In Memory

Anthony Graziano** - Class Of 1963

Anthony Graziano**

Anthony "Tony" Graziano
1945 - 1995


Some thoughts about his friend from Gaku Homma,
Nippon Kan Kancho -- April 27th, 2004


The late Tony Graziano Sensei was a respected police officer, leader of the Brevard County Sheriffs SWAT team and dojo cho of Melbourne Aikikai in Melbourne, Florida.

I met Tony back in the early days of my career teaching Aikido in the United States. Back in those days, Nippon Kan was quite small, and there were many times I was not sure if there would be any food to put on the table that day. It was Tony Graziano Sensei who opened the door for me, and invited me to teach a seminar at his dojo in Florida, not once, but for seven consecutive years!

As our relationship grew, Tony also visited Denver CO on occasion to attend our Nippon Kan seminars, accompanied at times by the late Dr. Tom Walker Sensei of Sand Drift Aikido. His spirit and loyalty were as sturdy as stone, and his friendship was invaluable to me.

In 1994, Tony Graziano Sensei fell ill with esophageal cancer and endured many surgeries and other cancer treatments. Five days after his first major surgery (while the three foot incision in his back was still held together with metal staples), I visited Tony in his hospital room. He greeted me formally, sitting up straight and tall in bed, clad in a Japanese yukata (Japanese summer kimono). He used his bokken to hold himself still, and bowed graciously with a smile. You could see his determination not to falter, but his smile could not hide the pain in his eyes.

The following year, Tony Graziano Sensei passed away on May 2, 1995. He will be remembered not only by me, but by all of the people that he touched. -- Gaku Homma

The Johnson High alumni will miss Tony very much.

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