Photo courtesy AJI
Professor Antone "Tony" Gonzales
was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 2,
1921, growing up in Palolo and Kaimuki areas. Like Prof Okazaki,
Gonzales had an ailment, which made his life a bit uncomfortable,
asthma. His brother Jimmy, a student at Okazaki's Waimanalo Plantation
Dojo, suggested that Prof. Okazaki's"Restorative Massage" was
what Tony needed. A young Tony Gonzales met Prof. Okazaki and
became a patient. The massage room was located next to the gym
and Tony was able to see the students practicing. After a few
days of treatment, Prof. Okazaki suggested that jujitsu would
further help in improving his condition. Thus, Tony became a
student under Sensei Kimura at the Waimanalo Dojo.
After the breakout
of World War II, he enrolled in the Okazaki Dojo in Honolulu
under Juan Gomez. One of his partners at this time was Shodan
Wally Jay. By 1945, Gonzales was awarded his Shodan rank. Coincidentally,
by this time, no trace of his asthma remained!
When Prof. Jay opened
his own dojo in Kalihi, Gonzales went over as an assistant instructor.
They made a great team putting on spectacular performances of
the advanced arts for service clubs and organizations.
He started his own
club, the Saint Anthony Judo Club in 1949, a club which was still
active until 1975. The club eventually moved from St. Anthony's
in Kailua, Hawaii to Gonzales' residence. This was the first
Hawaiian Club to win a Junior Championship in a National Tournament.
Gonzales was awarded
his Shodan in judo in 1954 by the Hawaii Yudanshakai and was
promoted to Nidan in 1960.
Also in 1954, he began
studying Aikido under Prof. Tohei at the Hawaii Aiki Kai. He
was promoted to Shodan in 1956 and eventually opened the Kailua
AM Dojo. These classes were conducted on alternate days of the
week at St. Anthony's Club. He received his Nidan rank in Aikido
served as the AJI President for several years, and on the Board of Directors and was its treasurer until
1996. He was a Life and Hall of Fame Member. Professor Gonzales
was ranked as a Judan, 10th Degree Black Belt.
passed away on September 8, 2001. He is sorely missed, but he
will never be forgotten!