Sunday, December 27, 2015
Adrian Dobson passed 1.20 am 28 December 2015.
Adrian loved Jan de Jong and the Jan de Jong Self Defence School. One of the reasons I write this blog is to recognise and acknowledge those who pass who loved Jan de Jong and the school and who provided great service to both. The present school does not unfortunately.
Adrian commenced training in the mid 80s and continued until his passing. He was graded 1st kyu in jujutsu and green belt in aikido by Sensei John Langley. Adrian's highest grade may have been in jujutsu but his love was aikido. I suspect that was because of the esoteric nature of aiki.
Adrian was not a natural martial artist nor very graceful, however, Yoshiaki Unno would have regarded him highly because Adrian trained hard, often, and consistently.
Adrian assisted me in the teenager's class on Saturday mornings and took that responsibility seriously. His gentle and patient manner and his love of the art contribute to his being a well respected instructor.
Adrian was a loyal and generous person. He was the first to put his hand up to pay for Jan de Jong's memorial when he passed. Always there at any function. Never a bad word to say about anyone.
Adrian had his own dojo at his place of business. I trained with him/taught him at the dojo and would often come across him watching video of his early morning training sessions with Jan de Jong and his long-time training partner, Keith 'Keef' Hickey. He treasured those moments. He had hours upon hours of those videos.
Around his dojo were various treasured memorabilia of his martial arts journey. A photo of him, Keef, and Jan de Jong took pride of place. A print of a painting of Jan de Jong that I gave him was also present on the walls. I recently saw a photo of him performing kenjutsu on the internet but unfortunately cannot find it again. I did, however, send the link to Adrian. He also had a floor board he retrieved when 996 Hay Street, the home of the Jan de Jong Self Defence School, closed.
Adrian also accompanied Jan de Jong on a number of his European teaching trips. On one of those trips, the two gents above, the one on the left being Adrian, decided to give each other a #1 clipper cut because they were ... bored. He took a shine to the use of the tonfa after receiving instruction from an Italian instructor in Germany we stayed with. The photo to the right is of Adrian being thrown by Maggie de Jong with Jan de Jong watching on while demonstrating in Sweden.
Adrian had many other interests outside of the martial arts. He competed in the Avon Decent some 20 odd times. Loved his paddling and rock climbing. He took me rock climbing once, not to a facility mind but straight to a rock face in a quarry. I forgot I have an issue with heights which I remembered half way up the rock face.
Loved his music playing the piano, then the flute and finally the saxaphone. He played an instrument each night. Read voraciously but mostly biographies. Also read, and unfortunately performed, poetry. His favourite being The Man from Snowy River.
Loved art and theatre. Sadly, he and Keef attended a sing-along theatre that put on The Sound of Music.