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Grand Master Clarence Lee (1927-2016)

Grandmaster Clarence Tai Gu Lee was born in 1927 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the eldest of five brothers. He has taught martial arts in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1953. From 1968 until 1993, Mr. Lee traveled frequently to Okinawa, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia to seek knowledge and train.

 

As a young man, he was privileged to study Shorin Ryu under the legendary Chosin Chibana Sensei. Later, he studied Shorin Ryu and Kobudo under Fumio Nagaishi Sensei, Eisuke Akamine Sensei, Katsuya Miyahira Sensei, and Shuguro Nakazato Sensei. He also trained diligently in the Chinese Martial Arts and studied Tong Long Tai Chi in Hong Kong with Sifu Kung Quan Wai, Wu Tai Chi in San Francisco with  Mr. Wai, Yui Sing; Northern Style Kung Fu with Sifu Bob Louie; and Southern Style Kung Fu with Sifu Y.C. Wong and Sifu Norman Jew. In 2001, he became a student of Sifu John Chang, from Indonesia.

 

As a resident of San Francisco, Mr. Lee could be found each morning in Golden Gate Park, rising early, meditating, working out daily and teaching the serious devotees that sought him out. He retained a vigorous training schedule until the ripe age of 86. He enjoyed traveling to Hawaii and Florida to and visit students, friends and family.

 

Below are pictures of Mr. Lee and Ann sharing their time at White Tiger activities. We will miss him.

Grand Master Al Novak (1924-2011)

Robert Ito, Renshi's technical teacher on the study of the human body’s physics of motion in the martial arts.

Young Al Novak
Al Novak

Grand Master Bing Fai Lau (1906-1999)

Instrumental influence to Robert Ito, Renshi's direction in the study of Tai Chi Chaun.

Young Bing Fai Lau
Bing Fai Lau
Bing Fai Lau and Robert Ito

Professor Louise Imiko Okazaki-Mullins (1938-2008)

Robert Ito, Renshi's guide to ethics, respect, goodwill and passion in the Martial Arts. Youngest daughter of Professor Henry Okazaki and motivation for White Tiger Esoteric Principals.

Professor Louise Imiko Okazaki-Mullins in red
Professor Louise Imiko Okazaki-Mullins gray background
Imi Okazaki-Mullins
From left to right: Butch, Robert Ito, and Imi Okazaki-Mullins

Grandmaster Ming Lum (1926-2011)

Mr. Robert Ito, Renshi's chief mentor in helping to navigate the culture, personalities and history of the West Coast and Hawaiian martial arts communities.

Grand Master Ming Lum and Grand Master Robert Ito
Kung Fu Magazine cover with Grand Master Ming Lum

Grandmaster Michael Young (1931-2013)

Confidential adviser to Mr. Robert Ito, Renshi across a myriad of topics, situations and events within the realm of martial arts.

Grand Master Michael Young
Grand Master Robert Ito and Grand Master Michael Young

Paul Yamaguchi, Hanshi

Influential in developing Mr. Robert Ito, Renshi's understanding of Great Grandmaster James Mitose's unique teachings of Kosho energy collection. Paul Yamaguchi, Hanshi's extensive training started with the Grandmaster of Kosho and continued with various esteemed masters including O'Shiru Sensei (Shorei Ryu), Kobayashi Sensei (Gojo Ryu), and Fugita Sensei's specialized breathing techniques. Paul Yamaguchi, Hanshi's integration of the concepts handed down from these masters greatly influenced Robert Ito's Inner-Self studies.

Paul Yamagush, Hanshi in Gi
Paul Yamaguchi and Grand Master Robert Ito