Arx Hereticus

Welcome to the ramblings of a merry heretic, an ex-pat (Tex-pat?) American living in Maryland after having spent six years in Germany. Arx Hereticus is part travelogue, part cooking, part budo, part socio-political commentary and mostly just me BSing.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

In Memoriam: Richard (Dick) Gordon, aka Papa-san

Richard Gordon, aka 'Papa-san', my uncle and my primary budo teacher, died Thursday, Aug. 16, at St. John's Medical Center, Joplin, Mo. Funeral services will be tomorrow, at his wife Marilyn's church in Joplin. Funeral services are being managed by Parker Mortuary in Joplin. A link to his obit is below. You can post messages of condolence to the family or sign a guestbook online at the mortuary website.

Papa-san had been a student of budo for many years, and among other systems, spent time training in Japan, Okinawa, Hawaii and elsewhere. He was one of the rare birds who did both Yoshinkan and Shinshintoitsu aikido -- about as diametrically opposed philosophically and technically as aikido can get. He studied old martial arts (koryu budo) as well as new. He was a pioneer in military combatives, police and security defensives and arrest tactics, and was a mentor for thousands of martial arts and self defense students.

He was a mentor to me, and an inspiration. He will be missed, and will be remembered and honored by my students and theirs.

In lieu of flowers, HW and I will prepare a donation for Ozark Camp Quality (a camp for kids with cancer with which Papa-san did extensive work in his later years) in Papa-san's name from The Dojo and Shobukan.

Camp Q website:
Mo. website:

If you feel so led, feel free to donate (the mortuary is arranging for collection of donations, I believe) or send flowers as you see fit, but I'm pretty sure Papa-san would rather have seen donations to help the kids at the camp than have a bunch of smelly wreaths at the church ...