1960 - 2023
Here we will hold a listing of Dan Grades, Teachers, Dojo Leaders and Students who have passed away that we are aware of.
If we hold any biographical data in text, pictures, audio or video then the relevant persons name will be underlined and by clicking on that name, you will be taken to a special page dedicated to that person and his or her biographical history.
Please send us a picture and any relevant information we can verify against anyone listed on this page and we will post it up - forever.
We also have many individuals to remember for their unstinting contribution to Japanese Budo that they made, often with great personal sacrifice during their lives.
This page will honour them too, for whom all of us connected with Budokan, shall be forever grateful.
We shall always remember them.
FRANK VAN RENSBURG
HENNIE VAN DER MERWE
BRIAN VAN DER MERWE
"We all get told stories by our parents as we grow up. The strongest memories I have of stories told by Sandi, my Mum are of Budokan.
A child of the 50's with a rebellious streak I know she was difficult for her parents to handle as a young woman, running away more than once - and running with a colourful crowd. When Budokan came into her life, the discipline and the people meant more to her than anything she had felt before.
Sadly we lost our Mum too young. I wish she had kept with the practice and the people - but it was not to be. A spiritual person, she connected with the practice, the teacher (Dave Passmore) and fellow student (Dave Wills), from my memory this was perhaps the happiest period of her life.
A great mum to my three sisters and me, a character with strong opinions, we miss her greatly. If she were alive now she would be so proud to be on this list amongst the other yudansha whom she loved so much. "
My own recollections follow;
Sandi was bold, headstrong, true to her convictions, and very forthright.
Starting her karate career in her late teens at the original 1972 Northolt dojo, with Sensei Passmore, then Nidan, she rapidly showed a talent for martial arts. She can truly be considered a founder of the Northolt dojo. She had excellent technique and became the inspiration for many more ladies and girls to join the dojo, and the subsequent Harrow dojo, in those early days. She also worked with Sensei to develop "feminine" versions of the basic kata, though this experiment eventually stopped. Typically, Sandi herself preferred the traditional forms! She was graded to Shodan.
Sandi moved to Cornwall when her first child, Lee, was born and eventually settled in Devon.
She became an accomplished gardener.
She was a diehard supporter of animal rights and humane animal husbandry. She was a staunch and loyal supporter to those she identified as friends, and of course, her family.
She brought up her four children mostly on her own, all of whom, unsurprisingly, given her own character, became strong, independent, and successful individuals in their own spheres.
She died unfortunately young, leaving her son, three beautiful daughters, and three boisterous grandsons.
It is with great sorrow that we bring you news of the passing of Vic Sykes on the morning of Sunday 14 August 2016- after complications had arisen following a triple heart bypass operation in Durban South Africa.
A well known and much revered member of Budokan SA, Vic became a highly skilled Karate practitioner and a great teacher.
He is left by his lovely wife Moira and their son Clinton.
Vic Sykes - far right - attending one of the many Budokan events in sunny Durban. His wife Moira is facing away from the camera in the foreground.
On the far right - sitting down is Pam - the wife of the late Ray Ryan - one of the Co-Founders of Budokan SA.
In the centre of the pic at the back is Derrick Wridgway, whom Budokan UK students may recall visiting us at one of our workshops with his lovely wife Sylvia 5 years ago.
Other people Sensei Passmore recognises are Mike Bond seated in the middle and Alan Haig - standing in between Derrick and Vic at the back.
passed away on 8 March 2019
passed away on 10 April 2017
It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Fujii Sensei - a much loved and highly respected teacher of Japanese Budo - with just a slight penchant for Kendo.
Many Budokan students would have fondly rembered Fujii Sensei at the Traditional Japanese Budo events that were held in the magnificent Dome at the University of Derby Buxton, where this picture of him was taken in 2014.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Victor Harris who is famous for translating Go Rin No Sho by Miyamoto Musashi - A Book of Five Rings - a master class of strategy that should be in all Japanese Budo students bookshelves. The philosophy behind it is influenced by Zen, Shinto and Confucianism, and came to be used by many corporations around the world, especially in Japan.
The cover below shows an 1848 print of a picture by Kuniyoshi, showing Miyamoto Musashi practising fencing with two sticks, which became the hallmark of his technique and sword style.
It is with great sadness, that we have to post the news that Len Blunt, a former student of Budokan and beloved Father of one of our Dan Grades, Alex Blunt, passed away in Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington, after a pretty long battle with prostrate cancer.
Len was a gentle soul and was much loved by all who knew him and had the pleasure of spending some time with him.