Thanks and farewell to karate master
Around 150 martial-arts practitioners from all over Britain gathered in Aberdeen and in Peterhead recently.
They joined members of the Shi-Gaku-Kan karate clubs last weekend to be instructed by Hirokazu Kanazawa, 10th Dan, Kancho (president) of the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF), the world's largest single-style karate association, with more than 2.5 million members.
Travelling with Kancho Kanazawa was his son, Nobuaki Kanazawa, 6th Dan, Kancho designate, who will take over the presidency of the SKIF when his father retires.
Kanazawa father and son arrived in Peterhead at about the time of Kancho Kanazawa's 79th birthday.
Kancho shared his teaching among all grades of students from the most junior beginners and children, to some of the most senior and advanced martial artists from all over Britain.
Though a little stooped with age he demonstrated high kicks and the flexibility of a fit young man, all the more remarkable for his having recently recovered from a skiing accident which cracked three of his vertbrae.
The teaching was shared and Nobuaki Kanazawa demonstrated the astonishing speed and power of the karate that led to his selection as the leader who will take over the presidency of the SKIF when his father retires from the office.
Kancho Kanazawa believes that karate is excellent for physical and mental health reducing the physical deterioration related to aging.
His physical prowess is persuasive evidence in support of his belief that karate is for everybody, the old as well as the young and physically fit.
Over the weekend Kancho Kanazawa awarded 1st degree black belts to two adults - Nick Langan (44) and Matthew James (21) - and two juniors Darren McCalman and Christopher Burton as well as new coloured belts to many junior students.
Though over-shadowed a little by the news that this was to be Kancho Kanazawa's final visit to Aberdeenshire, the weekend was an unforgettable inspiration to martial artists, from masters to beginners, fortunate enough to be in Aberdeen and Peterhead in May 2010.
To find out more about practicing karate make contact with Mark Donaghy on 01779 477737 or by e-mail through the Contact page of the Shi-Gaku-Kan website www.shigakukan.co.uk