The Final Bow

Written and read by William Scott Shamblin, on behalf of the students of Grand Master Allen Wheeler.  February 18, 2005

Master Wheeler,

Although you were on this earth for 85 years, the time that we were given with you was all too short.

You taught us not only about the martial arts, but also about life.

You made each of us feel as if we were a member of your family, and indeed, you will always be a member of ours.

Your life as a Christian and your love for Jesus Christ showed in all that you did and all that you shared with us, and we know that today you are with him in paradise.

You are our teacher, our mentor and our friend, and we thank you for all that you have given us.

What we do now is a symbolic act that is part of our tradition as martial artists.

But the respect and the love that we have for you and your family will endure for all eternity.

As your students and fellow martial artists we offer to you our final bow.

Sensei, may you rest in peace until we meet again.