On Sunday, April 28, the friends and family of Sensei Dan Stuparu were once again sadly reminded that we never know when the moment will come when that is not the truth, until it happens.
One of life’s harshest lessons is our own mortality. Too often we take friends, family and loved ones – even acquaintances, for granted. We expect they will always be there. On Sunday, April 28, the friends and family of Sensei Dan Stuparu were once again sadly reminded of the harsh reality that we never know when the moment will come when that is not the truth, until it happens.
Unfortunately, it is a moment in life that cannot be undone. It is finality an inevitability that reminds us to take care of the moments we have – to use them wisely and not waste them on matters that are trivial. And, to treasure those we share with others. But the legacy of Sensei Stuparu will endure through his family, the students that he mentored and the warm friendships he created through his thoughtfulness. He was a great friend and supporter to the ITKF. His character was tribute to Traditional Karate as he truly exemplified the principles of Budo. He was humble, but proud; confident in himself, but not arrogant in his attitude. And, while his students might think he was a strict task master – he was obviously a great mentor as his students took their place on the world stage consistently on the medal podium.
Following the passing of Sensei Nishiyama, Sensei Stuparu took on a more active role in assisting the ITKF as part of the Technical Committee. He was a great friend to me and a very patient advisor. He was always there to help and no matter how difficult the decision that needed to be made, he always kept the best interests of the ITKF at the forefront. I admired his character as a human being because he would be the first one to admit a mistake, or to apologize for an error he had made. Nor did he judge anyone more critically than he judged himself, or set expectations that he, himself, was not prepared to meet. The time we spent together was never wasted. I always took something new away from the conversations we had and the laughter we shared.
The ITKF lost a great supporter. His wife and son lost a wonderful husband and loving father, his students lost a tremendous mentor – the world lost a great human being. Let us always keep his memory alive in our collective heart. He will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Chairman International Traditional Karate Federation