Farewell words to my sensei
To Takahiko Ishikawa sensei 1917 -2008
"Ishikawa sensei and his favorite "Go
My admired teacher, Takahiko Ishikawa sensei, left us at the age of 91ys. Words are not enough to describe sensei's personality and greatness. When we say "he was a giant" we mean to teachers like Ishikawa sensei. I arrived at Philadelphia at 1971, and I was so lucky to find out that sensei has his dojo right there. I remember my first training with sensei. It was my friend, Lou Moyerman, who took me to him. There were about 30 judokas training. Lou introduced me to sensei as "an Israeli National Champion who arrived to Philadelphia for a visit" I can feel until now his eyes following me during the whole training. For about two years, training under Ishikawa sensei, I never missed a session of this wonderful judo experience. No doubt, this period alongside sensei has shaped my whole approach to judo until now and made me a different person from the one I used to be before meeting this giant teacher.
The group at Virginia Beach - 1979
His modesty and his kindness made anyone he knew to love him and appreciate him. His quietude and serenity gave us a sense of confidence in the learning and training process. He was an authority for us, from which we derived confidence in our knowledge and skills. He had this unusual talent of making us able to apply in randori all what he taught us. He recognized quickly his students difficulties and knew how to give the solution for each of us. It's from him I learned the great value of exactness in applying technique, and takng care of the small details. His presence on the Tatami was like magic. No matter how many students, each one could feel sensei beside him. Even if he didn't say a word, we could feel him correcting and guiding us to do everything in the right way. It was in his look and in his special presence. He made each one of us feel that he is important to sensei, and we thrived to get the best of ourselves. The loss of Ishikawa sensei is like loosing a part of myself. A precious part. I will miss him very much.
With Ishikawa sensei, Virginia beach, 1979
Rest in Peace, sensei, thank you very much for all you gave me. Yehi Zichro Baruch Yonah Melnik
My last visit to sensei, Yokohama, 2001