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About copyright


SHADES OF ISSHINRYU

True Pioneers

THE CANADIAN CONNECTION
PIONEERS OF KARATE IN THE UNITED STATES

 

   On October 19, 1963, in Toronto, Canada, Masame Tsuroka, the Father of Canadian Karate, sponsored the very first Canadian Karate Tournament.

How did we find out about his tournament? I’ll leave that to the readers who have a better memory than myself. I do know that we were hungry for competition and we trained very hard for this tournament. This was long before Isshinryu’s William Duessell, my first student in Pittsburgh, PA and now head of Kichiro Shimabuku’s organization, ever thought of Isshinryu, and definitely long before the Me-Mizu Gami Isshinryu patch was introduced to the American public. I am not exactly sure when Don Nagle held his first tournament, but I do know that if he held one we did not know about.

 

   This tournament in Toronto was held long before the introduction of all the protective gear which produces sloppy techniques, and no control, much less forcing a student to be aware of his actions, and long before a student could hide behind the protection of five judges. I am not sure if we even had rules to follow. I do know that there was no such thing as too much contact. Most important to me at that time was that then, and should be now, no one hid behind his rank. You taught, you fought.

 

HOSTED BY MASTER MASAME TSUROKA

Front row: Third from left, Sam Pierson, the Marine Corps representative at the time

Front row: Fifth from left, Masame Tsuroka, Father of Canadian Karate

Front row: Sixth from left, Isshinryu’s Harry G. Smith

Front row: Seventh from left, James Cheetham, Head of Black Panthers

Front row: Eighth from left, John Keehan a.k.a. Count Dante, mercenary and Dim Mak expert

Second row: Third from left, Ralph Lindquist, very first student of Harry G. Smith

Second row: Seventh from left, name unremembered, broke Don Bohan’s nose at later tournament

Back row: Seventh from left, Artis Simmons of Erie, PA

 

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Copyright © 2005 Harry G. Smith