Jacques Sandulescu
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Selected Biographies
Mas Oyama
Steve Arneil
Nick Cujic
Raymond Elmore
Mike Ganci
Miyuki Miura
Shigeru Oyama
Jim Phillips
Guy Salter
Jacques Sandulescu
Dan Soller
Doug Turnbull
Gary Viccars
Marc Walleghem
Hulon Willis
  Steve Arneil article

It is with great sadness that I record here that Shihan Jacques passed away at 10:48pm on the 19th November 2010 after a lingering illness. I'm probably not wrong in saying that the whole Kyokushin (and related) community mourns his passing the the passing of another part of the Mas Oyama story. OSU!

The following information was provided by Jacques Sandulescu via his life long partner Annie Gottlieb and from Shihan Cameron Quinn's book The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama.

Cameron Quinn says in his book that that when Jacques saw Sosai breaking a brick, he laughingly asked "You're a sixth dan black belt. What do you give me if I break two?" and then proceeded to do so with a single blow!

"Big Jacques" Sandulescu had been Mas Oyama's close friend and "gaijin brother" since the early 1960s, when they met on one of Sosai's early trips to the United States. It's a meeting made legendary in the Karate Baka Ichidai comic books, with the result that people always ask Jacques, "Did you fight him?" (Isn't that always how strong men become friends?)

Let the answer remain shrouded in mystery; what we can say is that Jacques — then a Greenwich Village coffeehouse and jazz-bar owner, today an author and actor — trained with Sosai for six hours a day up to the rank of nidan, and received one of Sosai's own belts. Though Sosai did award Jacques a 6th dan consonant with his advisory status, Jacques has never worn it and still trains in that "old" belt.
Jacques helped to arrange some of Sosai's spectacular demonstrations that introduced the power of karate to the U.S. The photos here give a sense of how close they were, and remained to the end of Sosai's life. Jacques is still training and still active as an advisor to IKO(1) and a friend to many Kyokushin karateka around the world.

Perhaps the reason Jacques understood Sosai so well is that hardship, physical strength, and the will to achieve the impossible had been so central to his own life. Jacques had been taken prisoner by the Red Army in his native Romania in 1945, when he was 16.

After working for 2 years as a slave labourer in the Donbas coal mines (now in the Ukraine), he was injured in a mine cave-in, and then escaped in mid-winter to avoid the amputation of his legs. You can read his autobiography, DONBAS, on the net at http://donbas.com. He has also adding a special page about his friendship with Sosai Oyama.

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