Thursday, June 11, 2009
Hanshi Lou Angel and the Long John Nebel Show.
Recently Hanshi Lou Angel, Founder of Tenshi GoJu, and the National College Of Martial Arts, sent me some great pics of historic note.
Hanshi Angel was one of Grand Master Urban’s first students.
Beginning his martial arts training in 1954 at the JuJitsu school of India at 48th and Broadway in NYC, he later took up JuDo under Sensei Nick Yang at The Academy Of Music in Brooklyn.
While in the United States Marine Corps, he trained in IsShin Ryu KaraTe, with GMstr. Don Nagel in Jacksonville North Carolina.
He started training with GMstr. Urban when he returned to NY. He trained with Urban twice a week at The Academy Of Music, and also twice a week at the famous JuDo Twins DoJo.
Hanshi Angel opened a dojo in Brooklyn under GMstr. Urban in 1960, and in 1961 left to open a dojo in Tulsa Oklahoma. This was while GMstr. Urban was still teaching at the 17Th Street DoJo in NYC, prior to the opening of the Chinatown DoJo.
In 1963 Hanshi Angel left Oklahoma as a nidan (2nd degree black belt), and with a letter of introduction from GMstr. Urban, traveled to Japan to train with his teacher’s teacher, GMstr. Gogen Yamaguchi, at the Ueno DoJo in Tokyo.
After extensive training with GMstr. Yamaguchi, Hanshi Angel tested for and was promoted to the rank of SanDan (3rd degree black belt.)
Hanshi Angel formed the Midwest GoJu KaraTe Association, and later founded his own style called Tenshi GoJu. Tenshi is Nihon Go = Japanese language, meaning angel.
The Tenshi GoJu system contains the kata that Hanshi Angel learned from GMstr. Urban and GMstr. Yamaguchi, with the only difference being in the Bunkai that he developed.
(Author's note: During a conversation with Hanshi Angel, he told me that he will always consider GMstr. Urban his Sensei.)
His style and organization became very large and successful throughout the Mid West.
He later founded the National College Of Martial arts, which is open to practitioners of all styles.
One of his more well known students is Jeff Speakman, star of the popular movie The Perfect Weapon, who attained nidan under Hanshi Angel, before moving to California to pursue his acting career. It was Hanshi Angel who suggested that Speakman hook up with Ed Parker while in California. The rest is history…….
As many may know, in March of 1960, Grand Master Urban and some of his students including Hanshi Angel, appeared on the Long John Nebel Show on WOR TV Channel 9. . This was a late night variety show, which was known to feature not so every day things, from VooDoo to UFO’s and conspiracy theories. Interesting late night entertainment for those who found interest in the unusual.
Here is a pic from the advertisement for the show. On left in Iron Wall position, is Hanshi Angel.
Click on picture to enlarge.
In this picture Grand Master Urban demonstrates a nukite on Lou Angel during the Long John Nebel show.
Lastly, here is a classic pic that Hanshi Angel sent to me, of Grand Master Urban doing one of the things that he did best. This pic was taken at Hanshi Angel's Tulsa Oklahoma tournament in September of 1967. GMstr. Urban is breaking 3 suspended boards with his left hand. He had injured his right hand before coming to Tulsa.
Special thanks to Hanshi Lou Angel for his time, photos, and friendship.