MEMORIAL PAGE

 It is because we have had such great Sensei in the past that a Sensei is driven out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him. (citation, see Note 1 below)
This page is dedicated to the memory of the many great Sensei that I have been fortunate to have learned from and known. Though they have passed from this physical plane of existence that we inhabit, they are never forgotten. I pause to add the following concerning the Yudansha (those of Black Belt rank) of the Goshin-Do Karate-Do style of Shihan Thomas DeFelice. The names of the Yudansha on this page will not be great in number by the so-called standards of today. Shihan DeFelice opened the doors of the Dojo in May, 1965 in Palisades Park, New Jersey. His style continues to be taught today. Since May, 1965 under Shihan DeFelice’s tutelage, or my own after he retired from the day-to-day operations of the Dojo, only twenty-four men and one woman have ever earned a Black Belt rank in the style. One must take into account that at various times, Shihan DeFelice taught full time and oversaw the operations of three Dojo and one affiliate Dojo located in Palisades Park, NJ (Hombu Dojo), Garfield, NJ, Maywood, NJ and Teaneck, NJ (affiliate Dojo). After Shihan retired and I oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Dojo, I, too had at various times taught full time and operated three Dojo located in Palisades Park, NJ (Hombu Dojo, eventually relocating in Cliffside Park, NJ), East Rutherford, NJ and Bergenfield, NJ. So despite the thousands of people who walked through the Dojo, only twenty-five have walked through the “Doorway To Doom” and earned a Black Belt rank. They are Sensei – they are more than mere human.    
 

SHIHAN PAUL RECCHIA,  (May 14, 1915 to April 10, 2003)    Goshin-Do Karate-Do Yudansha

Memorial Poem: Overtaken by darkness I will lodge under the boughs of a tree. Flowers alone host me tonight. (See Note 2 below)

 Shihan Paul Recchia, or Sensei Paul as he was known to me, was one of the strongest Black Belts in the Goshin-Do Karate Dojo. In May 1974, when I was thirteen years old, for the first time, I witnessed Sensei Paul’s ability in the art of Tamashiwari (breaking). He broke six concrete blocks, without the aid of spacers, with one Karate strike. At that time, he was almost 60 years old!

 Memorial Patch worn by students

I like to think that when we hear the thunder in the heavens above, Sensei Paul is once again practicing his Tamashiwari.  

SENSEI NICK D’ANTUONO (Jan. 5, 1926 to September 13, 2010) Goshin-Do Karate-Do Yudansha

Sensei Paul & Sensei Nick, Circa 1970’s

Memorial Poem: Clear sky – the way I came by once, I now go back by. (See Note 4 below)

 Sensei Nick was the Chief Instructor for the Junior Division of the Academy Of  Goshin-Do Karate-Do. In this capacity he was a guiding force in the lives of thousands of young men and women in Bergen County, New Jersey. Sensei was demanding, but fair; stern, but caring. In essence, he was a “Sensei”. Should a student fail to perform to the best of their ability, Sensei Nick would refer to such failure as being a “Pork-chop”. Perhaps then, I can best encapsulate Sensei’s profound and enduring effect upon me and thousands of others with the following. While God reserved for Himself the province of turning water into wine, He bestowed upon Sensei Nick the ability to turn “Pork-chops” into Men. God bless Sensei, Heaven’s Angels are now your “Pork-chops“. 
Memorial Patch
SHIHAN WAYNE NORLANDER (August 20, 1947 to  May 18, 2011)
USA Goshin-Ryu Karate-Do
(More than) A Friend

           

Memorial Poem: Winds that blow – ask them : “Which leaf on the tree shall be next?” (See Note # 4).

Sensei Wayne was unique amongst men in that he lived a diverse life and touched so many lives in turn. My life is all the richer for having known him. To his family, he was a husband, father and grandfather; to his Karate students he was “Sensei”; to the martial arts community he was “Shihan”; to his co-workers, he was a dedicated worker; to the members of his union, he was a responsible leader, to fellow Harley riders, he was a road-companion, he was “Coach” to numerous youth and so much more.

To me, Sensei Wayne was the embodiment of the word “friend”. We shared not only Dojo time, but also time “on the road”. We had explored the depths of Karate-Do in and out of the Dojo and traveled the asphalt highway on two wheels (on Harleys, of course) .

Sensei Wayne thirsted for knowledge. It was his blessing and his curse to explore the minute details of Karate-Do that others, who choose to be “blissfully unaware”, would ignore. We spent hours on the telephone often exploring “only” one Karate-Do topic. For my part this meant pacing around my home as I talked for it was impossible for me to leisurely sit when talking to Sensei Wayne; the conversation was that engrossing. While I shall miss our conversations, I know that Sensei Wayne will live on in the hearts of his family and in the dedication and sweat of his Yudansha and students.

At his elevation to Ku-Dan, Menkyo Kaiden, USA Goshin-Ryu Karate-Do, Shihan stated that it was rather strange to walk in the “rarified air” of Karate masters that preceded him. His memorial patch pays homage to that statement. To view photographs of Shihan Norlander’s elevation to Ku-Dan (9th degree black belt), please click this convenient link:http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=wayne+norlander+promotion&f=hp

To view my Sanchin Kata-Hatsu Bon at Sensei’s gravesite (August, 2012), please click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASAVKhh-Hhs

SENSEI JEFF TYNE, NI-DAN (April 11th, 2015)

Sensei Jeff Tyne_Fotor_Collage_Fotor1

SHIHAN DENNIS SAMMARTINO (December 7, 2009) A Friend

Memorial Poem: Today, then is the day The melting snowman Is a real man. (See Note 5)
I first met Shihan Sammartino in November, 2001 when I was inducted into the Alliance of Harmony, Circle of Honor, which Shihan founded. Shihan Sammartino is living embodiment of the ideology encapsulated within the title “Sensei”. There are many that will miss his true heart. 
 
SOURCE NOTES:
Note 1: This is an adaptation of a statement made by Ernest Hemingway. Mr. Hemingway made the statement in 1955 as part of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, made in absentia. In the original speech, Mr. Hemingway used the word “Writer” for which I have substituted the word “Sensei”.
Note 2: This was the death poem (found in the quiver) of the Samurai Taira-no-Tadanori (1144-1184) killed in battle by Okabe Tadazumi.
Note 3: This was the death poem of the poet Fusen (1720-1777).
Note 4: Composed by the Daimyo-poet  Takahama Kyoshi
Note 5:  This was the death poem of the poet Gitoku (1754). 

One Response to “MEMORIAL PAGE”

  1. Gm Vince Marchetti February 3, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    you are a true master and a benefit to all martial arts.

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