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01-10-2020, 08:22 PM
Posted 2020-01-10 17:00:15 by Margaret Miles
News URL: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/las-vegas-nv/norman-miles-6978338

Hello. I would like to pass along the belated news of the 2016 passing of my father, Norman Miles, who was one of the first foreign students under O Sensei (you can see him in this image: http://www.aikidonorthwest.co.uk/ethos.html).

The memory of his dedication to Aikido, and the memorabilia I have from his time under O Sensei, have been a tremendous comfort since his passing.

Not sure if my "Uncle" Kenny (also pictured in the photo) is still around - so many of the foreign students scattered to different corners of the world to start their dojos. Though my father did not move on to open a dojo of his own due to military business obligations, I think Uncle Kenny went to either Isle of Man or South Africa to spread O Sensei's teachings.

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01-15-2020, 04:25 AM
Hi Margaret,

unfortunately "Uncle Kenny" as you refer to him passed on a few years ago. he remained active until his death and I was privileged to call him a friend.

02-20-2020, 07:38 PM
Hi Margaret,

Sorry to hear about the passing of your father. We are Michael Leung and Angela Lee of Hong Kong Aikido Kan. We are direct students of Kenneth Cottier Shihan, your Uncle Kenny. I have known your father since 1971 when he came to Hong Kong to visit Uncle Kenny, they were great friends. Your father practiced beautiful Aikido, and was soft yet powerful, He enjoyed his Aikido but he never aspired to be a sensei or care about his rank. He was still slim at that time, and he enjoyed the food in Hong Kong. He asked me to take him to a good streak house. As I was only 18 and a poor student at that time, I took him to the San Francisco Streak House which I could never afford at that time. He kindly bought me and Edmund Wan, another student of Cottier Sensei's, a big dinner. He loved his food and ice cream! He came to Hong Kong quite a number of times and Angela took care of his stay in the later days. He was humorous and generous, and displayed the true spirits of Aikido - getting along with people in a cheerful way and enjoyed one's life. Cottier Shihan passed away in June 2008 and now rests in his home town in the UK. The memory of your father will live for ever in our hearts.

Peter Goldsbury
02-21-2020, 12:58 AM

I second the sentiments of Philip and Michael. I was never privileged to know Mr Miles, but Kenneth Cottier and I became friends and the friendship lasted until we gradually lost contact after I came to live here in Hiroshima. I began aikido in 1969, which was the year the founder passed away.

Best wishes,

02-26-2020, 12:05 AM
Dear Peter and Margaret,

I hope Peter you remember coming to Hong Kong and bought Cottier Sensei a bottle of Whiskey which was stolen after practice at the changing room. It is a long time since we last corresponded. Our Dojo goes to the Aikido Shrine Festival every year and it was a pity that we did not meet last year.

On the photo posted by Margaret, there was quite a story behind which I think few people know. The photo was probably taken on 14th December 1966 on O Sensei's birthday. Both O Sensei and Kenneth Cottier Sensei were born on the same date. On that day, I thought it was Joanne Shimamoto who baked 2 cakes to celebrate their birthday. They bought one birthday cake to Hombu Dojo and had a birthday party with O Sensei. There was a series of photos taken in Cottier Sensei's collection, and I still had some photos showing O Sensei tasting the birthday cake. O Sensei was smiling and seemed to enjoy the cake. It was probably the first western style birthday party O Sensei ever had.

Margaret, the group was your father's best friends in Aikido. I am privileged to know many of them through my teacher.