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Passing of Another Sensei

I recently heard about the passing of Sensei Takayoshi Nagamine in Okinawa.  My heart goes out to all his relatives, friends, and students worldwide.

Aside from the personal loss, particularly for such a young Sensei, I feel a great sense of loss for Karate.  Every time a senior Sensei passes away, a part of Karate disappears.  There is no way to document the experiences that someone like Nagamine Sensei had in his long Karate life.  Who can document the life of someone like Sensei William Dometrich, Sensei Bobby Lowe, or Sensei Joseph Bunch, all of whom passed away not so long ago?

As students, we try our best to learn from our Sensei.  We might think that we have a lot of time and they will live forever. But life is short and death often comes unexpectedly.  We should not take their time for granted.  Each moment is precious.

As students, we should try to learn as much as we can, as thoroughly as we can.  We are the living embodiments of our Sensei.  More than any book or documentary, the lives of our Sensei are carried on through us -- their students.  And when we teach, we carry on their lives to successive generations of students.

I have to admit that the loss of Karate Sensei and seniors I have known weighs heavily upon me.  I have a hard time speaking about people such as Sensei Bobby Lowe, Snaggy Inouye, and Sensei Joseph Bunch, because they still seem alive to me.  I keep expecting to see them at our next Karate lunch or training.  For that matter, I still see Sensei Sadao Yoshioka now and then.

Respectfully in the art,

Charles C. Goodin