We are heartbroken... Angel Lemus: May 01, 1960 - May 02, 2023
From Judy Lemus
Angel Lemus was a man of many gifts. He was an exceptional martial artist, a truly talented graphic artist and web designer, a consummate Mac geek, a fine cook, a skilled teacher, a sharp-witted comedian, and a goofy clown. He shared all of these gifts with others so willingly, without hesitation. When he set his mind to do something, he did it with all is heart, and then some more. He would give hours and hours of his time to anyone who wanted to learn from him, or who needed his help. His dedication to family and friends was immense. Your needs were his interests. Your pain was his pain, your joy was his joy.
Angel was as genuine as they come, not afraid to show his feelings, not afraid to be vulnerable. His martial arts skills were incredibly intimidating, yet he was disarmingly tender and kind. He was as generous with compliments as he was with jokes and prods. It was easy for him to admire others and take pleasure in their successes, without ego. And Angel was an enthusiastic and humble life-long learner – he was quick to recognize when someone knew more than him, respectfully seeking their tutelage.
Angel’s interests were vast and varied. His devotion to all martial arts, and his ability to pick up and adopt so many of them, often at the same time, were marvelous to behold. And his encyclopedic knowledge of forms from different systems was legendary. He published a martial arts magazine, Bugeisha, on his own in his spare time. But he also made room in his life for so many other things. He loved humor, from the intellectual to slapstick, Eddie Izzard to The Three Stooges. Space and space flight fascinated him, and he regularly watched the NASA channel. He was a devoted and sentimental dog lover and parent. He volunteered at the Hawaii Humane Society. He made extensive photo/video albums of our travels. He drew hilarious cartoons for friends to memorialize funny moments. He was an avid fan and follower of technology and gadgets. He loved Kiss and Beethoven equally.
Angel’s most wonderful gift was his capacity for love, which was boundless. He was the most generous life partner I could have ever hoped for. I’m so grateful to have been able to share in that inexhaustible love for over 32 years. I will carry it with me always.
Sensei Angel Lemus began studying the martial arts at the age of 11 in Miami, Florida in the art of Judo. Over the years he competed in Judo tournaments on local, regional, and national levels and became a life member of the United States Judo Association (USJA). He remained active in Judo competitions until the age of 21 and attained the rank of Shodan (black belt 1st degree).
At the age of 16 while continuing his training in Judo he began an informal study of Karate at a local community center working with Coral Gables police officers who had organized a martial arts study group and offered women’s self defense classes. At age 19 he joined the Sansei Gojuryu Karate Association under Manny Saavedra, and competed heavily in the southern Florida tournament circuit. He attained the rank of Sandan (black belt 3rd degree) under this style.
When he was 23, he decided to look into other styles and switched to Shorin-Ryu Karate under his long time (unofficial) mentor Tim Rodgers, who had founded the Miami Seibukan Dojo. Sensei Lemus has continued training in Kyan-Ha Shorinji-Ryu Karate, and in 1996 attained the rank of Sandan under the International Seibukan Karatedo Association (ISKA).
In 1996 Sensei Lemus left the ISKA and became a co-founder of the Okinawa Shorinji-Ryu Zentokukai Tode alongside Tim Rodgers, Jim Pizii and Walter Dailey. Sensei Lemus currently holds the rank of Hachidan in the Zentokukai and is the Association’s Vice President working to promote Shorinji-Ryu and Okinawan arts and has introduced the art in Italy with the Assistant of Bruno Ballardini Sensei and now there are several Dojos in Italy, Germany, Peru and Colombia.
In early 2013 Lemus Sensei became aware of the rare Kojo-Ryu style through Chris "Kazuo" Hoshiyama Sensei and began studying this ancient style which is considered Okinawa’s oldest family style going back to the 1700’s. Kojo is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese name "Csai", the Okinawan Hogen pronunciation is "Kogusuku" or "Kochiro", this family is catalogued as one of the famous 36 families who traveled to Okinawa in 1392 to establish cultural ties when Okinawa became a vassal to China. Lemus Sensei is the Kojoryu Karate Kobudo Association’s Vice President and holds the rank of Rokudan (6th Dan) and continues to practice and teach the style to a select few across the world.
In 2017 after previously meeting several members of the ZKKR, Lemus Sensei met Hanshi Greg Lindquist during a trip to Hawaii. During this trip friendships were formed and Lemus Sensei began his study of Oyakata Kobujitsu and thus became the first (outsider) member of the Okakata Kobujitsu division of the ZKKR and continues to learn and teach this ancient Kobujitsu style. Lemus Sensei came to Oyakayata Kobujitsu with many years of Kobudo experience and holds rank in both Matayoshi-Ryu and Yamanni-Ryu Kobudo.
In addition to his devotion to Okinawan arts, Lemus Sensei has studied other arts such as Aikido, Jujitsu, and Chen Style Taichi Chuan.