Toru Takamizawa was the best Karateka I ever met, physically he was incredibly fast, dynamic and for a small man powerful. Technically he was a genius. He structured Wado Ryu Karate in a way that I still use to this day in all my methods of training.
He failed me on my second Dan grading and from then on I travelled from Kent to Birmingham every Wednesday for many years for private lessons. Financially he was terrible because money embarrassed him and that led him to trusting all the wrong people and he needed rescuing from financial ruin.
To do this I found him a good lawyer and accountant, sold his house in the midlands and got him a mortgage on a new build in Chatham, opened clubs for him and set up the Takamizawa Institute Of Karate so that all the money went directly to him.
We then formed the publishing company TAKRO (Takamizawa and Rowe) to raise money for him by publishing books of his unique knowledge.
He hand wrote 2 books for the Concepts Of Karate range that I proof read, edited and they were typed up on an Amstrad floppy disk to disk computer. We photographed the techniques on film (before digital cameras) and had the photos hand drawn. This was then all pasted onto boards, put on to stencils, printed on a gestetner machine, hand collated or bound and stapled. We then sold them in the clubs and on seminars.
These 2 books are now unavailable and are gold dust for any karateka. I still have the hand written notes, the boards and a copy of each book, examples below.
Toru was a great influence on my life and many of those still around me over 40 years later. The ‘adventures’ we had will make great stories if I ever get to write them.