Sensei Kanazawa has Died

Hi All. I don’t know why, but I thought I would look up some information on YouTube on Sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa. As most of you know, I have actually trained quite a few times with this man and, on one occasion at a big training session (about 500 of us) at Picketts Lock Sports Centre in Edmonton, I was asked by him to take the warm-up exercises, which was a great honour.

Unfortunately, what I discovered was that Sensei died on 8th December 2019. I would have thought, given the amount of people training all over the world at karate, that his passing would have made at least a ripple in our collective karate psyche. It would seem that if you are an actor or a footballer you create a greater ripple than someone of Sensei Kanazawa’s standing! All wrong in my opinion.

Sensei was born on 3rd May 1931 and he died on 8th December 2019, so he was 89 and in the 90th year of his lfe when he died, and he had been teaching right up to the end. I really hope to follow in his footsteps.

As I say, I have trained under Sensei Kanazawa quite a few times, and although his English never was very good his ability to clearly demonstrate a technique by actions was outstanding.

The founder of “modern” karate was Sensei Gichin Funakoshi who taught Sensei Nakayama, and Sensei Nakayama taught Sensei Kanazawa. As Sensei Kanazawa taught me the Buntingford Karate Club is therefore one of the few clubs that can trace its linage directly back to Sensei Funakoshi. I thinks that’s a pretty good claim to fame!

If you get the chance, check out on YouTube (or watch below) two particular clips. One is entitled “The Legend of Karate Hirokazu Kanazawa (Tribute)” and the other is “Hirokazu Kanazawa Interview & Demo”. In the second one the guy with the beard being knocked about is Terry O’Neil. Terry is from the Red Triangle Gym in Liverpool. He is a big broad-shouldered guy and Sensei is throwing him around as if he were a toy. I have also trained with Sensei O’Neil, and boy can he punch!

Keep safe.

Sensei Bill.