A luncheon was held in Honour of Vladimir Pijov, and by the authority of the Szlagowski Karate Association; Master Vladimir became Grandmaster Vladimir.
He is the third Grandmaster of our line; the previous two being Grandmaster Waldemar Von Szlagowski, the Father of Australian Karate and his student Grandmaster George Pandu.
Vladimir is a direct student of Wally Szlagowski and he started training at the original Blacktown club at the age of 15 – he told Wally a little white lie and said he was 17 as Wally only accepted those aged 17 and over at that time. Vladimir earned his Shodan in 1971 later earning Master in 1994.
He was pivotal in the S.K.A. to its present form. It was he that made the Szlagowski shield and designed the original old Blacktown badge from which our present blackbelt patch is descended, he also designed and had printed the 1st to 5th Dan certificates that are still in use today (yes he had that many printed). Another design from his creation is the double dragons that are our logo. It is a very fair statement to say without Grandmaster Vladimir’s input and work (along with others) we would not have survived.
In attendance were Richard Shumach (student of Rob Dobson and teacher of Jeff Barnes), Jeff Barnes and his lovely wife Sue, Ray Zahra, Alan Thomas, myself (John Cook), John Sloan, Darrin Anderson, Neville Hallab, Tony Gerzina, Dave Weatherstone, Colin Skinner, Ken Chamberlain and Russel Plumber. After their recent illnesses, it was really good to see Ken and Alan cheerfull chirpy and cheeky. All in all a wonderfull day in which we (re)bonded as a group.
Thank you – John Cook
(Have not got pix yet, will post them when I get them)
here to edit.