Thursday, January 15, 2004

O'Sensei Richard Kim

I just found out that Hanshi O'Sensei Richard Kim had passed away. I am so slow on news seeing as I read this today and he passed away in Nov. of 2001. I meet him in the late nineties and he is an icon in the martial arts world. He was ranked 10th Dan. He was the head of the Botoku-Kai. A very respected man. I would write of the amazing accomplishments by him but there are just too many.

I remember going to one of his weekend seminars. My sensei was very anxious. See, he studied under Richard Kim and its an honour to stand beside him. I remember shaking his hand after we had been training for hours. All sweaty and messy. He signed my book. Very quite, gentle man. I know he has seen many things and endured many trials and obstacles. I've heard so many stories about him, from the 'Japanese POW camps during World War II to his training secret agents during the Cold War' etc..

I only met him that one time and I will never forget it. It saddens me more than I thought it would to hear about his passing. 'Both he and the generation he was a part of are destined to become legends and then obscure myths should the human race manage to survive that long. I can only hope that the wisdom he possessed and relied upon when leading the Botoku-Kai lives on in the countless lives he touched. Perhaps that’s the best way I can thank him. In that light, I feel it best to end with one of his most famous quotes. "A Martial Artist is an Artist of Life."'

parts taken from the Ottawa Edge: The Passing of a Legend

November 17, 1919
November 08, 2001

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