The British Columbia Aikido Federation wishes to honor the memory of Paul Martin Sensei, a previous president of BCAF and a senior member of the Canadian and British Columbia Aikido community who passed away earlier this year.
Born in the USA, Martin Sensei moved to Canada in the seventies and started practicing Aikido in Vancouver shortly after late Kawahara Shihan’s arrival in 1977. Devoted to intensive Aikido practice from the start, Martin Sensei progressed rapidly under Kawahara Shihan’s guidance and soon became one of his most prominent students.
As a person of great integrity, Martin Sensei also became a trusted supporter of Kawahara Shihan and his efforts to spread Aikido in Canada and BC. He helped establish Kawahara Shihan’s home dojo in Vancouver (later to become Vancouver Aikikai, Martin Sensei’s own dojo) and was instrumental in organizing early seminars and summer camps in BC.
Martin Sensei’s strong Aikido, personal qualities, initiative and influence were instrumental in defining and establishing the British Columbia Aikido and the Canadian Aikido Federations as they stand today. Highly regarded in the community for his contributions to these nascent organizations, he was elected multiple times to the post of BCAF President and served in many other official capacities at both CAF and BCAF.
As an outstanding Aikido teacher, Martin Sensei helped form many generations of Aikido students. His strong, highly accomplished Aikido, calm demeanor, friendly approach and a great sense of humour inspired not only his students but his peers as well.
Martin Sensei was able to continue teaching well into his illness (even coming back at a late stage), and was an extraordinary example of a positive spirit in the face of adversity. A person of wide interests, Martin Sensei not only did not allow his personal difficulties to take the upper hand, he actually expanded into new areas in spite of them and as such was an embodiment of the true meaning of Aiki.
BCAF sincerely regrets the passing of Paul Martin Sensei, a founding member, a long-serving President, a great teacher, a fond colleague and a warm human being. He will be greatly missed.