FRANCIS TUDOR BOX 8th Dan Hanshi.
A life remembered by Mike Selvey 6th Dan Kyoshi
Francis Tudor Box was born in YSTRADGYNLAIS South Wales in 1929, the family moved to London when Tudor (as he liked to be called) was 9 or 10. His Father was an air raid warden during the second World War, and Tudor used to tell stories of running wild around the bomb sites of London after an air raid. Tudor joined the regular army in 1949, from there he went on to the Parachute Regiment and finally the Special air Service, because of the nature of this position dates and details have been withheld, what we do know is he served in Korea and Burma.
Sensei Box left the service in 1963 when he became an HGV driver, he drove tanker lorries around Europe and the UK, his co-workers knew him as Mick, something which was never explained. Although Sensei Box trained in the Martial arts in the SAS he did not start training in clubs until 1968 when he trained in Judo, Jujutsu and Karate under many well known Masters including Masutaro Otani and Kenshiro Abbe. One of the venues sensei Box trained at was the famous "hut"; where the Masutaro Otani School of Judo and the British Judo Council were founded..
Sensei box was graded 1st Dan by Masutaro Otani in June 1976, at this time he was teaching Judo in Sutton, his schools were a great success and his students which included his Son Michael and Daughter Sarah took many medals nationally and internationally. In 1979 Sensei Box started training with Masutaro Otani's son, Tomio, who was a Budo master that Tudor had known and admired for some time. Now Sensei Box taught and was taught Judo, Jujutsu, Aikido, Iaido, kobudo, philosophy and numerous connected arts, the only art Sensei Box did not learn out of choice, was Kendo, he said he did not like the feeling of being enclosed that you get when wearing kendo armour.
Otani Tomio Sensei graded Sensei Box to 3rd Dan Renshi Budo in 1981, it was at this time that Otani Sensei opened the Yamabushi Yodokan in Brockley London, this was a full time Dojo where Sensei Box taught most days. It was in this Dojo in 1983 where he was graded to 4th Dan Budo by Otani Sensei. Shortly after this the Yodokan broke up and Sensei Box went back to teaching Budo at his own Schools in Sutton and surrounding areas. He joined forces with Kancho Alf Bates 10th Dan founder of the Tokushima Budo Council International and became a regional director. He taught Tenshin Ryu Iaido at Mallory School in Downham Kent until 2002.
View Sensei Tudor Box's grading certificate from Masutaro Otani Click Here
Sensei Box was graded 4th Dan Budo in 1985 by the Budo Council of Europe and through the TBCI (Tokushima Budo Council) to
5th Dan in 1989
6th Dan in 1994
7th Dan in 1999
And 8th Dan Hanshi in 2004
He also was graded in many other organisations worldwide, where he was a well known figure and a well respected Master.
Sensei Box continued teaching until 2002, and even taught at occasional seminars until 2004, in this year he was made President of the Federation of Iai Schools. Soon after this his health started to decline and he found it increasingly difficult to teach, but up to 3 months before his death on Feb 16th 2005 Sensei Box came to the Tsunami Yodokan to watch the class run by myself and comment on form and generally assist the students verbally with their training.
In early September of 2005 Sensei Box's Son Michael, myself and Sensei Tony Blake a Judo instructor taught by Sensei Box travelled to Japan with Sensei Box's ashes , our purpose was to place the ashes on Mount Fuji and conduct a final ceremony to celebrate the life of our Father, Teacher and friend, we walked for 7 hours that day to find the right place for the ceremony, but we did find a place where we all agreed the feeling was right, Sensei Box's ashes now rest in the ground at the Dainichinyorai temple on Fujisan Japan, a very fitting end to a great teacher, a Yamabushi (Mountain Warrior).
This website uses a Mount Fuji graphic in its heading as a tribute to Sensei Box.
In the 40 odd years Sensei Box taught Martial arts he must have trained a thousand students or more, some for a few hours at a seminar, some for more than 30 years, they all benefited from his knowledge and kinship and use what they have gained for the benefit of others now and in the future, this is the legacy of the warrior teacher.
F TUDOR BOX 1929-2005