DRAGON Baby

Just a bit of fun, but you have to admire the skills of the people that put this sequence together.

Chuck Mullis

This made it’s way to me this morning and I had a good chuckle. Maybe you will too!

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Sensible advice here, well worth a read.

Solo Keiko

One of the biggest challenges to training alone is finding motivation. This is particularly true in cases where the goals are not specific or time-sensitive. It is always easier to drill certain kata or techniques that you hope to use successfully in an upcoming tournament or impending belt test. But when the goals are life-protection and the time-frame is the rest of your life, what do you work on today? And, why can’t it wait until tomorrow? Martial artists are not unique in facing issues of motivation – this is a human condition. It is always easier to lose 5 lbs than it is to “get healthy.” Likewise, getting a college degree is an achievable goal but how many of us choose to read all the classic literature that “educated people should have read” when there isn’t a grade or diploma hanging in the balance.

Setting short-term goals is a…

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The Dance of Death – Dim Mak and Count Dante

Yes, this is the DEADLIEST and most TERRIFYING fighting art known to man—and WITHOUT EQUAL. Its MAIMING, MUTILATING, DISFIGURING, PARALYZING and CRIPPLING techniques are known by only a few people in the world. An expert at DIM MAK could easily kill many Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, and Gung Fu experts at one time with only finger-tip pressure using his murderous POISON HAND WEAPONS. Instructing you step by step thru each move in this manual is none other than COUNT DANTE—“THE DEADLIEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED.” (THE CROWN PRINCE OF DEATH.)…..      

Any fans of the American comics on the 1970s must remember the lurid adverts for Count Dante? The deadly master of martial arts whose touch could kill and main! But who was the Count and what is his legacy to martial arts in general and street defence in particular?Many older martial artists will be aware of the late John Keehan, a.k.a Count Juan Raphael Dante, who was possibly the most colorful character of the late-’60s/early ’70s US martial arts scene. His goatee-bearded and devillish good looks gave him a place in international pop-culture through those  “Deadliest Man Alive!” comic book advertisements.

How much of these comic books claims are true is a subject for another time  but Keehan’s gift to “pragmatic” or street based martal arts came about because he grew disillusioned with conventional karate focus on tradition over what he felt to be “effectiveness” and began to focus on his own style that he would promote as street defence. He trained with former champion boxer Johnny Coulon and was a close friend of heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson.
After high school Dante/Keehan joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and later transferred to the U.S. Army. During this period, from 1958 through 1961 he was stationed on the West Coast and trained with Shaolin kung fu master Wong Tim-yuen and Kenpon Karate great, Ed Parker, one of the earliest pioneers of American karate. He also trained with James Yimm Lee, the  author of a self-published  series titled “Modern Kung-Fu Karate: Iron, Poison Hand Training.”
Dante also claimed to have met Bruce Lee during this time and it would have been fascinating to have learnt what Lee who was also concerned with effective fighting, would have made of the braggadocio inclined pseudo-noble.He developed a system that is now known as the Dan-te system, “Dance of Death” or sometimes  Theoretically, by learning all of the steps of Keehan’s “Dance of Death” you could be an effective fighting master. Like so much of the man, it’s difficult to tell if this is true, I have witnessed the so called dance of death and its difficult to say just how street effective this dance would be.
How much of anything claimed by Dante is true is always open to discussion. It is known that in  July 22, 1965, Dante was charged with attempted arson when he and an accomplice, Douglas Dwyer (The Second Deadliest Man Alive), were arrested while taping dynamite caps to a rival Chicago dojo. Both claimed to be under the influence of alcohol at the time but Dante explained this was the result of a disagreement with the dojo’s owner over payment for a tournament that Dante had arranged there.
In the 70s Dante seems to have fuelled a series of disagreements with other karate schools over who was best these  culminated in the Dojo War incident of April 24, 1970 where Dante and his students went to the  dojo of the Green Dragon Society’s l. According to the papers of the time,  they claimed to be police officers on arrival and attacked the dojo’s students. The  battle lasting only a minute or two resulted in the death of Dante’s friends and fellow sensei, Jim Koncevic.  Count Dante was planning a comeback to his preferred career of tournament promoting when he died in his sleep of internal hemorrhaging caused by a bleeding ulcer, on May 25, 1975.
I don’t want to spent too much time on the life and times of Dante,  For more information about Dante, check out is wiki entry here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_Dante A Google search on Dante will give you all the information and a surprisingly still current interest in the man and his style even to present day and its his style that I want to talk about now.

While information about the man is easily found on the internet, information about the style is less easy to come by, but I recall an article in Black Belt magazine in the middle 1970s, although not read by me until the early 1980s when I first started karate that spoke about the way Dante trained his student and I think Street Defender readers will find it interesting and note the commonality with modern day thinking enshrined in arts such as Krav Maga and Kajukenbo.

Its fairly clear that despite his priviliged upbringing, Dante was no stranger to the ins and outs of street combat and his modified Karate has a lot in common with the applied karate of Gary Spiers or the techniques of Dr. Dennis Hanover of Krav Maga fame.

One interesting and concise definition of Dante’s style came from Fighting Arts International who pointed out it was basically all the moves that had been based by America’s World Karate Organisation, strikes to the face, eyes and throat, kicks to the knees and groin.Dante emphasised multiple strikes, to those soft targets, the aim being to get your opponent down and then finish him with a series of kicks, interesting when I viewed Youtube video of the karate that enshrines his techniques I noted a Gary Spiers style knee drop in the latter part of the defence. Although in the main, legs were for transportation only.

Dante also understood that the chances were that a fight would happen not when the student was nicely warmed up and dressed in comfy white dogi but more likely when in a bar or restaurant, with glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He taught students to fight in those situation and actively for some sessions encourage students to spar after serveral drinks to get the feel of “drunken Dante.”

At the time I recall myself and most others regarding him as some kind of heretic but in the 21st Century his style comes across as solid effective infighting.  If I can find more about the “most deadly man in history” I will post it here.

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Israeli Krav Maga NZ

By Moshe Katz
OK, I can’t take it anymore so I have to speak out. Facebook brings too many things to my attention that I would rather not see, such as repeated ads for “Original Krav Maga”.

There are people who collect originals; original Coca Cola bottles from the 1930’s, original coins issued a hundred years ago, original models of collectible cars, vintage items etc. Nostalgia, memorabilia, a baseball hit by Mickey Mantle; it is all great. But does anyone really want original martial arts?

Does anyone really want to know what was taught decades ago? Perhaps doctors should study “Original” medicine as practiced by the doctors of Louis the 14th, or be treated as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were treated for their pains and ailments back in the day.

Does anyone want to use an original phone that required first dialing an operator and stating what number you…

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Ayoob on safety

This is a little Ameri-centric but Masad Ayoob is highly competent to talk about self-defence, I’ve chosen a couple of videos which don’t focus so much on guns but on awareness of potential situations. Sad to say in this country it is not quite possible to find yourself confronting an armed robber in a shop without the option to defend yourself.

Massad F. Ayoob (born 20 July 1948) is an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He has taught police techniques and civilian self-defense to both law enforcement officers and private citizens in numerous venues since 1974. He was the director of the Lethal Force Institute (LFI) in Concord, New Hampshire from 1981 to 2009. He now directs the Massad Ayoob Group (MAG).[1] Ayoob has appeared as an expert witness in several trials. He has served as a part-time police officer in New Hampshire since 1972 and holds the rank of Captain in the Grantham, New Hampshire police department. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massad_Ayoob

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