A black belt was awarded to Peter Graham Ford at a remembrance ceremony held at his house on Montgo, Jávea, on Sunday 7th January 2018. Over 150 guests and family attended the event which was to celebrate Peter’s life, comradeship as well as his contribution as a karate-ka. The belt was presented to his wife Annie, by Peter’s Sensei and President of the Spanish Club, Geovanny Sanchez Salazar 4th Dan. It is only the second time in the history of Washinkai that this honour has ever been awarded posthumously and was done so due to the high esteem in which Peter was held. Shihan Christopher Thompson 9th Dan, Chief Instructor of Washinkai Karate and head of the British Traditional Karate Association, made the registration which was supported by Shihan Francisco Gonzales (Paco) 7th Dan on behalf of the Valencian Karate Federation.
Peter tragically died on the 30th December 2017 after a three-month battle to combat serious injuries sustained when he was run over by a motorist whilst out exercising on his bicycle. A number of students that trained with Peter attended as well as Senior Instructor Sensei Sarah Lakin 4th Dan. In an emotional address to the gathering Sensei Geovanny spoke of Peter’s dedication and perseverance. Peter embodied all the qualities of a true black belt, so it was only fitting that he should be awarded this honour. Alastair Morton 1st Dan and Portavoz for the club, spoke about the significance of being promoted to Shodan. A black belt is never given, it is only ever earned. Peter was a worthy recipient. The students performed Ipponme Kata, followed by 1st Dan Kata Seishan, with senior students and instructors, in his honour. Family and friends including Peter’s son Alex, shared their recollections of his life; a life well-lived and rich in adventure.
Shihan Christopher Thompson has proposed that an annual trophy be created to reward students who showed the most perseverance in following the path of karate-do. The Peter Graham Ford Cup will be presented annually and will help to maintain the legacy of Peter and all those students who show a similar level of persistence and dedication. Peter’s wife Annie, requested that there would be no flowers, instead a donation could be made to the Water-Aid charity which Peter cared so much about. Peter will be sorely missed by those that he loved and knew him, but his legacy will endure through the commemorative trophy.