Sunday, December 12, 2010

Grandmaster Joe Onopa - Remembered

Joe Onopa, Black Belt 10th Degree, Kwon Bop Do (Tae Kwon Do) has passed away. The Grandmaster was the great, great grandson of the Native American Apache Chief Geronimo and a pioneer martial artist. I was honored to receive some small instruction from Master Onopa when he visited my sensei Richard Lenchus in Vermont many years ago, and to have him sit on the committee that judged me for my first blackbelt test (which I failed).

Master Onopa was a warm and powerful man, a revered instructor and fighter, a special friend to those who knew him--in all ways, a testament to the true spirit of karate-do. There is a detailed tribute to him here and a video tribute here. Joe Onopa was 69 when he passed. Oos great hanshi. Domo arigato.

1 comment:

LegendStudent4life said...


Lenchus Sensei would always tell me stories about Grandmaster Onopa, and tell me that he would like me to meet him, and knew that I would love to. Grandmaster Onopa and I both share the same birthday-January 1st. I am sad that I won't have the opportunity to meet this wonderful person. You will be missed and remembered Hanshi Onopa.

Shimoda Sensei - Proud and honored student of Grandmaster Lenchus