the Gold Medal in the N.E. Japan Championships and was also awarded his 5th Dan. Suffice to say at this time Akinori Hosaka’s ability was, and still is, well respected by many Japanese judo masters as well as his own contemporaries.
At the request of T.P Leggett in 1962 he came to England at the age of 24 years and was employed by Kita Nishi Kwan (KNK) Judo club in Middleton, Manchester as a British Judo Association coach, where he gained great respect for his fantastic judo ability as well as making many lifelong friends in the BJA. Shortly after his arrival he met with ten members of the then British squad and fought and defeated each one, from lightest to heaviest in turn. At the start of each contest he told his opponent which technique he would use to beat them and did so in every contest in short succession.
In the last 24 years of his life Aki dedicated himself to improving British Judo and committed himself to the British Judo Council as their Technical Advisor in 1991 and their Chief Examiner in 1994. He also became an honorary member of the BJA’s Black Belt Association in 1995. During the last twelve years of his life he developed and improved his coaching courses creating over 800 BJC coaches qualified to his unique system of coaching in ‘The Fundamental Principles of Judo’ which promotes the coaching of basic judo skills from beginners through to black belt.
In, 2003 Mr Akinori Hosaka received his 8th Dan from the Kodokan. It was to be his last Dan grade promotion, and well deserved for the life long services he had given the sport of Judo and to those who participated in it.