Mike Hammons was a very special person. He was never one to boast of his accomplishments -- he was simply there when someone needed him. No matter what the chore might be, if Mike was present you knew help was also present. Among the special things he did in his short life span was to organize "T's Disco" in Nashville in the early 70s. This disco was a haven for teenagers who did not want to be associated with drugs or alcohol and is just one example of how much Mike cared for the young people of his city.
On November 21, 1977 in Nashville, Tennessee, Mike Hammons met an untimely death doing what he knew best -- helping others in time of need.
Mike once turned down the chance to become a policeman because of the dangers of the job, but still when he happened to be a customer in a record shop that was being robbed he gave no thought to personal danger and was shot and killed while trying to help the store manager chase the robbers. As a tribute to the man who gave them a place of their own, many high school students swarmed to the "teens only" disco to sponsor a two-day dancing benefit with the proceeds going to Mike's widow and 4-month-old daughter.
Mike was working as a news photographer for WNGE in Nashville when he was killed. WNGE News Director Dan Akens said, "When told that Mike had been shot and killed while attempting to stop an armed robber, almost everyone said, "Isn't that just like Mike?" Yes, it was.
Mike had a complete dedication to Isshin-Ryu karate. He did everything within his power to help bring Isshin-Ryu to the front. He never in his lifetime turned down an invitation to participate in demonstrations, tournaments, or any other Isshin-Ryu karate activity. Mike was friendly, firm and honest in his dealings with everyone he met, and as stated previously his major contribution was the outstanding example he set for others.