It is with a heavy heart that I write this Memoriam on behalf of all students of sensei Mihajlo Misic, founder and chief instructor of Wado Kokusai Norway. Misic was one of the top wado ryu instructors in the world, and also one of Suzuki sensei’s best and most loyal students.
Mihajlo Misic died peacefully at Haukeland Hospital in Bergen, Norway on November 2nd 2003 while his oldest son was watching over him. He was 63 years old.
Few people are brave enough to follow their dream. Mihajlo Misic was brave. He devoted his life to Karate-Do, and his dream led him from Yugoslavia via London to Bergen, Norway. He lived a good and fascinating life.
Sensei Misic was born on June 17th 1940 in Skopje, Macedonia. While studying English at the University he decided to move to London. Being a very talented sportsman he joined Chelsea Football Club, and London Karate Kai where he graded to black belt in Kyokushinkai karate.
Misic was a strong and tough fighter in full contact tournaments and a specialist in Tameshiwara, breaking of bricks and wood with his hands and feet. He became National All-Style Champion in kumite with his team mates from London Karate Kai in 1971. He was also fighting for the English all-style team, winning a silver medal in the 1972 European Championship.
Due to various reasons Misic had to change his style. After almost one year of visiting martial arts masters in the London area he met sensei Tatsuo Suzuki, a man he already respected for his speed, his technique, his calmness and his strong mind. Suzuki sensei showed Misic the kata Kushanku. Misic was impressed and asked Suzuki sensei to accept him as a student. This was the beginning of a life long friendship between the two karate masters. Mihajlo Misic stayed loyal to Suzuki sensei the rest of his life. He used to say “Suzuki’s way is the only way”.
In 1974 sensei Misic moved to Bergen and introduced Wado Ryu to Norway. He established several clubs all over the country, and many of his students became National All Style Champions. His students has also won all style competitions like US Open, Czech Open and Danish Open. Several of Misic’s students has become European and World Champions in Wado Ryu and Shito Ryu. Two of Misic’s students, Kjell Gunnar Jacobsen and Rebekka Bruarøy, have won His Majesty The King’s Trophy in pure silver. Kjell Jacobsen later became the Norwegian all style team’s kumite coach.
When the war broke out in Yugoslavia in the 1990’s Mihajlo Misic wanted to help his former countrymen. Speaking several languages fluently he offered to work part time as a translator in his local community to help the refugees arriving in Norway. His help and care for the refugees for more than ten years was highly appreciated by the Norwegian authorities.
Sensei Mihajlo Misic was a traditional karateka. He practised karate every day, his kihon, knife defence and kata was excellent and he was a strong fighter. When Suzuki sensei visited Norway in October 2003 he said that many instructors have bad habits, but not sensei Misic. He also said that Misic was a very good instructor and also one of his best students.
Sensei Misic had cancer the past three years but he did not show his pain. He was participating at the European Wado Kokusai instructor course in Holland in February and he was teaching at Wado Kokusai Norway’s summer course in June without complaining.
Mihajlo Misic was awarded 6th Dan in 1998. Suzuki sensei awarded him 7th Dan post mortem, making him one of very few karate masters to receive such an honor from Suzuki sensei.
Misic had many friends among the wado instructors from different countries. He travelled twice to Japan with the Wado Kokusai and he used to travel to Crystal Palace every year to meet karate-friends from the rest of Europe.
The students of Wado Kokusai Norway deeply miss our Sensei. His care and concern for his family, friends, students and wado ryu was big. He was a man of honor and his integrity inspired the loyalty of those around him. There are many ways to view a person’s life; to evaluate their successes. One is to measure a man not for what he accomplishes personally, but for what he inspires those around him to accomplish. If Mihajlo Misic is to be measured like this he was, unmistakably, a big man. Sensei Misic was survived by his 4 children.
The Funeral will take place in “Troens Kapell” in Møllendal, Bergen Norway at Monday 10th of November 2003. More information is found at the website www.wikf.no.
General Secretary Wado Kokusai Norway
Phone: +47 9821 8312