Re: Passing of Robert Koga Sensei
Bob Koga wasn't a mainstream aikido instructor and wasn't known for his beautiful and flowing aikido. As a Los Angeles police officer he recognized that officers of his department weren't well trained for physical altercations in the 1950s. In those days defensive tactics training largely amounted to striking suspects and frequently both officer and suspect would end up in a brawl that left both injured and bleeding. Bob believed strongly that there was a better way. He began by taking from both judo and aikido those techniques that could be easily learned, could be performed well without years of practice and training, and could be applied effectively. That grew into the Koga Method and after years of testing at the LAPD Academy was ultimately adopted by the department. Eventually the techniques that Bob Koga developed and taught were adopted by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and were taught at least in part to every peace officer in California. Over the years those same practices were adopted across the United States by the vast majority of police agencies. Today it is pretty difficult to see the difference in a "single arm take-down" and ikkyo. At least those of us who served, or are serving in law enforcement owe a great debt to Robert Koga Sensei.
Over-riding his great skill as a teacher and trainer was his sense of humor and spirit of fun. He will be missed and I'm certainly grateful for having known him.
No Give Up!