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Obituary - Frank Best
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 07:33

Judo NZ joins Canterbury Area in mourning the passing of former member Frank Best after a long illness.

Frank became a member in 1960 and maintained this membership until 2012. He was a National Champion and ran a number of clubs in Christchurch over the years.

Our condolences to Frank's family and friends.

Further information follows;



Judo Canterbury says farewell to Frank Best who died last week in Christchurch, after battling a long illness, at the age of 74.  One of the fortunate few whose work was their passion, Frank was a professional photographer and owned a photography shop in Christchurch.

Described by those who knew Frank as a ‘tough’ Irishman, Frank was an ‘old style hard man’ and a very ‘tough’ competitor often leaving a tournament ‘battle scarred’.  These were the days when finals were (almost) literally ‘last man standing’ and could last 25 minutes or longer.

1968 saw Frank winning the New Zealand Open weight class and starting International Judo Club in Christchurch with John Boniface.  He later split from this club and after a hiatus opened Botukujuku judo club with Graeme Jones and Dave Mair, which produced some very good judokas such as; Nick Whitty, Grant Jones and Peter Broom. 

Frank also assisted Ivor Endicott-Davies at YMCA Judo, taking over the head coach role there when Ivor moved to Australia.

Although not photography, Frank filmed seminars of some of the judo ‘greats’ who visited Christchurch such as Yamashita sensei and Neil Adams sensei and freely shared copies with others. 

Another good man and good judoka has left our midst.


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