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Old 05-02-2020, 10:09 PM   #1
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,030
Bernie Mulligan, 6th Dan Aikikai, Passes Away

Bernie Mulligan of Salem, Masschusetts, passed away earlier today (May 2, 2020). He was 92.
From what I recall, Mulligan Sensei became one of the first US students (if not the first) of Mitsunari Kanai shortly after Kanai Sensei's arrival in the US to establish aikido in New England. For a while, Kanai used the mats at Mulligan's judo dojo in Swampscott, MA before establishing New England Aikikai in Cambridge. Mr. Mulligan went on to earn 6th dan and shihan status in the Aikikai. He also was a 4th dan in judo, which he had initially studied while a US Marine stationed in Okinawa in the 1950s.

Perhaps Bernie Mulligan's greatest legacy is the dojo and cultural center he left behind, Shodokan Martial Arts Association, a non-profit organization that will continue to pass on the rich traditions of aikido, judo, kendo, karate and other martial arts that he helped to establish in his school over the years. He will surely be missed and remembered with love by his many students and their families.
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:10 PM   #2
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,030
Re: Bernie Mulligan, 6th Dan Aikikai, Passes Away

Here is an obituary posted by North Shore Aikikai on Facebook on May 2, 2020:

BERNARD J. MULLIGAN III of Salem, Founder and President of the Shodokan Martial Arts Center in Beverly, expired Saturday May 2, 2020.

The Son of Bernard J. Junior and Eunice M. Lynch, he was pre-deceased by his sister, Louise, and brother, John.

Mulligan was a graduate of St. Mary’s Grammar School and Salem High School. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations from Boston University, along with his commission in the United States Marine Corps, in which he served on active duty for ten years. During that time, he earned a Black Belt in Judo in Okinawa, Japan.

After progressing to fourth-degree Black Belt in Judo, Mulligan saw a demonstration, sponsored by Japan Air Lines, of Japan’s top martial artists. The presentation included the newest of the Japanese Martial Arts, Aikido.

Attracted by Aikido’s non-competitive, non-violent, “Do No Harm-Restore Harmony” philosophy, Mulligan embraced Aikido as his ideal martial art.

After many years of practice, summer camps, trips to Japan, and seminars, he was awarded a sixth degree (6th Dan) rank and the title, “Shihan,” (Master Teacher) with the authority to promote others to fifth-degree (5th Dan) Black Belt rank .

As per Sensei Shihan Mulligan’s request, there will not be a funeral service, final testimonials, nor a period of mourning. Following his cremation, his ashes will be cast into the sea, from the Beverly side of the Salem-Beverly Bridge, on the incoming tide.

As a farewell to Sensei Mulligan, he asks that you perform an unexpected Good Deed for an unsuspecting fellow citizen.
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:03 PM   #3
tarik's Avatar
Dojo: Iwae Dojo
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 568
Re: Bernie Mulligan, 6th Dan Aikikai, Passes Away

My condolences to those who knew him.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:25 PM   #4
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
Location: London, UK
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 288
Re: Bernie Mulligan, 6th Dan Aikikai, Passes Away

Through my friend Bob Whelan sensei (Shodokan dojocho) I visited Shodokan and met Mulligan sensei a number of times and was always very kindly received. He was a very friendly and modest man, inspite of his amazing history.

I understand that as a pioneer in Massachusetts, he attended a seminar with Tohei sensei around 1963 and was first promoted to Ikkyu by Yamada Sensei in June of 1966. With Kanai sensei's arrival (late 1966) he re-took Ikkyu in October 1967.

Mulligan became the Public relations Chairman of NEA (New England Aikikai) and proposed that a well- publicized demonstration might help attract new members. Consequently Koichi Tohei Shihan was contacted and agreed to return for another demonstration at John Hancock Hall in Boston. The plan worked wonderfully and became a showcase for a variety of martial arts including Kanai Sensei's first Iaido demonstration in the US. Local television (especially Channel 5) and newspapers (notably the Boston Globe) made it a media event.

Mulligan Sensei had the duty and honor of looking after and accompanying Tohei Shihan. There were day trips, including the Peabody Museum (that was greatly enjoyed) and a Judo tournament at Tohoku Dojo. The latter event was quite memorable in that the tournament was halted to allow Tohei Sensei to perform an amazing half hour impromptu demonstration that showed judoka how principles of Aikido could be of value to them.

Apparently the visit was memorable for Tohei Sensei as well. When Mulligan Sensei traveled to Japan with Yamada Sensei in both 1971 and 1974 he was able to receive personal instruction in ‘ki' development from a grateful Shihan who said in effect… "Hey Salem…I remember you!"
Shodokan has long been an inspiring center on the North Shore, welcoming a large variety of arts and teachers and inspiring many, many students.

RIP, Mulligan Sensei - you have left a tremendous legacy!
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