8th Degree Black Belt
June 22, 1930 – October 27, 2002
Sensei Cecil T. Patterson was born in Sevierville, Tennessee on June 22, 1930. His interest in the martial arts began while attending a law enforcement training school taught by an F.B.I. agent. While serving in the United States Navy he was stationed in Iwakuni, Japan. In August 1955 he enrolled in a karate school and studied under the direct supervision of Master Kazuo Sakura, GoDan, and trained for fifteen hours per week for a two year period.
Mr. Patterson received his SanDan (3rd degree black belt) in 1959 and was advanced to YonDan (4th degree black belt) in 1964. He was promoted to GoDan (fifth degree black belt) by Master H. Otsuka on December 1, 1968, at that time the highest rank in the Wado system. He eventually was awarded the rank of HachiDan (8th degree black belt).
Mr. Patterson was the highest ranked occidental in the Wado system and due to the years of training, teaching and his devotion to the Wado system he was instructed by Master Otsuka to establish the United States Eastern Wado-Kai Federation. He served as the president and head instructor of said federation which was established in 1968. As the president of the U.S.E.W.F. Mr. Patterson was responsible to Master Otsuka for all the Wado dojos in the Eastern United States.
The first Wado karate school in the eastern United States was opened in Nashville, Tennessee by Mr. Patterson in 1961. There are presently Wado karate schools in Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas.
Mr. Patterson served as the State Representative and Regional Director for the United States Karate Association and was on the research board (in reference to the Wado system) of that organization.
Sensei Cecil T. Patterson passed away on October 27, 2002. He is survived by his wife and four children.