Nov 08 2006

Uechi Community Loss: Brant Christiansen

Hundreds of “China Trip” pictures (and videos to come) at IUKF Board member Harry Skeffington’s site:

     This weekend, the Uechi community suddenly and unexpectedly lost one of its outstanding younger Instructors, and wonderful individual.  Brant Christiansen was out for a Sunday motorcycle ride on a lovely clear Fall day, with his daughter Jennifer, when he was struck by a truck.  I’ve heard that he died suddenly.  A call to me while at work yesterday came as a shock, totally unexpected and tragic.
     Brant had just bought a house, and emailed me less than ten days ago to express his joy at starting a remodel with his wife.  They had bought 24 tons of landscape brick, poured concrete footing for an addition, and had begun framing.  Prior to that, they had lived on a sailboat in San Diego harbor for several years, while he worked at the San Diego Navy Regional Medical Center, as an OR Nurse.  He was very dedicated and serious about that work, and contributed greatly to his department.
     Earlier this year, Brant and I agreed to meet before sun-up at La Jolla cove, to capture the first light on the water.  He showed me how to use long shutter times, to capture light that was not even visible to the unaided eye.  After the sun was up, we noticed one week-old seal pups playing on the sand with their mothers and nursing, and we took another round of images.  Brant was a passionate amatuer photographer, who enjoyed his digital SLRs.  He had started a side-business, doing portrait photography, and was hoping to expand that much-loved part of him, when he retired from the Navy in the next year.
     Brant and his family loved the outdoors.  Earlier this year, at Jennifer’s request, the family went backpacking the North Cascade Wilderness.  Living on a sailboat meant memorable trips to the San Juan Islands, Catalina Island, and exploring San Diego and Seattle’s harbors.  For some idea of what Brant’s family’s life was like, go to http://homepage.mac.com/bc64 to see photos of what they shared.
     This remembrance of a very special person would not be complete without mentioning Brant Christiansen as both an exceptional student and Instructor of Uechi-Ryu.  He loved the style and was always searching, experimenting, and learning.  Being with him was always stimulating.  It was always a very positive experience working out with him, whether in San Diego, or up in Los Alamitos with his teacher Joe Graziano.  Upon returning to Oak Harbor, WA, Brant was able to return to the dojo he started.  He produced a handful of dedicated Udansha, who will have to carry on in his absense.
     Brant will be sorely missed by his family and friends, and virtually all those who met him and had the honor and privilege to get to know him.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his young family.  The Uechi family will always be with them!
Paul Haydu
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