Shihan Ron Forrester

 

REMEMBERING SHIHAN RON FORRESTER

 

It was with great sadness that I learned in a February 20, 2013 e-mail from Sensei Bob Walther of the passing of Shihan Ron Forrester. It has caused me to pause and reflect on the significant impact that this man has had on my martial arts journey.

One of the great benefits our dojo has gained in joining the Snow Tigers Martial Arts organization has been our affiliation with the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Council, previously known as the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Association which was founded by Shihan Forrester.

Shihan Forrester 1990R2

 

I first met Shihan Forrester on October 13, 1990 at a seminar he conducted at the high school in Bancroft. The first and lasting impression he made upon me was that of a very knowledgeable yet very gentle person. I was a  blue belt back then and I was moved by the respect which he showed me.

Upon completion of the seminar, Shihan issued me a signed certificate confirming my attendance (copy and photo attached). It was a truly memorable occasion for me.

 

CJA certificate rev

 

I wrote an article with accompanying photos of the event for the local newspaper and copied Shihan Forrester. He sent me a personal thank you note (copy attached). That simple gesture left a profound impression on me.Thank you note rev

 

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of attending many more of his seminars in Toronto as well as Maynooth in 2001 and Combermere in 2004. I always had a good chuckle when Shihan would demonstrate one of his techniques using Sensei Bruce Stanton as his uke. The latter would always end up standing on the tip of his toes, furiously tapping out while Shihan continued speaking without skipping a beat.

 

During the period leading up to my two appearances before the CJC grading board, I was always very grateful that Shihan Forrester conducted pre-test seminars. The information I gleaned from these sessions were a huge benefit in preparing for the test.

 

If I had to describe Shihan Forrester to someone, I’d say he was the kind of man every kid would want as a grandfather; someone with a quiet demeanor who exudes superior knowledge and strength of character in a gentle and self-effacing manner.

 

I’m saddened in knowing that I will never again have the privilege of saying “it’s good to see you again, Shihan” or answering his frequent query “how’s Albert doing” in reference to our mutual friend, Sensei Albert Vandreumel. However, I am comforted by the thought that when I put on my gi and instruct students in the art of Jiu-Jitsu, I will be sharing the knowledge that Ron Forrester, the man firstly and the shihan secondly, passed on to me. And I can only aspire that I can have the positive influence on my students that he has had on me.

 

Rick Dodd

 

Nidan Chito-ryu karate

Nidan Jiu-Jitsu

 

(March 11,2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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