International Association of Shotokan Karate (IASK)

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A tribute to Rosario Torrisi who passed away on

Friday 18th October 2019

After becoming a member of the Harrow School of Shotokan Karate in November 2011 Rosario trained regularly in the Monday and Wednesday classes under sensei Riza and also at the Honbu dojo on Saturdays under myself when he was able to.

The dynamic way he performed his karate techniques was a reflection of his personality and how he expressed himself and lived his life. His natural and honest positivity was truly infectious and anyone who had the good fortune to have any connection with him came away feeling up lifted, energised and all the better for their encounter with him.    

His passion for life and karate-do resulted in him achieving his Shodan (1st Dan black belt) on 25th May 2013,  Nidan (2nd Dan black belt) on 21st May 2016 and Sandan (3rd Dan black belt) on 17th November 2018.

Rosario’s ideals and philosophy of Life which he expressed through his great personality went hand in hand with the ideals and ethics that I’ve tried to nurture and preserve within the I.A.S.K.   No wonder he often said that he felt that the Harrow club was like a family to him.

This great man, who was also my friend will be terribly missed by all of us that knew him and my deepest thoughts and sincere feelings go out to his wife Abigail and their lovely child Emanuel along with all of his family.

Nicholas B. Adamou

Chief Instructor and Chairman of the I.A.S.K.


I cannot simply believe Rosario is no longer with us and that I won’t see him again! Since this terrible sad news I see his face everywhere and all this feels like a bad dream. Since he joined the club on 14/11/2011 with having trained karate back in Sicily, his dedication to the art and his commitment was so evident he rapidly climbed grades. Not only did he inspire others, he also regularly called up and nagged others to attend classes. We quickly became great friends away from the dojo and had meals regularly. The last meal we had was in July 2019 when he complained about continuous coughing and was waiting for various hospital appointments. But I never thought he would be gone in just 3 months from then! I am not sure I will ever recover from this!

The association lost a true karateka who took this art seriously and trained really hard and inspired everyone around him. I lost a dear friend and my heart aches with sadness. I will never forget you!

Riza Yehiya 7th Dan


Although members of the IASK family, the Shintai club in Luton are more like distant relatives, who get along to the Honbu dojo less frequently than we would like.

It was on one of these visits several years ago that I first met Rosario.

What struck me most was the warmth in his welcome. He introduced himself to me and immediately I found myself liking him, he was open, friendly and interested in me and my students.

On consequent meetings Rosario showed that my initial impression was correct, he indeed was a real gentleman. Over the next few years I was able to observe his karate develop and was fortunately able to be at his Sandan grading, which showed he had great focus and spirit.I thought he showed real potential.

His Facebook pictures with Abigail always reflected a loving husband a true friend to her, and a real adventurous character. He has been lost to us too early, but our memory of him will keep Rosario alive in our minds. He touched those that knew him, even if only briefly, making our lives brighter.

R.I.P. Rosario 


Iain Tyrie 7th Dan


I remember when Rosario started at the club back in 2011. Once he finished the six week beginner course he trained twice a week and progressed quickly. He was always friendly and would brighten up the Dojo with his smile. It was clear at that early stage that there was a wonderful bond between Rosario and Abiqail as she came with him and watched him train during those early years. Life can be cruel as it took him at such a young age leaving a young family behind. You will be dearly missed by all who have known you.

Patrick Prendergast 5th Dan


Rosario was my friend. Although I had known him for only a few years, it seemed that we had known each other forever. We had a lot of fun and laughed an awful lot. Those gentle eyes, boyish charm and tenacious positivity, he certainly had that uncanny knack of brightening up anyone’s day, especially mine!

He was a natural teacher, always inspiring and encouraging but above all, full of spirit. Training was never dull with Rosario around and boy did he push hard! The strength of character of this man was immense. In a twist of irony, it was him that nurtured me through the awful anguish I felt after he had broken his thumb against my leg during a late-night training session, that’s the kind of person he was….

I remember the day when he first told me about becoming a father, he was beside himself with happiness. He doted on his baby boy and dedicated himself to being a great dad. I cannot begin to express my sadness of how he was taken from us too soon.

If I could say one more thing to Rosario, it would be this: Bravo, my friend! Congratulations on a life well lived, with a heart full of love. Your spirit will live long at our club and in our hearts. Until we meet again at the great dojo in the sky…OSS!!

God saw him getting tired, a cure was not to be.
He wrapped him in his loving arms and whispered ‘Come with me.’
He suffered much in silence, his spirit did not bend.
He faced his pain with courage, until the very end.
He tried so hard to stay with us but his fight was not in vain,
God took him to His loving home and freed him from the pain.

Raj Patel 4th Dan


I have known Rosario at the club for about four years. As soon as I met him, I could tell he was full of energy and good humour. 

His passion for karate was obvious and contagious. He had a relaxed, fast set of techniques, supplemented with his signature flying kicks and backfists, which caught everyone off guard. 

Fundamentally, Rosario was a gentle and loving person. He invited us into his life and kept us up to date with his growing family. Rosario was a dear friend and will be greatly missed. 

David Hooper 4th Dan


Rosario was a great friend, passionate and hard working. He was always happy and great to train with, talk to and just be around.

Rosario was very dedicated to perfecting his karate but always modest and ready to help anyone who asked for his advice. I never remember him grumpy or complaining about anything. He was gentle and respectful and did everything with passion and a smile. Rest in peace my dear friend, you were taken away from us too early.


Monika Tabarrok 3rd Dan


The world wide family of karate is weaker today and the heavens got stronger. We got to know Rosario during our visits to England. We trained together, we learned together, and we improved together.

Rosario, it was an honor. Thank you.

Czech karate team

Vladimir Charvat 3rd Dan


Rosario and I enjoyed training hard together over the years that I knew him, always with mutual respect and at times, laughter.

I called his style “shotgun” rather than “Shotokan” karate due to his Sicilian ancestry.

 I will miss his jumping kicks, enthusiasm and cheerfulness, especially demonstrated while we learned moves from each other.

 We used to greet each other with a simple hug that has spread to others in the class who enjoyed training with us.

 Sadly, a lovely human being has been taken prematurely from us.

 With kind regards………

Richard Bromberg 2nd Dan


What you saw with Rosario was exactly what he was; it's not often one meets someone so genuine and authentic. He was always respectful, always dedicated, always showing his generous heart and kind spirit, yet with room for fun and a cheeky smile. The twinkle in his eye was never far away, especially when he spoke of his family. Rest in peace, lovely friend, and thank you for being such a bright light. 

Sally Prendergast 2nd Dan


Rosario what a great man, friend and brother,
I always said "my brother from another mother".

He was strong, just and most importantly kind,
His level of patience and love would blow your mind.

His karate kicks would literally have me wounded for days,
That was his true physical strength not just false praise.

Birthdays, dinners, weddings, Rosario always showed up.
Shows you being a good man is more the just good luck.

He worked hard to be a positive, reassuring and uplifting man,
Always had things to do, people to meet, had a grand plan.

Although my brother came to every special event,
When we're born into this world the body is just for rent.

I know you’re with the angels in the heavens above the sky,
My friend this is just "I'll see you soon" not a goodbye.

For all of us, no doubt it will be so hard to bare
But I love you my brother and you just take care.

Ifty Hussain 1st Dan


Honoured to be one of your many friends. You will be missed both in and out of the Dojo. 

Missed but never forgotten. 

RIP Rosario.  Oss. 


Stuart Tolhurst 1st Dan


No matter the weather outside, Rosario always brought sunshine with him. His warmth was a rare glow that favoured everyone. This was but one of his many strengths and his pure physical power and energy was really something special to behold. It would be impossible to forget his smile, laugh and sunny disposition because it was so contagious. His patience was seemingly endless especially when, yet again, he would find himself explaining to me the basic concept of which was my left and which was my right. With all the love in the world it is plain to say that he was a truly good person, and I'm sure we will do our best to carry what he gave to us all forwards. He taught me and so many others with his generosity, kindness and time, and I know we will always miss him but never forget him. Rosario is in my heart as well as his wonderful family.

Kind regards 

Emily Turner 1st Dan


Rosario, you were full of kindness and passion and this touched everyone around you. No matter what was going on in your life you were smiling and cheering everyone up around you. You light up any place you went to and everyone was touched by your humanity, humbleness, warmth and above all being so genuine and a gentleman. I cannot believe that I will not be able to see again, I cannot even comprehend this thought, I can even hear your voice now  while I am writing this. You will always be in my mind and thought, every session when I enter the dojo my respect and first Oss is for you my brother.



Saeed Riazi 1st Dan


Sensei Rosario was an amazing teacher. He helped me ever since I joined the club and I’m extremely grateful for all the guidance he has given me over the years . Every lesson he would correct me on my mistakes and even offer to go through things with me after class. Whilst being an excellent Sensei, he was very lighthearted and was always making me and my fellow students laugh which made karate sessions even more enjoyable. He was a pleasure to be around and a great inspiration to us all. I will never forget him and I will always be grateful for everything he did.

Fatimah Khan 1st Dan









A great person has left us and although he is no longer with us; we will keep his memory in our hearts. We will miss your laugh and funny stories you shared with us.

Rosario was a person who knew how to appreciate every moment of life. We remember him for his optimism and positive energy which radiates through all of us. Goodbye friend, until that day when we meet again.

Mel 1st Dan, Tan 1st Dan, Judy and Almir (parents of Mel and Tan)


Rosario has an ability, it is rare and extremely special.

He can spread positivity, motivate and be focused.

He can encourage, support and help.

He can make you laugh, forget pain and teach.

He can do anything he wants because he is a great human being with a pure soul; and will always remain with us.

The "unstoppable bullet train" he called me, a tag as a Karateka, I retain as my motivation till we shake hands again.

A short poem for our Rosario.

He is free to fly on wind, to catch the breeze, floating where he pleases.

He is free to shine with the sun, to light up the day in his own special way.

He is free without a body, to live on in our memory for now and forever: Always.

Sagar Patel 1st Dan.


I am sad you have gone. I'll always remember how good you are to me. You helped me and protected me when I was new. I am going to miss you. Farewell my friend.

A Karate salute. Oss

Basem Hakim 1st Kyu


Sensei Rosario was a truly inspirational man. He would always take something serious in karate and turn it into something funny which helped me to learn it. He taught me for about 2 years and helped me build the foundations to get to where I am now. He would always give me some good advice after lessons and I respected and admired his commitments. He had a great sense of humour, and I will miss him tremendously.

Ismail Khan 2nd Kyu


Sensei Rosario was a very approachable and respected teacher. I recall when I first met him several years ago how energetic and passionate he was. He would regularly joke with the younger students and really cared for the their progress. This was evident when he often advised and corrected them both during and after class. He has left behind many fond memories and the sadness felt by all is testament to how highly regarded he was and will always be. We shall all miss him and pray for him.

Irfan Khan (Father of Fatimah & Ismail)