Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Memory of Amos Parker Shihan

If you stick with martial arts long enough, eventually you will reach an age where your mentors and teachers start to pass.

The other day I received this e-mail from Steve Miranda Sensei:
It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I inform you that Amos Lee Parker, 9th dan Shihan, passed away at his home in Houston, Texas. Funeral services are pending, however condolences can be sent to this email address and will be forwarded to his family. (( Information provided by the family regarding services will be posted on his Facebook group page, Yoseikai Yoshinkan Aikido. Please feel free to forward this message as you see fit.
Yoshinkan Aikido has lost another great teacher and friend. Sensei will be sorely missed by many.

Steven Miranda, Chief Instructor
Aikido Yoshinkan Sacramento (AYF)
Seikeikan Dojocho USA

As I have mentioned before on this blog

I am very fortunate to have the Aikido Sensei (I looked it up to be sure but Sensei is the plural of Sensei) that I have had.  Amos Parker was one of those Sensei and served as the technical advisor for the Aikido aspects of my Dojo.

Amos Lee Parker was born December 12, 1936 in Houston, Texas. He is the 7th of 16 children.

At age 18, Amos joined the United States Navy and it is here where his life in Aikido begins. Amos spent 35 years training in Japan with Kiyoyuki Terada Hanshi, 10th dan.

Amos began his full-time study of Yoshinkan in 1962 while a member of the United States Navy in Yokosuka-cho, Japan. Upon his retirement after 20 years of service to his country, he remained in Japan for another 20 years to further his own development and understanding of Yoshinkan Aikido.

Some of his career highlights include:

Highest ranked non-Japanese instructor in Yoshihan Aikido
Highest ranked member of Terada Honbu Seiseikai
Highest ranked Yoshinkan Aikido instructor in the United States
Received the title of Shihan in 1986
Received the rank of 8th dan in 1995 and 9th dan in 2009
Served as a presiding judge at several Enbutaikai

Parker Shihan had great technical skill and was a stickler for the fundamentals.  His voice always reminded my of Jazz from the Transformers (cartoon not movie).

I remember if my stance wasn't right he would say "Kasey, too tall, too tall".  Or if someone just wasn't getting it, he would say in that very distinct voice, "Do you even know Aikido?"

He was a very good teacher and he will be sorely missed.

Appreciate those who are willing to share their art with you  Work hard and spend as much time with them as you can.

Tomorrow is promised to no man and before you know it people are gone.

Train hard, train smart, be safe

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