Bill Collins – 1923-2023
The Canadian Aikido Federation is deeply saddened by the loss of Bill Collins Sensei, 6th Dan in the early hours of Wednesday February 22nd, 2023. Bill Sensei, the first person in Canada to receive a black belt in Aikido, was instrumental in the development of the art in Ontario, being one of the founding members of the Toronto Aikikai. Locally, Bill Sensei supported and was supported by a large number of Ontario Dojos, not only running his own school, the Toronto Beaches Aikikai, but also teaching at numerous seminars and as a long term guest instructor at Aikido Shugyo Dojo.
Bill Sensei was a tireless volunteer and was the first President of the Canadian Aikido Federation, serving two terms. Internationally, Bill Sensei travelled to Japan on five different occasions representing Canada at the All Japan Aikido Demonstration as well as attending the first International Aikido Federation congress as Canada’s official delegate.
As a senior member of Aikido in Canada and as a long time student of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei, Bill Sensei was an inspiration to multiple generations of Aikidoka. His great love of the Aikido community was apparent whenever he stepped on the mats, teaching classes all through his 80’s and teaching his last class at the age of 91. In 2003, Bill, Obata and Hewson Sensei celebrated his 80th Birthday, 40 years of Aikido training at his “Annual Retirement Seminar”. A link to this seminar can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmcSrE1KtWs in the hopes that future generation of Aikidoka will continue to enjoy his teachings.
Bill Sensei was predeceased by his loving wife Jean; the Canadian Aikido Federation would like to offer their deepest condolences to the Collins family, friends and the members of the Aikido Community. A Celebration of Life for Bill and Jean will be announced at a later date. Memorial donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada will be appreciated: https://www.legacy.com/ca/obituaries/thestar/name/william-collins-obituary?id=48850907