Death of a True Warrior

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Death of a True Warrior

I just found out that my good friend, world class martial artist, and true warrior, Dr. Charlie Ward, passed away on Dec. 8. I called Charlie to see why I hadn’t heard from him in a while and to see how his new book was coming along, and his mother informed me that Charlie had passed away unexpectedly. Charlie was 41 years old, and during his time on this earth he accomplished much and touched the lives of many people.Charlie was a true warrior in every sense of the word. He was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the Bare-knuckle Freestyle NHB World Champion. He was also the head of the U.S. Muay Thai Association in AZ, as well as a professor in martial science at Arizona State University, where he developed the first accredited course in martial arts.

Known as the MMA Professor, he was a great martial artist, a good friend who I thought very highly of, and one of the rare human beings who lived by a true code of honor. Charlie lived the life of the warrior in every part of his life. At the time of his untimely death, he was working on a couple of writing projects which were guaranteed to be the kind of martial arts books that true martial artists would have benefited from reading.

I first met Charlie when he contacted me after reading my first book. He told me that it was one of the best martial arts books that he had ever read and over the next couple of years Charlie
and I become close friends and he loved and endorsed my books. One of his endorsements is actually printed in
Warrior Wisdom: The Warrior’s Path. In that endorsement, Charlie wrote:

“I am honored to call Dr. Sanders my friend, and I am very proud to have him as a professional colleague and fellow warrior….Dr. Sanders’ writings provide his readers with an accurate understanding and appreciation of the true Martial Spirit, and the art of “Right Living” as a warrior.”

The same could be said of Charlie’s life. He taught many people the true meaning of the martial spirit and the art of right living as a true warrior! Charlie was inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2009 and invited me to travel with him to Los Angeles for the presentation. I could not attend because of personal issues that were going on at the time; a decision that I now greatly regret.

It is not death that a man should fear,
he should fear never beginning to live.
Marcus Aurelius

Charlie lived life to the fullest. For Charlie, there was no “off-season” as one of his article discussed; he lived his life right up until the end. At the time of his death, he was writing his soon to be published book. He put his laptop down to take a short nap, and never woke up again in this world. The Celtic warrior died peaceably in his sleep. Please join me this week in raising a glass in the honor of Charlie Ward, the MMA Professor. His passing is a loss, not only to the world of martial arts, but to those who know the true meaning of the warrior lifestyle.Before his death, Charlie informed me that he had nominated me for the Martial Arts Hall of Fame for my literary contributions to the martial arts. I was informed three weeks after his death that I was selected to be inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in March 2011. Charlie’s picture will be framed on my wall in the same frame as my Hall of Fame certificate. Charlie, you will be missed my friend.Charlie wrote many articles over the years. You can check out links to his articles and find out more about Charlie’s life by visiting his websites. Here is the link to his My Space site:

No man can be ignorant that he must die,
nor be sure that he may not this very day.


Since it is not granted to live long,
let us transmit to posterity some memorial
that we have at least lived.
Pliny the Younger

Take a deep breath of life and
consider how it should be lived.
Don Quixote’s Creed

Bohdi Sanders
Warrior Wisdom

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