View Full Version : 70 year old Shihan climbs Mount Fuji

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Jorge Garcia
08-04-2004, 02:41 AM
Here are some pics of my teacher, Hiroshi Kato leading some members of his dojo in climbing Mount Fuji. He considers this a spiritual quest and has been doing it since he was young person.

Best wishes,

08-04-2004, 02:50 AM
Very cool. Some of the older folks out there simply amaze me.

I can only hope to keep moving, doing, adventuring and learning like that.

O got to spend a weekend with Kiyama Hiroshi sensei a couple years back. He was then 76, a WW II bomber pilot, a lifelong budoka and sweet, active, vital guy. Teaches iaido, jodo and kendo in Japan. Trained the legs off almost all of us who were there that weekend. It was grand!

My student, Courtney Young, who's just returned to the States; 65 years old, former competetive judoka, trained with me for a year here. In the dojo, he takes ukemi, gives the young guys a run for their rmoney, and is truly a delight to have on the mat.

He also skis Alpine glaciers, hikes, sails (was slated to enter a regatta the week after he flew back to New York) and generally lives well, fully and deeply.

Another former student back in Indiana, Bob Craig, started training when he was in his 60s, and stayed with me for almost 10 years, also dabbling in karate for a while. Now, in his 70s, he's slowed down a bit, but still plays table tennis, hikes the hills of southern Indiana, runs a music teaching business and plays (woodwind instruments mostly) professionally.

We can only hope to age so gracefully and well.

Best to you and your teacher, Jorge!


Jorge Garcia
08-04-2004, 03:38 AM
I am 48 but my dream is to be physically active like that when I'm in that upper tier! It gives me hope that there are so many people like that instead of the stereotypical "old person".

08-04-2004, 04:14 AM
Fuji is interesting to climb. I did it in the off-season and missed the old folks but I have heard great stories. My favourite was told by a friend of mine who saw an old guy keel over as if dead, his oxygen bottle rolling away and everyone else just continueing up the path paying no attention. My friend was near panic since he was less than a week in Japan and had no clue what to do but just as he was about to grab the guy and run down hill with him the gentleman jumped up and continued climbing. My friend was left standing there feeling like a total idiot.

When I climbed it Fuji-san has that peculier smell of ash and dumped urine although I understand that the mass dumping at the end of the day is no longer done.

08-04-2004, 11:30 AM
I hope I'm that capable when I get to his speed limit. My lower speed limit has its share of aches and pains.:)