I Preston Baker Jr., began Karate, competeing in tournaments for Kata and Kumite at the early age of 3 years old.
I became a super-winner in both Kata and Kumite at the age of 10 years. I was recognized by Tournament Promoters as, "The Kid To Watch."
As I followed my father (Preston Sr.,) and my two uncles, Otis and Eddie to tournaments through out the Midwest, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky and all over Illinois, I developed a reputation of being a Martial Arts SuperStar.
My biggest challenge in competition in the dojo, was my sister Abaa Baker. I could beat most everyone in my age division, but my sister Abaa, I didn't want to hurt her.
My REAL competition in the dojo and on the tournament circuit was my cousin, Ronald Baker, Otis Baker's oldest son who was just a few minths younger than me.
When I was eighteen, Ronald and I were tested and promoted to Shodan (First Degree Black Belt) in 1982.
In 1994, I was tested and promoted to Sandan (Third Degree Black Belt).
It was said of me in Karate Illustrated Magazine, " A Tremnedous Fighter with clean, effective techniques and A Spirit That Just Won't Quit."
My superstar future in the martial arts came to a quit halt, when the Doctors diagnosed me with muscular dystropy. The disease put a stop to my future in Karate, but not to my spirit. I will always have a great love and deep appreciation for all those who train and practice the martial arts for self-improvement, in the true spirit of the humble warrior.
By the time the funeral started there was standing room only. Both sides of the church were full and
many people had beautiful words to say as they shared their fondest memories of experineces with Preston Jr. There was a great number of martial artists spanning (3) generations who attended the service. Literally, (3) out of any (5) people you spoke to were martial artists.
His uncle, Min. Otis Baker Grand Master read the scriptures and spoke about Preston Jr's conversion in faith and encouraged anyone present who had not done so, to consider faith for their lives.
Rev. Preston Baker, Sr. Grand Master demonstrated a truly amazing resolve that his son had lived his life as fully as he possibly could and when he grew weary he simply asked God whom he had a very real and personal relationship with, to take him home.
Preston Sr. explained that despite the sadness that comes when you realize that your lived one is gone, his son's transition is not a tragedy, but a celebration of life. His son is in a better place and one day they will reunite with all of their loved ones, in life everlasting.
Preston Baker Jr. will be missed, but never forgotten by those who knew and loved him.