Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I conducted a bi private class the this past Saturday evening, to a couple of yudansha from Chinese American GoJu = YoDan Renshi Elias Boneros, and NiDan Steve Trost. We spent a couple of hours working on Kata BunKai on the floor of Nisei GoJu Headquarters, and later continued the session in Tompkins Square Park, with Arakaki No Kon, and more kata BunKai. Always a pleasure working with these cats. Sorry that I have no photos to go with this post, but we were too busy to remember to get a couple of shots.

For those of you that have sent your phone numbers and or email addresses to me concerning training,the time is right, so please resend you information, as unlike Jesus, I didn't save.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Two GoJu brothers pass to the next reality this August.


It is with deep regret that I relay the news that two of our old school brothers have passed away.
On August 19, 2008, Master Earl Monroe of Nisei GoJu, seen here with his teacher GMstr. Frank Ruiz, passed away. He was a long time exponent of the Nisei System, and one of the premo competitors of the old days.

On August 22, 2008, Master John Waples, a long time exponent of USA GoJu, seen here receiving the Urban "E" Flag, passed away. Anyone who has been to many of the Urban Cup events that were held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice throughout the years will remember his long hours of work, helping to run the rings.

Both of these fine martial artists will be missed by all who had the good fortune to be touched by them as teachers and or friends.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


OK, here is another shameless plug for my up coming seminars. This time I give you a video from my pal Jay Chou in order to supply you with some back ground music. I am still collecting RSVPs in order to have the numbers right for the seminar. So please be patient.

Today is Saturday the 26th of July = my birthday. I am 48 years young now. I suppose that it's time to grow up...... ya think?..... Nah, I think I'll just keep on the way I always have, minus a large amount of insanity.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Osu! Again.....

So, it seems as if there are quite a few of you out there who are interested in this seminar project.

I will be in touch with each of you, as soon as I secure the date.

Thanks for all of the quick responses, as I feed off of your fire, as hopefully you do off of mine. So much for fire eating........... Lets get it on!

Saturday, July 12, 2008



OK! The time has come for yours truly to once again come out of the wood work and preach / teach to the masses. My time has been up to late, spent on some really serious self searching, both spiritually and physically. I have been cleansing both my mind and body and especially my spirit. This has necessitated a self imposed semi isolation period in which only my closest students have had real access to me, and I to them.

I will be giving seminars in the greater NY / NJ area within the next month or so.

I will establish the exact dates and announce the locations as soon as I receive messages from those interested in attending, via my email address.


The seminars will cover and expose the usage of some classic kata movements, and how Ju Jitsu techniques blend naturally into these movements.

The hypothesis / fact, that pugilism, joint locking and grappling, as well as the use of and defense against weapons, were originally one complete curriculum, will be addressed.

Martial arts history will be lectured upon sighting the separation betwixt what is the Beef and what is the Bologna.


All ranks and styles are welcome, all we ask is the desire to learn, and the willingness to open your minds and pours.

Tuition will be $50 for two hours.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sensei Peter Urban Memorial Ceremony Footage.


The long awaited footage of last years memorial service held in memory of Grand Master Urban at the Hoboken NJ YMCA is finally in my hands, and Today = Now, a few choice clips of it are available to you here on this blog.


Part 1: Guest Speaker, Hanshi, Wilfredo Roldan

Part 2: Guest Speaker, Hanshi, Steven Malanoski

Part 3: Kata performance by Sensei, John LiButti.
Reading of letter from Julia Urban Kimmerly.
Reading of the Mayor of Hoboken’s proclamation announcing Peter Urban Day.
Hanshi Steven Malanoski presents Hanshi Kevin McGrath with 9th Dan certificate.
Sensei Howard Turoff presents the director of the Hoboken YMCA with plaque.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Martial "ART"

This is an artistic piece made from various clips of video footage taken of out door classes that I gave at the Highland Temple and Tompkins Square dojos with Sensei John LiButti and Sensei Zino Salnave. Video and audio production by Monday Salnave.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Chop Socky Flicks From The 70s


Here is another blast from the past for those who have been around long enough to remember.

For those who are not of the era, let me set this up for you:

Back in the 70s, there was a genre of chop socky and black exploitation films, often with the two combined. What makes this genre special to us in GoJu is the fact that some of our own folks were prevalent in this B rated almost underground movie scene. So as not to be misunderstood, let me explain that when I say B rated and almost underground, I don't really mean it derogatorily. Yes, the acting was a bit campy, yet this was the norm, and the low budget of the productions were not as user friendly as with the multi million dollar action films of today. Yes, there were some that were just bad, but others were what my friends and I would hold our breaths waiting for the next to play at one of the many theaters that used to be on 42nd street.

New York's answer to Hollywood's Jim Kelly were "The Black Dragon" Ron VanClief and "Obosan" Owen Watson, two prominant tournament champions of the era, who were originally from Shihan Frank Ruiz's Nisei GoJu, later to join up with Maestro Urban and then to form Chinese GoJu.

In the following classic footage, you will see Owen Watson "with blue jacket and pants," Shihan Ruiz "playing the detective with siut and hat on," Elsie Roman "with long hair and yellow pants," along with other old school folks from Nisei GoJu and Chinese GoJu.

Here is more footage of the classic rooftop fight scene featuring Owen Watson:

Back in the mid 70s as a teenager I was lucky enough to be on the set of another one of these flicks. This one was called Death Promise. At the time, I was training at a dojo that was that was used by numerous big name instructors all of whome I was able to train with. One of these instructors was "La Pantera" Charles Bonet, who I became friends with. He was part of the Chop Socky movie star line up, and used the dojo to film certain scenes for his movie Death Promise. This gave me the oportunity to rub elbows with cast members, some of which I already knew, but others I would never have had the good fortune to meet had I not been lucky enough to be a member of the dojo.

In the following clip from Death Promise, Shihan Charles Bonet is featured:

In the next clip from Death Promise, you will see Shihans William Louie, Bob Long and Speedy Leacock among others.

Oh! I just realized that it would not be CSC "Chop Sockily Correct," not to include the following clip:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An abridged look at the influence of the Crane Style on this thing that we call GoJu.

Starting our known leniage with Masters Wai XinXian and Seisho Arakaki born 1840 - died 1920, who was the original teacher of the Okinawan Master Kanryo Higashionna, born March 10,1853 51? - died December 23,1915, before he traveled to China, we later find our crane connection in the Fukien province in a city called fuzhow .

While living in Fuzhow Higashionna trained at the Kojo Dojo at the Okinawan ghetto under Masters Kojo, Iwah, and Wai XinXian, later meeting and beginning his training with White Crane “Whooping Crane,” master Xie ZhongXiang, aka RyuRu Ko, born July 1852 - died February 1930. Ryu Ruko was a student of Pan Yuba, who's teacher was Lin SiXian.

Ryu Ruko's office.

Ryu Ruko's dojo.

Ryu Ruko's Grave.

Ryu Ruko's Grand Sons.

Higashionna's top student and GoJu Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi, born April 5,1888 - died October 8, 1953 , continued to study after his teachers death.

Miyagi befriended the Chinese tea merchant Go Kenki, born 1887 - died 1940, who had relocated from China to Naha Okinawa. Go Kenki was a master of White Crane. The two masters formed a study group with other key martial artists, exchanging knowledge. Later, on two occaisions, 1915 and 1936, Go Kenki accompanied Miyagi on his trips to Fuchow as an interpeter.

Here is a clip of Crane Style San Jan The predessesor of San Chin Kata

Here are more examples of San Jan.

Can the reader spot any moves here in Bafen that may have influenced GoJu Kata?

How about here?

Various masters adapted Crane kata into their curriculum often known as Hakutsuru meaning White Crane.

Often the various versions of Crane form would go by various names.

Here is Matayoshi KoBuDo and KinGaiRyu KoDoKan Grand Master, Shinpo Matayoshi, born December 27, 1921 - died September 7, 1997, performing the kata Hakkucho that he learned from Go Kenki

Japanese GoJu Kai founder Yoshimi "Gogen" Yamaguchi composed Genkaku 玄鶴 Seen performed in this picture by his son Hirofumi "Goshi" Yamaguchi, the current head of the Japanese GoJu Kai.

Gen means "deep, profound, dark, black, mysterious, obscure" Kaku means "crane"; Gen-kaku can thus be translated as Mysterious Crane or Black Crane.

Lastly, Grand Master Peter Urban, born August 14, 1934 - died April 7, 2004,
composed Gesaku Sho and Gesaku Dai katas as the Crane forms indegenous to USA / Urban GoJu, seen here being performed by yours truly.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Long Lost Nunti Bo!

Coincidentally, immediately after I wrote the piece on sai in a previous post on this blog, we received a visit from one of my old students from the late 80s, George Kruckmeyer. When I closed one of my dojos years ago, some items wound up being stored at the homes of various students, often being passed on from one location to another. One of these items was my treasured Shureido Nunti Bo from Okinawa, which after being passed from Sensei Zino Salnave to George over the years due to various moves that we all had made. Being that these two students wound up going into the military, and I wound up moving out of the area, I pretty much detatched myself from the hope of ever seeing my nunti bo again.

Well, now that I began to regroup what once was, with my original people, low and behold, here came my old student, out of nowere, with a big smile on his face, nunti bo in hand!

It would appear that this is a sign of how a life, once left behind, is now reborn!

So.... with no further ado, ladies and gentleman, I give you The long lost Nunti Bo, performed with some of the movements of Arakaki No Nunti Bo, at the Highland Temple by yours truly. Special thanks goes to Uchi Deshi, Monday Salnave, for filming this clip.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Book!


The book that we have been waiting for is finally a reality!

It is with great pleasure that I can now announce the publishing of a book of the quality that befits the memory of Grand Master Peter Urban.

Many of you are familiar with the works that Master Don Warrener has produced in the past, but for those who are not, let me explain myself. Master Warrener is a class act. He has been a student and teacher of the GoJu system for many years, having trained under the direction of such notable masters as Master Bob Dalgleish "Father of Canadian GoJu," and Hanshi Richard Kim. He has been associated in various ways with Grand Master Urban, with the production of seminars and various video tape releases throughout the past, and has never been a disappointment to us.

The products that Don Warrener's company, Rising Sun Productions, puts out are always of high quality, and judging from the last publication I personally saw of his, done on Hanshi Richard Kim, I can only believe that this book on Grand Master Urban will be the best media that has ever been done on our late great teacher.

In collaboration with Hanshi Manny Saavedra, I contributed many photos and old peices from my personal collection, to this book's publication. This along with all of the other hunting for Urban treasures that I know Don Warrener did, not to mention the use of the graphic arts mastery of Sensei Angel Lemus "Editor of BuGeiSha Magazine," is a recipe for a "can't lose," production.

The book will be about 400 pages in length, hard cover, laminated dust jacket, certificate of authenticity, there will also be a CD of the book so that it can be played in all computers and a DVD of all the rare photos set to music and including an exceptional interview and demonstration of the Maestro doing kata in the 1960's, then placed inside a special box and each one will be signed and number by the author.

For more information on how to order your copy of this historical compilation, go to: http://www.risingsunproductions.net/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1495

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Composition on Composition and Conduction.

Years ago, Maestro Urban wrote a story that he published in his Urban Speaks News Letter entitled The Maestro and the Organ Grinder. This, like many of the stories he wrote, was food for thought. I strongly encourage the reader, to not just skim the surface of this vignette, but to look down deep into it, and to your self, and perhaps to those around you.

The story went something like this:
A man, accompanied by a trained monkey, would play music in the streets in order to make a living. The monkey would hold out a cup in order to collect money, as the man would feebly play a well known tune. Unfortunately, people would just walk by, laughing and shaking their heads, instead of contributing any donations into the monkey’s cup.

One day, the famous Maestro so and so, dressed in his customary top hat and tails, who was the composer of the song the man played, happened by. The Maestro stopped and told the man that he was playing the song incorrectly. He explained to the man that if he were to slow down the tempo a bit, and adjust certain notes, he would be much closer to playing the opus as it was meant to be played.

The next day, the man and his monkey returned to the street, both dressed out in top hat and tails. He began once again to play the music, but this time heeding the Maestro’s musical advice. There was also a sign in front of them that said “Student of The Great Maestro So and So.” From then on, instead of mocking the man as they walked past, the people would drop coins into the monkey’s cup and actually pay them both some more respectful attention.

Here is an extrapolation / sophistication of my own, based on the previous premise.

The Conductor

As we view the dynamics of kata / knowledge perpetuation, we must recognize the rolls that the various Maestros play.

Where the composer establishes the original opus, which must be mastered intact as was meant to be, the Conductor will either act as a compass pointing to Magnetic North / True North, hence pointing in the original direction of the composers intent, or extrapolate and or sophisticate the opus with his own learned or supposed learned Nuance = his Satori.

The nuance of the conductor is reflected in the motion plus emotion that he leads his orchestra through.

This can either be a positive thing………………..

Or a negative thing………………..


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sensei, Gary Gascoyne, RokuDan.

It is my pleasure to announce that Sensei Gary Gascoyne of Massachusetts, seen here goofing around at the John Jay College Of Criminal Justice with the webmaster of the Official Urban Website Hanshi Price and I, has been promoted by his teacher Hanshi, Walter Parks, to the rank of 6th Dan.

Sensei Gascoyne is seen here in a pic taken years ago with Hanshi Parks in white towel, and of course The Sensei = Urban, receiving a previous promotion.

Sensei Gascoyne was one of the few folks, who at the end of Sensei Urban's life, actually went way above and beyond the call of duty. His and his teacher's support of Sensei Urban, when he needed it the most, will never be forgotten.

Thank you Sensei Gascoyne, and congratulations on your promotion, and on a job well done!