Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Michael Chapman



I’d like to share this news with you: one of my seniors in my Karate lineage, Sensei Michael Chapman, passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2015.


Sensei Chapman had been deeply involved in the Canadian Karate scene for decades. He ran a club in Haliburton, Ontario, up in a beautiful section of the country, “cottage country” as we are apt to call an area with lots of hills, lakes and forests. He enjoyed fishing, so the area obviously, forgive the pun, came naturally to him.

When one thinks of the expression “old school karate”, Sensei Chapman’s serious and no-nonsense approach on the floor always came to mind. Hard to the core, he could give it, and take it. And that straightforward approach also carried over to the way he treated other people: he was honest about the way he felt; he was direct; he spoke his mind…but you knew you could always believe in what he said. There was no subterfuge in the man, no sly, cowardly ways. He was, like his famous punch, honest and strong. And beneath the strength, he was kind and caring. He could bring a smile to the face of a nervous child, and gently coach her or him to a new level of confidence.

If there were any martial art events anywhere, and he knew you, he’d rise early in the morning up in “cottage country”, collect a few other early starters, and travel to wherever in support. Tournaments, gradings, seminars, meetings…it didn’t matter, he would travel the distance to give you his support.

And he traveled the distance with his students as well, changing a lot of lives, both young and old, across the years. His students were lucky to have Sensei Chapman as their instructor because he truly cared about them and how they were doing in their lives.

One more observation: Sensei Chapman was one of the best tournament head referees around. Other Black Belts flocked over to be a part of his ring. Caring, he made sure that everyone was treated fairly and that the tournament experience for everyone who passed through his ring was more than just about medals and winning but more importantly about the spirit of friendship as exemplified by Karate.


He will be truly missed. 

I invite your comments and remembrances via e-mail at rwalther@kos.net, and will add them to this post as they come in. Thank you on behalf of everyone who knew Sensei Chapman.


Back in 1979 our very first karate instructor was Sensei Mike. Back in those days he was a young man with dark hair and a dark mustache. Sensei ran a very disciplined class yet at the same time was kind and gentle. He was a great instructor. Greg remembers that Sensei "swung a mean shinai".  Greg and Julie Page

Beautifully worded, fantastic tribute. Couldn't have described him better  myself. He will be truly missed. Anonymous

Stern, stoic, uncompromising. Yet warm, approachable, caring. Mike epitomized the idea that a sword, tempered and honed properly, will remain sharp forever. Our art, our culture, our Kai Shin family has lost greatly. Arrigato, Sensei. Yoku nemurimasu. Glen Slauenwhite


I wanted to offer my sincere condolences to Mike's family and friends. He will be greatly missed.  May he rest in peace.  I was a good friend of Mike's growing up in the 70's. I have many fond memories but would like to share one paticular incident.  We were in separate vehicles and I was in an accident and Mike and his friend Peter came to my rescue. I was pinned under the car and there were a few people trying to lift the car off of me.  Mike saw gas leaking and knew something had to be done quickly and he told everyone to get back...and he by himself lifted that car off me.  It was always talked about and will be for many years how he was able to do that. I am forever grateful.  RIP my dear friend.   Sue Cooney



Thank You, Sensei Walthers... you caught the essence of the man perfectly  as I knew Him. domo arrigato...

 

We had a great teacher in Chapman Sensei ...and a dear friend. It's not often in life that one finds them both, in the same person.

 
He was loved and respected... He will be missed! Chris McCargar

2 comments:

  1. Beautifully worded, fantastic tribute. Couldn't have described him better myself. He will be truly missed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank You, Sensei Walthers... you caught the essence of the man perfectly as I knew Him. domo arrigato...

    We had a great teacher in Chapman Sensei ...and a dear friend. It's not often in life that one finds them both, in the same person.

    He was loved and respected... He will be missed!

    ReplyDelete