"SHUGYOSHA" by Alf McCabe
SAM MOLEDZKI's introduction into the Martial Arts began in 1967 while studying boxing and competing as a member of the Midland Avenue Collegiate Gymnastic Team. He began practicing Karate-do under the instruction of Master Kei Tsumura at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Don Mills, Ontario.
Mr. Moledzki's impressive fighting career started a short time later in 1968 where he competed at the 7th Canadian International Karate Championships and won 2nd Place in Kumite.
Later that year he was presented with the JAPANESE CANADIAN CULTURAL CENTRE - KEI TSUMURA ANNUAL AWARD as the Most Outstanding Student of 1968.
During 1969 he won 4th Place at the Canadian Karate Championships-Ottawa; 3rd Place at the Nisei Karate Tournament-Toronto; and 2nd Place at the J.C.C.C. Karate Tournament-Don Mills.
After receiving 1st degree BLACK BELT (January 10, 1970) in Shito-ryu Karate, Sam began teaching Karate classes during the evening at Midland Collegiate Institute. Throughout the year he also found time to compete in tournaments and win. At the 3rd Canadian Karate Championships he won 2nd Place in Kumite, 2nd Place in Kata and was presented with the OUTSTANDING SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD; at the All Canadian Championships he won 2nd Place in Kata, and finally, at the most prestigeous event of the year, the North American Karate Championships he won 1st Place in Kumite and 2nd Place in Kata .
1970 NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION
At the 1971 C.N.E. Karate Championships Sam won 3rd Place in Kumite and at the 1971 Canadian Championships he won 1st Place in Kumite and 2nd Place in Kata. Towards the end of the year, he was named "Captain" of the first Canadian Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Karate Team sent to JAPAN HEADQUARTERS for advance training and studies. While in Japan, Sam won 1st PLACE in KUMITE at the JAPAN KANTO DISTRICT KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS. To this day, he is the only non-oriental to win this prestigious title. Sam also captained the Canadian Team to a 1st Place finish.
On October 1, 1972 Mr. Moledzki received his 2nd degree BLACK BELT in Karate and was selected as Captain of Canada's National Black Belt Team competing at the 2nd WUKO World Karate-do Championships in Paris, France.
1972 Canadian Team
Sam carrying Canadian flag
Sam scoring with front kick
Later that year he also began teaching Karate classes at Castle Frank High School in Toronto. Continuing in his winning ways, Sam won 1st Place in Kumite and 2nd Place in Kata at the premier event of 1973, the 8th International Invitational Karate Championships. On December 1, 1973 he received his 1st degree BLACK BELT in Ryukyu Kobudo (Okinawan Ancient Weapons) and was also promoted to 3rd degree BLACK BELT in Shito-ryu Karate.
Sam with Master Sakagami (1974)
During 1974, Mr. Moledzki was appointed as Relations-Chairman of the newly formed sports governing body for Karate in the province, the KARATE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION. He was also appointed as vice-president of the Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Karate And Kobudo Association of Canada. Still competing in tournaments, as Captain, he won 1st Place in Kumite at the 1974 Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Team Championships and was presented with the Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Association - Advance Class Coaching Appreciation Award. Towards the end of 1974 Sam was honoured by receiving the Japan Karate-do Itosu-kai Headquarters - PRESIDENT'S APPRECIATION CERTIFICATE from Grand Master Ryusho Sakagami-9th Degree Black Belt,while the great master was touring Canada.
In 1975 Sam competed at the Ontario Athletic Commission Karate Championships and won 2nd Place in Kumite and 2nd Place in Kata. He was then named Captain of the Ontario Black Belt Team that competed at the 1975 Canadian National Black Belt Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick where they won 1st Place.
Victory drink of Champagne
Mr. Moledzki along with Mr. Bill Pinkerton gave an exciting and memorable demonstration of Ryukyu Kobudo for the first time to the Canadian general public at this competition.
On June 1, 1975 Sam received his 2nd degree BLACK BELT in KOBUDO. Later that year, he was selected to serve as Co-Captain of Canada's National Black Belt Team that competed at the 3rd WUKO World Karate-do Championships in Long Beach, California.
Competing at the Ontario Black Belt Championships, Sam won 1st Place in Kata , and at the 1976 Canadian National Black Belt Championships in Oshawa, (where KATA was first included), he won 3rd Place.
1976 Bronze Medal
Later, he was presented with Appreciation Awards from Karate Ontario and the National Karate Association (official sport's governing body for Karate in CANADA). Around the end of 1976, the Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Karate And Kobudo Assoc., under the direction of Master Tsumura withdrew it's membership from Karate Ontario and the National Karate Association.
In the fall of 1976, Sam was again sent to Japan by the Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Association of Canada to further his training and studies. While there, on October 24, 1976 he earned 1st degree BLACK BELT in Muso Jiki Den Eishin-Ryu Iaido (Samurai Sword Draw) from the ALL JAPAN KENDO FEDERATION - IAIDO BRANCH, and also received instruction in the Martial Arts of JODO (4ft Short Stick Fighting) and KENDO (Japanese Fencing) He was also appointed official Canadian Liaison Representative for the Federation of All Japan Karate-do Organizations (FAJKO) by chairman Eiichi Eriguchi. His appointment was reconfirmed in August 1980, while visiting Japan for the Itosu-kai International Karate-do Championships.
During 1977, Mr. Moledzki decided to retire from competition. On August 1, 1978 Sam received his 3rd degree BLACK BELT in Kobudo and was also presented with an APPRECIATION AWARD from the Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Karate and Kobudo Association of Canada. It was also during 1978 that Sam was sent to Rutgers University to teach a seminar for Sensei Ravee Raghavan of the Shito-kai Mabuni group.
In 1979, Master Kei Tsumura requested Sam to come out of retirement to become Captain, as well as coach members of the Canadian Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Karate Team. On August 1, 1979 Mr. Moledzki received his 4th degree BLACK BELT in Shito-ryu Karate. Mr. Moledzki and the Canadian Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Karate Team went to Japan in 1980 to compete at the 4th International Itosu-kai Karate-do Championships held at the site of the 1964 TOKYO OLYMPICS. Mr. Moledzki finished among the top 8 in Kumite.
On February 12, 1981 Mr. Moledzki was promoted to 5th degree BLACK BELT in Shito-ryu Karate by Master Kei Tsumura and officially retired from active competition. During the fall of 1981, Mr. Moledzki resigned from the Shito-ryu Itosu-kai Karate Association and devoted his energy to the development of his own Shito-ryu group.
By late 1983, Sensei Moledzki and his Shito-ryu group were successful in re-joining Karate Ontario and the National Karate Association. In 1984 Sensei Moledzki was appointed a Technical Advisor and later was elected a Director of Karate Ontario and received his "A" CLASS NATIONAL REFEREE certification in 1985.
During the 1986 Canadian National Black Belt Karate Championships in Toronto, Moledzki Sensei demonstrated the Martial Arts of KOBUDO with his senior student Senpai Eric Pick and IAIDO with Mr. Rob Brushette, and was later presented with a Plaque of Appreciation from Karate Ontario.
Sam and Eric Pick
In 1987, Sensei Moledzki became a member of the KOKUSAI BUDOIN, JAPAN, (International Martial Arts Federation) and was appointed a Branch Director of IMAF Canada in September 1, 1988 til March 31, 1989 and from April 1, 1989 to Mar. 31, 1991.
During 1989, Sam travelled to Akran, Ohio to participate in the Pan-American Karate-do Federation Master Kata seminar hosted by Sensei George Anderson. Featured were Japanese Masters from the four major systems.
Throughout 1990 and 1991, Moledzki Sensei served as a Provincial Coach for Karate Ontario and more recently served as Technical Council Chairman. At the 1991 Canadian Nationals, Roland Chan, a student of Sensei Moledzki 's became the first junior to win both the Kata and Kumite divisions in his category. Later that year at the North American Cup, Monterrey, Mexico, Roland finished 2nd in Kata, 3rd in Open Weight and 2nd in his weight division in Kumite.
During 1991, Sensei Moledzki believed that in order to further develop his Karate-do, it was necessary to affiliate his Shito-ryu Karate group with a truly world class organization .
He became affiliated with Master Kunio Murayama, 7th Dan, All-Japan Karate-Do Federation Shito-kai (Chairman of Referee Council of Mexico and Chief Technical Director of the Karate-do Shito-kai Mexico Association). Moledzki sensei was appointed 'Shihan' (Chief Instructor), Karate-do Shito-kai Murayama Canada.
In 1992, Moledzki sensei invited Murayama sensei and his lovely wife Astrid, to visit Canada and conduct seminars for the Canadian Shito-kai group. Alternative years, Moledzki sensei would visit Monterrey, Mexico with members of the Canadian Shito-kai Murayama group .
1993 Moledzki sensei and son Michael, demonstrated 'Ryukyu Kobudo at the 10th Copa Murayama, Monterrey, Mexico.
During 1993, Moledzki Sensei coached the Canadian Shito-ryu Karate team competing at the official 1st. World Shito-Ryu Karate-do Championships in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Budokan. Canadian team member Christine Kay won a Bronze medal in Kumite (+55kg) and Moledzki sensei was certified as a World Shito-Ryu Karate-do Federation Kumite Referee and Kata Judge.
While in Japan, Moledzki Sensei and his Canadian team visited and trained at the Iwata Honbu dojo. The photograph below of Master Iwata and sensei Moledzki was taken at Master Iwata's home shortly after the World Championships. The Canadian delegation were the last foreign delegation to visit with Master Iwata and his family before his sudden passing on June 4, 1993.
In July 1994, while in Japan with Murayama Sensei, Moledzki Sensei was examined and promoted to 6th Dan Black Belt in Shito-ryu Karate authorized by Master Kenei Mabuni, 10 th Dan, 2nd Soke and Master Ken Sakio, President, World Shito-Ryu Karate-do Federation.
Later that year Sam was appointed to the National Karate Association Referee Council of Canada. Sensei Moledzki is a certfied member of the Coaching Association of Canada, and a registered Karate Referee/Judge of the Canadian Olympic Association and a Pan-American Karate-do Federation (PKF) Kumite Referee.
In 1995, sensei Moledzki was selected as one of two Canadian National Referees to officiate at the XII Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina where the sport of Karate was first introduced. (L-R) Sam Moledzki, Canada; Mr. Lorzono, Columbia; Master Yamazaki, U.S.A.
Draeger Donn F., The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan. Classical Budo Vol.II :New York/Tokyo. John
Weatherhill, Inc. 1982.