Re: Ken Cottier Sensei Passes Away
To: Kenneth Cottier Shihan
Not having seen you for more than two years, there are so many things in my heart left unsaid.
Although I have left Hong Kong and continue to study Aikido in other places, I have always been sincerely studying Aikido wherever I go just as you have taught us and my heart has always been with you and the Hong Kong Aikido Association. I should have contacted you more often in the past two years. From being distant to you as a beginner to being closer to you as a yudansha, I realize I have not done much for you as a student. I remember the last thing I did for you was to deliver a pack of grapes to you at the hotel one afternoon (also on behalf of one other Aikido student, Ching-yee), hoping you could have some fruits during tea time. That was just about one of the very few good things I had done for you. Now looking back, all those small group gatherings with you outside the dojo, such as going for Chinese dim sum which you like very much, and chatting with you in the hotel, have become too few but too dear and memorable.
Thank you for grading me Shodan. I feel very proud to have received Shodan from you.
Thank you for writing a reference letter for me to study Aikido in Singapore.
Thank you for writing a recommendation letter for me so that I could take my Nidan grading at Aikikai Hombu Dojo.
Thank you for your time, all the kind advices and guidance during my confused moments in life.
Thank you for giving me a good Sensei. I believe there are many fine qualities in him being passed on from you and eventually being passed on to me.
Thank you for being an inspiration to me in Aikido.
Although our encounter has been very short and brief (lasted for less than nine years, I wish it could be a lot longer), you have left with me something precious which will stay with me for a life-time. I guess quality time is what matters. I feel guilty for not being able to attend the memorial service held for you in Hong Kong and the funeral service to be held for you in England. Although I cannot be there, my heart is with you.
I have written to you before that I will make you proud one day. Although this day has not yet come for you to see it, I will still try my very best to fulfill my promise. I will keep all your kind advices at heart and I will continue to do what you had accomplished in Aikido. I know all these words come in a bit too late, may this message accompany you on your journey as you finally depart on Monday, June 16th. My heart and thoughts will be with you on this day.
Thank you for everything. Good Bye, Sensei. I believe your spirit lives on.
Former Member of the Hong Kong Association