Stanley Owen Schmidt Sensei
(1936/10/6 – 2019/10/7)
Founding Father of SA JKA
Stan Sensei (JKA 8th Dan) started his martial arts training in judo and achieved his black belt, but in 1963 he became interested in karate. He was frustrated with not being able to find proper teaching, so he decided to go to Japan for his honeymoon in March 1963. He was the first non-Japanese to be invited to join the “Instructors training” at the original headquarters in Yotsuya, Tokyo. Later that same year he established the first official South African Japan Karate Association, affiliated to JKA, Japan.
Stan Sensei made many trips to Japan and was respected around the world. He was the awarded his 8th Dan by JKA/WF Japan in 2015, the first non-Japanese to receive this honor.
Along with Keith Geyer Sensei and their families, they immigrated to Australia some years back and hence Sensei Stan handed the reigns to our current Chief Instructor Johan La Grange Sensei, as approved by JKA/WF Japan.
Our condolences go to his wife Judy and his daughters Debbie, Caryn, Tia and Lisa.
His legacy lives on in SA JKA with the “Early Birds” trainings which he started still taking place every Tuesday and Thursday morning at the SA JKA Honbu Dojo. A great tree has fallen and we are very sad, but we will continue to honor him the best way possible, and that is continuing the SA JKA Karate Association according to the JKA way.