Sensei John Hocking 29/5/1957 - 26/12/2015 

On 26th December 2015 the Droitwich Ohku Kai received the awful news that Sensei John Hocking had passed away. The Droitwich Ohku Kai is absolutely devastated, we have lost a great instructor, mentor and friend. Our love and respect goes out to John's family at this sad time.

At the age of 11 John started boxing and found a love for martial arts. At the age of 19 in 1975 John started karate at the Peter Suzuki Karate School in Digbeth, Birmingham. John was training 3 nights a week with Peter Suzuki. John made the England 1st team and competed all over the UK including Crystal Palace. In 1989 John passed his 3rd Dan and gained the title of and was known as Sensei John Hocking. Sensei John had the privilege of in depth conversations and private lessons with Peter Suzuki and was considered as Peter Suzuki's number 1 student. Upon passing his 3rd Dan Sensei John continued to train yet now began to teach to his own students. Sensei John had an aura about him, he was very traditional in his training and as strong as an ox yet loved to use old-school pure blunt trauma. Sensei John knew how to command a Dojo, once he spoke, they listened. Sensei John brought his knowledge to the Droitwich Ohku Kai and without him the school would not have the understanding of the art that we do. Sensei John's love for Wado Ryu was rare, he always helped when he could. As Sensei Dave Honey said himself "Every club needs a John".

Before Christmas in 2015 Sensei John passed his 5th Dan, we knew how much this meant to him and we could not have been happier.

A plaque to Sensei John and A defibrillator put up in his name has been put up in the sports center.

Here are some statements shared from our members of the Droitwich Ohku Kai about Sensei John:

Sensei Dave Honey - It was a huge privilege that I was able to stand in the same in and fighting squad and train and grade with such a giant of a man in Wado Ryu. My heart is with his family and I am devastated, I have lost a great friend and mentor. He was Peter Suzuki's best student. John's attitude towards his Karate was great, if anyone should base themselves on a role model for attitude it should be based on John. He spoke his mind from the day I met him and he did not stray from this. His memory will live on at our school, he will never be forgotten.

Sensei Stuart Duggan - Sensei John was a good friend and great Instructor, I trained with him on a Friday in Redditch as well as the dojo in Droitwich on a Wednesday, we also spoke on the phone every week. He helped polish my karate and even more importantly my character , his sense of humor and banter was pure class as well. One of his favorite statements to me was "It isn't whose right which is important, but whose left". This rings true about his whole character. Karate was such an important aspect to him, he followed the budo way (Martial Way) and was a warrior. He trained the "Old School way"  which meant not conforming to anyone and when you attacked your partner you attacked to strike them. Training in this way develops spirit and character and I give thanks to him for this. He will be missed terribly, I will miss our conversations. Rest in Peace Sensei.

Senpai Lee Price - Sensei John was such a great character. His exterior was like that of titanium, yet had an interior of a pure golden heart. I will always remember his speed was absolutely ridiculous and his foot sweeps were brutal yet the man himself was brilliant. In 2015 I found myself getting closer to Sensei John and training with him more as he brought out some the best in my Wado. I can honestly say if it wasn't partly for Sensei John I would not be wearing a black belt today and I do so with pride knowing he was there when I needed him. Without Sensei John I would not have the karateka or free fighting ability I have today and for that I am more than grateful. Outside of the Dojo Sensei John was a good, kind, caring friend and always asked how your life was going then helped with any problem you may have had, he did this without being asked, a treat which made him special. I hope that where ever Sensei John is now that he finds happiness and trains with us in his own way. God bless Sensei x

Senpai Andy Parmley - For me, John represented the true budo spirit. He was strong and fearless and a good teacher. He taught me techniques but beyond that, he was teaching me what it meant to be a martial artist. 

Robin Parsons - I am privileged to be able to say that I trained with Sensei John. Hard at times, a solid man, traditional, he deserved respect and he got it. However, a more genuine, good, and caring person would be hard to find. From within a few times of meeting him this was easy to see. He just wanted to help however he could. His love for karate was obvious. I knew Sensei John a relatively short time, however I considered him a friend as well as a teacher and a mentor and a part of my extended karate family. Rest in peace Sensei. "The way of the martial arts is not an ordinary thing. It is to master peace and desire harmony" - Hironori Otsuka

A brief statement from Sensei John Himself:

I started Karate in 1975 at the Suzuki Karate School, Digbeth Birmingham.
Previously I had done boxing, which I had studied from the age of eleven. Bruce Lee had just burst onto the cinema screens and I was told that karate fighters could kill with a single blow and this intrigued the fighter in me.  
Training 3 times a week for the next eight years I moved through the ranks and was invited to take my first Dan (black belt). It was to be held in Fulham at Hironori Ohtsuka Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki School and I was graded by what I consider to be the 5 best masters in the world at the time.

Professor Tatsuo Suzuki
Masafumi Shiomitsu Hanshi
Kuniaki Sakagami Sensei
Fumio Sugasawa Sensei
Shizuo Suzuki Shihan.

I passed and gained my first dan on the 1st March 1983. In subsequent years I gained 2nd Dan 1987, 3rd Dan 1989, all at the Suzuki wado kai Birmingham instructed by Shihan Shizuo Suzuki.


Domo Arigato Gozaimashita Sensei John Hocking (Thank You Very Much)

Feel free to leave your own memories of Sensei John below 

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