Author Topic: The Passing of Professor (Sifu) Joseph Clarke  (Read 4454 times)

Offline Jon Loren

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The Passing of Professor (Sifu) Joseph Clarke
« on: September 21, 2004, 03:06:45 PM »
On September 9th Sifu Joseph Clarke died of complications in intensive care in Costa Rica.  He fought with the spirit of a lion after a serious auto accident almost claimed his life 3 years ago.  Miraculously, piece by piece he regained his health until recently crushing a vertebrate while weight training.  This led to serious pain medications, which led to infection and eventually water on the lungs.
   As he told me, he was nothing without his training, which his life was centered around.  He was one of the few men that never stopped training from the moment he became a student of Augung Tony Ramos.  Even after he received his Black Belt he was constantly training to upgrade himself both in Kajukenbo and in other arts.  He was not interested in high rank and countless times would start a new art and begin as a beginner.  These arts included Tai Chi, Paqua, Northern Praying Mantis, Sillum, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, Boxing, Jujitsu, and on and on.  He was an innovator and appropriately called his brand of Kajukenbo, which he considered his mother art – “Emerging Center.”
   I was fortunate enough to find him when I came back from the Orient.  Even though I trained overseas initially I considered Sifu Clarke my father in Kajukenbo and my martial art training.  I can seriously say he redirected my life in training.  I was his first Black Belt which was a real honor.  Anyone who had seriously trained with Sifu Clarke I’m sure would feel he had a real influence on their martial arts, as well as their life.  I’ve always had lots of stories to tell of the old training times as well as my good friend Grandmaster Emil Bautista can who trained with Sifu Clarke under Augung Ramos.  One looks back and a lot of original students of Augung Ramos and Professor Aleju Reyes still train to this day or even if they have passed on, they had a lifetime of training.  Sifu Clarke carried this tradition on to myself as well as his many students he impacted.
   Sifu Clarke taught and trained the majority of his life, but also worked as a Sheriff Deputy from which he retired about 5 years ago.  He packed up his bags and moved to Costa Rica at that time.
   His student Ben in Costa Rica paid for the funeral expenses out of  his love for him.  We all loved him and he will always be in our thoughts to never be forgotten!

--GM Loren

Offline Bautista's

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Re:The Passing of Professor (Sifu) Joseph Clarke
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2004, 06:49:29 PM »
     I remember Professor Joe Clark as a young airman, stationed at Travis Air Force Base who was from Washington state, he was not 21 years of age yet so he had nothing to do but train kajukenbo. He was the 5th black belt who came out of Tony Ramos school in the sixties in Fairfield. We all studied the original kajukenbo self defense style taught to Augung Ramos by Joe Emperado in Hawaii.
     Sifu Joe Clark was a very strong and dedicated man and played a very instrumental role in the martal art. His teaching was his life. He will surely be missed especially by me
Emil Bautista  
Emil Bautista
Kajukenbo black belt (1966)