We regretfully announce that Shihan Kirk Bailey passed away on February 8, 2017. He was 66 years old. We would like to offer our sincerest condolences to Shihan Bailey's partner Michelle, family members, and students. Shihan Bailey was an old friend of Master Cruz.
The Memorial Service for Shihan Bailey will be held on Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 1pm at Allen Mortuary, 247 N. Broadway, Turlock, CA, 95308
Phone: (209) 634-5829
For more information, please contact Sensei Floyd Buttke:
1357 Ballena Blvd. Apt. B, Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (760) 401-6031
Written by his Student, Floyd Buttke on February 13th, 2017
I first met Kirk Bailey Sensei in the first Karate school I went to at around age 11 in 1981. He was a green belt and assistant instructor at the Karate school under Sensei Pedro (Atwater Shotokan Kenkojuku Karate School on Broadway Ave. of Atwater, CA 95301). The Master the school was under was headed by Sensei Tomosaburo Okano (1922-2003). I trained under Sensei Pedro for about two and a half years until I quit; due to his Karate school was hard core and brutal at times to its students. Being at a young age then, I was having a hard time handling such abusive training practices, so I quit in 1984. Some years later I would desire to go back. I had no idea that one day Kirk Bailey, the green belt and assistant instructor in that school would be my next Sensei.
At the age of 19 (1989) I had a fire develop inside of me, which triggered me to want to go back to the Karate school I once quit. I drove to the Karate school I used to train in, but it had closed. Somehow when I researched Martial Arts schools in Atwater I found that Kirk Bailey was teaching Karate and I attained his contact information. He was teaching in Atwater, CA in the back yard of his apartment on a grass lawn. As time passed and more students joined, he was able to rent a room to teach Karate at Stats Gym in Atwater, CA (860 Applegate Road, Atwater, CA 95301).
After years of training at Stat’s Gym under him the rent went up and he decided to rent a (25 feet by 60 feet) room located at 272 Broadway Ave., Atwater, CA 95301 for only $300 a month. I continued to train under him until August 2001, which is when I decided to go back to college in Fresno CA and finish getting my Bachelors degree. I had been training under him for about 12 years.
When training under Sensei Kirk Bailey, I was fortunate enough to teach Karate for him. Kirk was selective in who he choose to teach students. If a student was able to teach correctly he would further their training by having them continue to teach for him. He had me start to teach the new students coming in to our school somewhere in 1991. For the remaining of years I stayed with him I continued to teach and he continued to correct me in my teaching capabilities. After a year or so of teaching beginner students, he would eventually let me start to teach the intermediate class, then later the advanced class. Then toward the last years I trained with him, he let me teach all classes and I was developing into a Sensei. Thank God for Kirk Bailey letting me teach for him. He had given me the best gift a Karate instructor could give a student.
Through teaching I learned to perceive and analyze myself in relation to how I taught and how I performed my techniques. I learned way more insight into the Art of Karate by teaching it, then by just being a student.
In all my years of learning the Martial Arts, I have not had many Martial Art instructors let me teach at their school. Most instructors do not want to let other people teach in their schools. Most instructors want you pay to go through an instructor training program, which their focus is the money.
Kirk Bailey took me under his wing like a son. He guided my capabilities in Karate to a high skill level. I think I would not have progressed in Karate as fast as I did, if I did not learn to teach it. Kirk gave me 10 years of teaching guidance in his Karate school. What a blessing.
Kirk not only taught me how to become a Karate instructor, but knew the proper knowledge how to make me and other students’ of his proficient Karate practitioners. He knew how to push his students beyond their preconceived limitations, made us toughen our knuckles/shins/forearms, develop our bodies physically, and developed the Warrior mentality needed to become void of fear when it is needed. He knew that only through repetitious training of our Karate techniques/skills that our bodies would be able to act unconsciously/automatically to protect ourselves in a time of need.
Thank God for Kirk Bailey. See you in Heaven soon Sensei. I’ll be looking forward to it. Amen
By Floyd Buttke