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Tributes to Past
Sensei Sherman Harrill
May 11, 1941 - November 4, 2002
Sensei (left) Harrill Sensei (right)
was born in May 11th 1941, Lebanon Missouri. He enlisted into
the United States Marine Corps and in 1959 and was assigned
duty to Okinawa. He was stationed at Camp Courtney near the
village of Tengan. He started in Isshin-ryu from Master Tatsuo
Shimabuku who was teaching in Agena located in Gushikawa. Shimabuku
called Harrill "Harru." Harru often tells others that he was
not the best American training in the Agena dojo at the time
but Sherm was not always right.
He stated that when he left Okinawa he was entrusted with the
rank of Rokudan to wear at a appropriate time. Tatsuo gave a
rank certificate's to all Americans at the end of their tour
of duty. All were given a silk certificate with the rank of
Rokudan (Sixth dan) but were told to wear it many years down
the line. All were entrusted to wear Shodan and then to wear
the next ranks as the appropriate set of years. The majority
came back claiming Rokudan as soon as they returned but Sherman
waited the appropriate time designated by Tatsuo. This tells
the caliber of a man and while he says he was never the best
in the dojo on Okinawa for sure he had integrity. This tells
the story of the man. A story of a man who gave his all when
he taught Isshin-ryu.
years ago when one of his Agena dojo mates, Don Bohan had cancer,
Sherm held a seminar to raise funds for him. Yes this is a unselfish
man. A man hard as rocks with a heart of gold.
His loved ones, friends and students
will miss him but as we all know, spirits never die.
Harrill Sensei practicing
4, at 10 AM Central time, the year 2002, Marine Sherman Harrill
"the Sherminator" was called to duty, to guard the Heavenly
Gates. He will report to Tatsuo, and begin training in his beloved
Isshin-ryu. He will meet his daughters and other members of
his family and friends.
can not kill a spirit, for spirits never die. Kanpai, my friend,
until I relieve you at your post, the Pearly Gates of Heaven.
Semper Fi, AJA
Once in a little pond, in the muddy water under a lily pad,
there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles.
They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few
disturbances or interruptions. Once in a while sadness would
come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would
climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again.
They knew when this happened, their friend was dead-gone forever.
Then one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge
to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would
not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what
he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed
out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so
tired, and the sun felt so warm that he decided he must take
a nap. As he slept his body changed. When he woke up, he had
turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings
and a slender body designed for flying. So fly he did! And as
he soared, he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far
superior way of life to any he had known existed.
Then he remembered his beetle friends and how by now they were
thinking he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them-explain
to them he was now more alive than he had ever been before.
His life had been fulfilled, not ended! But his new body would
not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his
friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would
come when they too would know what he now knew. So he raised
his wings and flew off to enjoy his new life!