In Memoriam: Hanshi John Taylor - A Martial Arts Legend
On September 27, 2023, the martial arts community lost a beloved leader, mentor, and visionary whose legacy will forever resonate in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him. Hanshi John Taylor was farewelled at a picturesque location near his home in Bronte, the Mary Immaculate Church in Waverley NSW, the farewell was attended by friends and family as well as martial arts leaders from Australia and overseas.
Hanshi John Taylor's name is synonymous with excellence in Kyokushin Karate, where he held the prestigious rank of 9th Dan, a testament to his unparalleled expertise. His contributions to the martial arts world were unparalleled, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of practitioners.
As the head of the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association, Hanshi Taylor dedicated himself to the growth and welfare of countless martial artists, both within Australia and on the global stage. He was a prominent figure who guided the organization through many challenges, earning the respect and admiration of all who worked with him.
Hanshi Taylor's journey in the world of martial arts began in 1963, and from that moment, he displayed unwavering commitment to his craft. He traveled long distances, even making weekly journeys from Sydney to Melbourne and back, to train under the esteemed Sensei Kato, Australia's first Kyokushin Karate Instructor. His dedication paid off, and in 1966, he achieved the rank of Shodan.
One of Hanshi Taylor's most remarkable accomplishments was becoming one of the world's first "foreign" Uchi Deshi students under the tutelage of Kyokushinkai founder Sosai Mas Oyama. He continued to train diligently under Oyama's guidance until the esteemed master's passing, imbibing the spirit and philosophy of Kyokushin.
Beyond his personal achievements, Hanshi Taylor was known for his unwavering commitment to the growth and development of the Kyokushin Karate organization. His tireless work and selfless dedication nurtured a network of martial arts schools admired by many. His contributions extended far beyond Kyokushin, earning him accolades such as the prestigious 2000 Australian Sports Medal and a nomination for Australian of the Year in 2004. His influence was not confined to the dojo; it extended into the broader community.
Hanshi Taylor's deep personal and professional bond with Sosai Oyama was a reflection of his loyalty and dedication to the Kyokushin system. He tirelessly upheld its philosophies and beliefs, sharing its wisdom with others and serving as a remarkable custodian of the Kyokushin legacy.
With Hanshi John Taylor's passing, the martial arts world has lost a true luminary. His indomitable spirit, unwavering commitment, and tireless efforts have left an indelible mark on the world of Kyokushin Karate. His legacy will live on in the hearts of those he inspired and guided. A life well lived, indeed.
Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and the martial arts community, who mourn the loss of a true legend. Rest in peace, Hanshi John Taylor.