Today we heard of the very sad news that Sensei Mick Randall passed away.
As you may know, ESKA had a number of founding members of which Sensei Mick Randall was one of them.
Many of the higher Dan grades within ESKA would have had the pleasure of training with Sensei Randall over previous years with even the occisional visit from Sensei to our Stevenage Honbu
Sensei Mick Randall after moving on from ESKA (1984) himself became Soke (Head) of SHOTO. Sensei Randall was ESKA Chief instructor from 1981 to 1984.
Shotokan Karate Master Michael Randall MBE was born in 1944 and began Shotokan karate with British Karate Federation instructors Jimmy Neal and Terry Wingrove in 1964. Sensei Randall is one of the very few karateka in Britain still training to have been taught by Masters Tetsuji Murakami and Hiroo Mochizuki. In those early years he also trained with Sensei Vernon Bell and Sensei Van Weenen amongst many others.
Through Vernon Bell came the early introduction to Shihan Kanazawa 10th Dan. Sensei has gone on to be one of his life long devotees and as Kanazawa Sensei Says in his book Kanazawa 10 th Dan “I am pleased to able to call Michael Randall one of my life long friends” Shihan Kanazawa used to call Sensei Randall one of the seven samurai. (To discover why the reader will have to read The Kanazawa Years) In 1967 Sensei went on to become one of the first in Britain to obtain a black belt under the Japan Karate Association.
A staunch traditionalist and much respected for his kata, he also represented Great Britain in kumite against the Japanese. Sensei has devoted his life to the study of Shotokan and has loved every moment of all those years enjoying the opportunity to pass on his knowledge and skills to countless others. His first student to obtain Shodan under his instruction was Sensei Michael Nursey now 7th Dan Chief instructor of ESKA. Still living and training in North London he is currently Chief Instructor to the Shotokan Traditional Karate Organisation and is ranked 8th Dan – the highest non Japanese grade in Western Europe.
Sensei Randall, as those who have trained with him can testify to, is a man of steel forged and tempered through many years of arduous training. Yet those same karateka will also tell you that he is a warm hearted and very approachable English gentleman who always has time for you whether white belt or black.
Sensei said of his karate “ It has given me everything, without it I would probably not be alive today. It has given me my health, I used to be a chronic asthmatic, my strength, my view on life, my philosophy, an abundance of friends and the reason to travel. However, although not wealthy, through my karate I consider myself to be rich inside. I have a wealth of friends and experiences all given to me by karate.”