Kancho Heiji Tada
I writing to you all about the passing of our Kancho, Heiji Tada. We all knew that this going to happen one day but I and several others have been shocked that it finally has occurred.
Kancho was the person with the vision for Seishikan; after World War 2 had left Japan in ruins materially and spiritually, and he began Seishikan with the idea of helping the Japanese people become strong in spirit again.
He was responsible for sending his youngest brother Masao Tada to Australia in 1972 to start the original Seishikan dojo in Adelaide. He was very proud of the fact that we in Australia had continued training and in fact had grown Seishikan from its original dojo for over 40 years.
He was always interested in what was happening in Australia and Tony Barrera has told me that whenever a group of Aussies were heading over to Kyoto to train, Kancho was excited that we were coming.
I was very fortunate to have met Kancho early in my karate days when he visited in 1973, and was extremely excited when he came to Millicent in 1983 and 1987 for two weeks each time. In that time we were also able to get to know Kancho not just as a karate teacher but also as a man.
Kancho was a regular visitor to these shores and alway brought one or two good instructors with him to show us how he wanted us to practise his karate.
He was a very good teacher and when he was here he demonstrated Shisoochin, Seipai and Tensho kata and we could see that he was highly skilled as well.
I think that the greatest thing about Kancho was his wisdom about life which he always managed to impart to everyone who had the good fortune to train in his presence; especially for those who went to Summer camp in Japan.
There are many stories that I am sure we have all heard over the years and whenever I think of them, a smile comes to my face.
He belonged to a generation of karate masters who I think we will never see the likes of again.
I would like to ask you all if you will hold a minute's silence in your classes sometime this week so we can contemplate what we have lost but also what we have gained by practising Seishikan karate.
This year at camp we will also observe this and we will dedicate the camp to the memory of Kancho and what he gave us and I am sure we will relate many stories about him to the class.
I look forward to seeing you all at camp,
Shihan Phil Bates