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Reflections of a Grandmaster

By Amanda R. Crandall and Clifford C. Crandall, Jr.


Grandmaster Crandall told me that at age 76 he doesn’t feel old enough or wise enough to have a compilation of his life stories published. “I don’t feel worthy. I think I need to be at least 80 or something.”

This book isn’t meant to capture all of Grandmaster Crandall’s philosophies and insights. It is meant to share a little of his history, his personality, and his morals. In deciding what to include in this book I spoke with many of my fellow instructors, all students of Grandmaster Crandall, most of whom have known him for years longer than I. I had to pick from a compilation of stories he has shared with us, that have broadened our perceptions in some way, turned over a stone in our consciousness to unearth new understanding, and touched our lives with “ah-ha!” moments. I think his words, humility, wonder for life, and perceptiveness into humankind, are exactly why this book needed to be written.

Ichi Go Ichi E – “One Lifetime, One Meeting”. These are stories for today, for next year, for 20 years from now, but each time will be a new perspective of the composition of Grandmaster Crandall’s spirit.


  • Failing a Color Belt Testing. 21

  • Lifeguard Training. 27

  • Self-Defense Seminar in Jamaica. 33

  • China*America Trip. 39

  • The Realities of Sparring. 47

  • Parachute Failure. 55

  • Make A Wish. 63

  • Bullies. 69

  • Headmaster Matsuno. 73

  • Deer Hunting. 83

  • NYC Marathon. 87

  • What is the Value of a Trophy?. 93

  • Tree Hugging 101

  • Pin Setter 113

  • Master Toguchi 119

  • NYC Train Station. 129

  • Cold Water 135

  • Running Away. 139

  • Sunburn. 147

  • A Natural Death. 153

  • But Wait, There’s More! 165

  • Instructional Resources. 167

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