During his time with us he had studied Shaolin and Tai Chi. In both arts he brought a combination of martial spirit and good humored comradeship. He literally raised the spirit of a class just by attending. While training to refine his martial skills, he was a long-time master of puns, funny ideas and questions about how much damage could be done to students other than himself.
Rod was fearless in volunteering his fellows to improve the classes overall knowledge. Many times he would suggest, “Could you show that arm wrench on Harvey (or Robert, or whomever). Being of Japanese ancestry he preferred to be known as “The Craw”, somewhat confusing since Rob spoke perfect English as his first language.
Rod was one of those people who evinces kindness, concern that is as immediate and pure as mountain water. His air of respect for the art, his fellow students and himself was a constant addition to our community.
Speaking for myself, Rod Oka was the kind of student that makes a teacher want to go to class.
I won’t say he will be missed because I think he will be with this school, always.