It is difficult to write about Phil, to express what I feel in my heart, he was a martial arts brother, friend and true example of a Gentleman. He has passed on and I believe now will be able to once again practice his beloved art.

Phil was not only incredibly hard-working both as a student and a teacher but also always ready to lend a helping hand. A loving husband and father, he embodied the virtues to which we as martial artists are supposed to aspire.

I will always remember Phil’s midnight calmness as our eight storey apartment building shook in the throes of an earthquake. Even in these extreme circumstances he was clear-headed and poised even joking as we clattered down eight flights of stairs and out into the street.

In the martial arts tradition that I follow it is believed that every act that we perform that is inspired by the example of a teacher who has passed on, grants them merits as they go on with their journey of being. Phil was a teacher to us all so I hope that everyone will take the time to perform some forms with Phil’s favourite weapon, the jian (straightsword) as a tribute and a gift to him.

At this difficult time our thoughts and love are with Phil’s family as he continues on his path.

Walk on Phil, walk on.

Nigel Sutton


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