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Thread: Passing of a former teacher

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    Default Passing of a former teacher

    For Immediate Release, November 8, 2008
    (Los Angeles, CA)

    The International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF) is in mourning today following the passing of their President and Chairman, Hidetaka Nishiyama at the age of 80. Mr. Nishiyama was a world renowned karate master well known for his steadfast dedication to the preservation and protection of the Martial Art of Traditional Karate.

    "Mr. Nishiyama passed away peacefully following his struggle with cancer", a family spokesperson said.
    Mr. Nishiyama dedicated his life to the Budo principles on which his beloved Martial Art of Traditional Karate is based. As a Charter Member of the Japan Karate Association and founding President of the Japan Karate Association International of America and the International Traditional Karate Federation, his influence on the modern day practice of Traditional Karate is unparalleled.

    "He was truly one of a kind", said Acting ITKF Chairman, Rick Jorgensen. "He has greatly influenced and impacted the lives of those who practice Traditional Karate."
    "His vision was very broad. It included people of all ages and all styles of karate", said Jorgensen. "Sensei Nishiyama strongly held the belief that the Martial Art of Traditional Karate was a path of self development. School children, adults and seniors can use the principles of Traditional Karate to achieve their highest potential through the human development of mind, body and spirit. In the last years of his life, he created a system of training these Budo principles for the use in all styles of karate. He believed that creation of a universal system for self development through Budo training was his greatest achievement. He left the ITKF with that treasure of knowledge."

    "It is now up to the ITKF to ensure Sensei Nishiyama's life work carries on and that we are unwavering in our commitment to preserve for future generations the Budo principles of the Martial Art that he saw as the necessary underpinnings for those who practice Traditional Karate".

    Born in Tokyo, Japan, on October 10, 1928, Mr. Nishiyama had a long history of Martial Art training beginning at a very early age. He began training in Kendo under the instruction of his father, an accomplished Kendo master, at the age of 5. At the age of 10 he began his training in Judo and in 1943 he joined the Shotokan karate dojo where he achieved his first degree black belt in 1946 under Master Gichin Funakoshi.
    Regardless of where Mr. Nishiyama traveled, he left his mark as a leader. He was named captain of the Takushoku University Karate Team and was co-founder of the All Japan Collegiate Karate Federation. He received a Master of Arts degree in economics from Takushoku University and in 1951 he co-founded the Japan Karate Association and was elected to its Board of Directors.

    In 1960 he published his first book: Karate: The Art of Empty-Hand Fighting. Today, his book still remains one of the foremost authoritative writings on the Martial Art of Traditional Karate.

    In 1961, following his move to the United States, Mr. Nishiyama formed the American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF). He later formed the JKA-US that set standards for the practice of the JKA style of karate. In 1973, he formed the International Amateur Karate Federation (which later became the International Traditional Karate Federation) and in 1976 submitted the first application to the International Olympic Committee for recognition of Traditional Karate on behalf of its athletes representing different styles of Traditional Karate.
    In 1999, Mr. Nishiyama received an American flag which had flown over the Capitol Building in his honor on October 10 - the date of his birthday. The flag was in recognition of his unwavering effort on behalf of Traditional Karate and to acknowledge his significant contribution to the physical and psychological health of Americans.

    In 2000, Mr. Nishiyama was honored by the Emperor of Japan who presented him with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
    The Republic of Poland also honored Mr. Nishiyama in 2001 with the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, which was presented in Warsaw by the nation's President, Aleksander Kwaśniewski at the opening ceremony of the first Traditional Karate World Cup.

    For More Information Contact:
    Rick Jorgensen, Acting Chairman
    International Traditional Karate Federation
    Tel: (905) 984-0117
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: Passing of a former teacher

    Deep Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute

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    Default Re: Passing of a former teacher

    That is a significant loss.

    God be with his family and students.

    Your Brother
    ((if you use "FaceBook", look me up there by name))
    "Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted"
    ~ David Bly

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    Default Re: Passing of a former teacher

    Sorry for your loss...

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    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Passing of a former teacher

    Sorry Doc,

    Pete Star sent me the email this morning.

    My Deepest Respect
    Brad Marshall SP

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    Sorry to hear this news.
    My deepest respect and prayers.

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    ~ Steve Zalazowski
    Continuing Student of the Arts.

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    Default Re: Passing of a former teacher

    Truly one of the greatest legendary giants and fathers of the arts in our country and our time. A key historic figure, for any unfamiliar with his name or contributions. Japanese Karate exists as a prominent entity of quality content in our country essentially because of the efforts of this man. And it's presence provided an energy to interact with and against, as an impetus for Mr. Parker to press the art we know as American Kenpo into modern day cultural consciousness. Everything from the way we do techniques, the rules and customs at the tournaments you go to (if anything other than JKA events), and so on, influenced by Nishiyama-sama and Oshima-sama sensei.

    I spoke with Pete Starr at a camp recently, about some of the old timers, and how quickly they are passing from the scene...what effect their loss will have on the quality of information available to future generations. He mentioned a chat with Nishiyama-sensei he had recently. In that chat, Sifu Starr inquired as to the status of the arts in Japan. Nishiyama responded that...due to a disinterest in the old arts and old work ethics by Japanese youth, it is suffering and dying in the East. That the future of the arts, if they are to have one, is the West. That the best teachers with the best knowledge have emigrated out of the Far East, or taught whhat they have to offer to students who have left their homelands. This places a huge responsibility and obligation on Western budo practitioners to carry the flame, moreso now that it's standard bearer has moved on.

    I am reminded by this post of the number of famous and not-so-famous kenpo seniors who currently face a number of health challenges, some not long for this world. We...the next generation of kenpo kin when they have moved on...become the keepers of the flame. Learn it well while you may, so you can pass it on to the best of your understanding.

    Doomo, Nishiyama-sama. Sayonara, e 'Namaste': Until we meet again in that place where we are all one.
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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