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: