Shihan van Weenen’s memories of the great man
It is with much shock and sadness to hear of the passing of Sensei Bob Poynton, 8th Dan KUGB. He died in his sleep in the early hours of Tuesday 10th March.
Many TASK members will remember the superb courses he taught on over the years with his unique, charismatic teaching. He was a founding member of the KUGB and the Liverpool Red Triangle Club. I remember watching him compete in the 1966 British Karate Championships at Alexandra Palace along with Andy Sherry, Terry O’Neil and Eddie Whitcher.
In 1969 we became friends, and remained so for over 50 years. He was an outstanding karate ka, a superb teacher, and a shining example of someone who truly lived the philosophy of Karate-do. His loyalty and respect for his teacher, Enoeda Sensei, never faltered over the years and remained long after the Master’s death.
I’d like to include an extract taken from ‘In Funakoshi’s Footsteps’ which I think sums up the man admirably:
‘The Shotokan Evergreen’, as he was affectionately known.
‘In September 1993, Bob Poynton the well-known Karate Union of Great Britain 6th Dan from Liverpool joined me on a humanitarian mission to Tirana, Albania. In his role as KUGB charity officer, he has been responsible for raising many thousands of pounds for good causes. Whilst we were visiting a children’s hospital, he became involved in the plight of an abandoned nine year-old girl. She was suffering from a heart condition that would leave her doomed to an inactive life if an operation were not performed, (treatment was not available to her in Albania).
On his return home, Bob arranged for her to have an operation at Liverpool Royal Infirmary with a friend of his. Whilst the surgeon didn’t charge for his services, £3,000 had to be found to cover all other expenses.
Bob paid for everything out of his own pocket.
The operation was successful and she returned home to Albania. Over the years growing up, she kept in touch periodically as she was so grateful for his kindness.
She is now 36 years old, a married woman with two beautiful children of her own. Sadly, she will always miss her ‘Good Samaritan’ more than anyone – as indeed we all will.’