In honour of a Dkk warrior

Yesterday I found out about the death of a fellow Dkk karateka, his long battle with leukaemia ended with pneumonia over the weekend. It is shocking news that will affect the club (his martial arts family) but most importantly his own family and close friends so much more.

It’s hard to imagine what they are going through, although cancer is closer to home than you think it would be,we all know someone who has been affected by it. 11 years ago when I was 16 I lost a close family member to the evilness that is cancer. It can make or break families, and while it tore my larger family apart it strengthened the bonds of those closest to us.

But this isn’t about me, it’s about a man called John who despite having leukaemia still dreamed of coming back to the club and train. Despite cancer of the blood he wanted to come back, now that takes spirit and guts to still dream of fighting when your already having the biggest fight of your life. I don’t know how many people in any walk of life would have that kind of spirit. His family must of been so proud of his inner strength to keep going.

As he mainly trained in Portishead (me in Bristol university) I didn’t know him as well as those in the Portishead club, but I had trained there quite a bit when he was around, and he made an impact to me, I can’t imagine how others are feeling who knew him better.

He often showed great spirit during training, nothing could keep him down, he would simply get stuck into the thick of it all. It’s his smile I’ll never forget, it was infectious and was always well timed when you were at the most hellish part of the session.

He may of only went up a few grades in our association (although he spent many years training in various martial arts), but to me he was already a blackbelt in spirit, and people like that are rare to find.

To a man named John,
That would never back down,
To a man named John,
Who would smile through the grit of it,
To a man named John,
Who had the karate warrior spirit,
To a man named John,
You’ll never be forgotten.

My thoughts go to those that you hold dear, your friends, your family.

I salute to you in silence my Dkk brother.

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