Professor Jack Wheat
AJJF Associate Professor
February 23, 1919 – October 2004
John Robert Wheat, known affectionately as Jack Wheat, passed away Oct. 20, 2004 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was born in Seattle on Feb. 23, 1919, and lived an active life.
Prof. Wheat was a pioneer as a deep sea diver with the U.S. Navy and later worked as a rigger and undersea welder at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. He eventually worked under the commanding admiral as a management analyst.
He studied jujitsu under the founder of Danzan Ryu, Henry Seishiro Okazaki. He also studied judo and became the first Caucasian to receive a black belt from the Kodokan in Japan. He studied acupuncture in Thailand and later was the first appointee to the State Board of Acupuncture in Hawaii, helping to prepare the acupuncture exam in that state.
Prof. Wheat was a charter member of the American Jujitsu Institute (AJI) and served in many capacities over the years. He developed the AJI’s massage program. At the time of his death, he was the vice-president and head of the standards committee, providing instruction and standards in jujitsu and massage.
He was also a great mentor and friend to many.
On Feb. 7, 1946, he married Bessie “Kay,” who passed away in 2005. Prof. Wheat is survived by sons Dennis, Gordon, Mark, Darryl (“Buck”), daughter Pamela, seven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He was buried at Hawaii Memorial Park on Nov, 2, 2004
Reprinted from an article written by Daniel W. Saragosa in the Winter 2005 issue of the Kiai Echo, Journal of the American Judo & Jujitsu Federation.