Sensei Eric Tomlinson – 1947 – 2016
Sadly enough, sensei Eric Tomlinson, a distinct member of the world Shito-ryu Shukokai Union, passed away this morning, at the age of 68, due to kidney failure. The news are shocking for all of us in Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai Union, all over the world, as sensei Eric was not only a great instructor, but he was also dear to everyone. We would like to wish his family our deepest sympathy and condolences. May he Rest In Peace. He will be missed…
Announcement from Haruyoshi YAMADA Sōke and Tsutomu KAMOHARA sensei
“We lost our words at the sad news of Eric Tomlinson’s sudden death. We cannot find the words to express our sorrow and can only offer our deepest sympathy for Eric’s family.
He was very active to expand our style especially in the South-East Asian countries and South America.
We will always remember him as our family of Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union, and we will never forget the many kind, considerate things he did for us.”
|Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union
|Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union
Chief Instructor/Vice president
A more personalised memory by sensei Tsutomu Kamohara:
I will miss him very much. Eric, I will be loooking forward to seeing you again, I hope you keep training Karate in peace by then.”
A few words from Kanako Kamohara, Assistant General Secretary of the World SSU:
“When I heard of Eric’s sad news, my whole body trembled with sorrow.
I feel like I have lost my family.
I still remember our first meeting in U.S.A, then several times in Japan, we exchanged e-mails, telephone calls and sometimes we called by Skype, we had fun by talking, even though we lived on the other side of the world. Eric was always friendly, kind and a positive minded person.
I keep always those good memories of Eric on my mind and I will never forget the precious friendship he gave to me.
I am very proud that we had such a good member of Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union.”
Yamada-ha Shito-ryu Shukokai World Union
Assistant general secretary
A few words from ORITA MASAO sensei, 6th Dan, from Japan:
“It was too early for Eric to leave us. We all feel so sorry to have lost such a nice person”.
Orita sensei was kind enough to send us a few pictures of Eric, along with Orita sensei and his family, in Orita sensei’s dojo, in Japan.
Masao ORITA, 6th Dan
A few words from sensei Thomas Geiger, Assistant Treasurer of the World SSU and Chief Instructor of SSU Germany:
“It is on behalf of Shitoryu Shukokai Germany that we express our most sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Eric Tomlinson. The Shito-Ryu Shukokai Union has lost a very respected member. I personally lost a good friend. We will always remember Eric and we all should always keep him in best memory.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest in peace, Eric…”
Thomas Geiger (President of Shitoryu Shukokai Karate Germany)
Paul Gruber (Vice President of Shitoryu Shukokai Karate Germany)
Daniel Maske (Vice President of Shitoryu Shukokai Karate Germany)
A few words from sensei Denis Casey, 8th Dan, Vice President of the World SSU and Chief Instructor of SSU UK:
“It’s very sad news.
I have known Eric for over 40 years, first as a team mate on the SHUKOKAI KARATE ENGLAND TEAM, traveling around Europe competing having a good laugh and lots of adventures, then as colleagues teaching at the same Dojo in Middleton in Manchester.
I lost touch with him for almost 20 years , then one day out of the blue he phoned me up from AMERICA . his first words were , “hello Denis its me Eric” I didn’t have to ask Eric who? He never lost his accent, “Eric , were the hell have you been? ” he then went on to tell me he was living and working in America, and all about his life there.
It didn’t take long before the conversation turned to Karate and in particular the sad loss of Kimura sensei, this had a big effect on him and he was beginning to lose his enthusiasm for Karate because of the political situation within Kimura Shukokai .
He asked me what I was doing now. I informed him that I had gone back to my roots , and had traveled to Japan to train under the head of SHUKOKAI , Yamada Haruyoshi sensei, and had now formed the SSKU in England. (1998).
This seemed to light a spark with Eric, he wanted to know all about it and we soon started to discuss about how he could go about joining. He invited me over to the states to teach on some seminars over there and explain all about THE SHITO RYU SHUKOKAI UNION to his students.
He met me at St Louis airport, we recognised each other straight away, it went from a hand shake to hugs and kisses (man kisses) in no time. He then informed me that he was still working and if I would mind if he made a drop off on the way back home,
He asked to wait outside and he would drive round and pick me up, I couldn’t believe my eyes when the biggest petrol tanker I had ever seen pulled up and out popped Eric’s head,” jump in Den” oh yes he was a character !!!!! And he never changed.
Sensei Eric Tomlinson & sensei Denis Casey
We arrived back at his place at about 10 pm , I was absolutely shattered with all the traveling but he managed to ply me with drink and keep me up until 7am , talking karate and reminiscing about the old days. That was just the start of it !!!!!!
We travelled across America from east coast to west teaching, meeting with lots of other Karateka, and lots more late nights.
Eric became the chief instructor for the USA , and was instrumental in introducing
Other members from around the world to the SSKU.
USA, ARGENTINA, BRASIL, BOTSWANA, PHILIPPINES.
His Legacy will live on through them.
His love of Shukokai Karate never diminished , we spent many a long night through to the early hours of the morning discussing technique , reminiscing and having a good laugh, whenever we met up , in England, Japan, The Philippines etc etc.
The Shito- Ryu Shukokai Union has lost a good member and the members of the Union have lost a good friend, I am proud to count myself amongst them.
God bless you Eric RIP.”