Known throughout the world as the highest-ranked teacher in Shotokan karate, Teruyuki Okazaki once considered quitting the discipline after twice failing his first and second tests to become a black belt.
“He always talked about it,” said nephew Hiroyoshi Okazaki. “He would explain that it doesn’t matter if you pass or fail, so don’t get discouraged. It doesn’t mean failing. It’s just you need more practice. It’s not only techniques but also your attitude.”
Teruyuki Okazaki, 88, who came to Philadelphia from his native Japan in 1961 to teach karate for what was supposed to be only six months but remained for the rest of his life, died Tuesday, April 21, of complications from the coronavirus.
Mr. Okazaki, a 10th-degree black belt, was considered by one writer to be a “living textbook on the history and practice of Shotokan karate,” the characteristics of which were described by his nephew as “very dynamic.”
“When you strike, one blow, one kill,” Hiroyoshi Okazaki said. “Karate is self-defense, and when you face multiple opponents you have to finish your opponent with one strike in order to face the next opponent.”