Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ok! Check it out! My older brother and dear friend Hanshi Manny Saavedra is running his yearly event. I would most definitely advise you and your's to attend. Time was when I helped run this thing, and I can assure you that Manny has a quality = underststement event. If you would like to compete in a tournament that placing in has meaning... then this is the one! No bullsh!t, REAL people judging and officiating, and a guy, who has been around since before your parents met. So... If my word means anything to you, do support GMstr. Manny Saavedra's event, or be the square that you are... 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Enter The Dragon's Jim Kelly passes.


Chopsocky / Blacksploitation movie icon Jim Kelly died yesterday. Originally a semi pro athlete, he began his KaraTe training with Gordon Doversola in a style that Doversola named Okinawa Te. He later joined up with the BKF = Black KaraTe Federation, under Kenpo's Steve Sanders "Muhamed". Jim Kelly won the middle weight division at a tournament that Bruce Lee attended, and the rest is history...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013


The Satori Martial Arts Study Group, which is the interactive satellite of this website on Facebook, has gained quite a following. From prominent masters to kyu level students, our members have been interacting in discussion, video lecture / demonstration, and satire that can only be appreciated by those initiated in this thing of ours called Martial Combatives and all of their cognates. I realize that many, for some reason, do not have a Facebook account. However it may behoove you to consider doing so, if only to participate in our study group. We will be having actual physical study group functions in the near future, such as seminars, and a study group banquet. My goal is to grow the Satori Martial Arts Study Group into an even more organized body of like minded members, in order to promote, perpetuate, and accelerate, the full scope of the Martial Arts, IE: a deeper understanding of the intricacies and nomenclature of kata and waza, as well as their application, history, polemics = what made them necessary to various societies, as well as our own.

To join, please go to:

You can send a membership request to me at:

Thursday, May 09, 2013

In memory of GGMstr. Aaron Banks.

Haisai! Mina Samma,

Sad news indeed today. One of the biggest names in early promotion and production of the martial arts has left us. When we got home today, my fiance Audra checked her facebook account and informed me that she had just read that GGMstr. Aaron Banks had passed away at the age of 85.  

Beginning his KaraTe career in 1960, under Sensei John Slocum “ShoToKan” and later with Chris Debaise, Thomas Boddi, John Kuhl, Chuck Merriman, and Peter Urban. He had affiliation with Gogen Yamaguchi, and then Gonnohyoe Yamamoto over the years.

Aaron Banks, as an instructor, produced quite a few well known champions, and many not so well known, but quite talented offspring. Names such as Ernest Hyman, Rex Lee, Eddie Moralez, Janet Forray "Banks", James Santiago and Wilbert X Majette, “teacher of Ron “Master Breaker” Jeter, just to name a few.

As a promoter, he took the KaraTeBall and ran with it. It seemed as if, anything that could be done with the martial arts, he did, or found a way to get someone else to do it at one of his way too numerous to list endeavors. 

Television shows like Mike Douglas “if you remember that one, you are old…,” and most notably The Wide World of Sports! Starting out at The Waldorf Astoria, and Manhattan Center with his major events, he literally went from renting out Sunnyside Gardens, to Madison Square Garden, in a sold out success story, nationally, and I’m sure internationally televised.

The Oriental World of Self Defense was literally hours of nonstop in your face martial arts demonstrations by literally everybody who was anybody in one way or another. From Yoshiteru Otani performing IaiDo, to Tiger Kim flying through the air and breaking things. From Ernest Hyman breaking extreme amounts of Ice, to Richard Bowe blindfolded and hoodwinked, defending against a real knife. From the Joe Hess vs. Beth Bussey male female contact match to Ralph Bialla catching bullets in his teeth, and I’m leaving almost everything out, The Oriental World Of Self Defense was an extravaganza to say the least.

Old timers may remember the snafu, which was the Sun City incident. GGMstr. Aaron Banks actually took his show on the road. The Apartheid authorities, in South Africa at the time, asked that GGMstr. Banks not bring the black martial artists in his show.

Back in the 70's, when my friends and I would go on our Urban Shugyo = when we were not at the dojo, we usually were visiting other dojo to train, or just hang out and watch. I attended some of the nunchaku classes given by one of the top guys there = Ernest Hyman. But most of the time, you just paid your dollar to Arther Taub, the receptionist / guy Friday, and you could go inside and watch one of the many different types of classes that went on there at any given time. Oh! I forgot to mention, the one and only time that I met Bruce Lee was when I was a little kid, visiting Aaron Banks' dojo with my father. I honestly don't remember if it was the same location as pictured, as I was about 8 years old I'm pretty sure. Lee was making an appearance at the Madison Square Garden event the next day. It is no exaggeration to say that you never knew who you were going to run into if you stopped in enough.

There was a Shiai = literally people gathering = inter school competition, at his DoJo every weekend and later in the 80s, he ran a tournament at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn “under the Brooklyn Bridge,” every weekend.

Originally, an aspiring actor, GGMstr. Banks always had a connection to Broadway and Hollywood, teaching and interacting with accomplished and famous personalities, as seen here with drummer Buddy Rich and actor Roger Moore of James Bond fame. Banks himself was in quite a few movies. Being a showman, he took this opportunity to bring a certain campy drama to the screen, not so very unlike the Golden Harvest genre. 

GGMstr. Aaron Banks was way ahead of his time when it came to Organizing. At a time when the PKA was the major body for full contact KaraTe, he formed his own WPKO, with it's own Champions of various weight class. This was not a mom and pop shop operation, and I can remember like it was yesterday, seeing and meeting folks like Chuck Norris, Darnell Garcia, Benny Urquidez, at his events.

No matter what your opinion of GGMstr. Aaron Banks and his operation is, no one can ever say for a minute that he did not contribute to, leave an impression on, and pave the way for the next generations of Professional Martial Arts.

Osu! GGMstr. Banks. Till we meet again.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Exciting News!

Haisai! Very exciting news!

Thanks to celebrated ShoToKan Champion Bill Beason, and our friend Shihan Frank Puello, we now have actual footage available of the great Louis Delgado performing KATA! For those who were not around during the old days, Louis Delgado was originally a student of Maestro Urban. He went with GMstr. Frank Ruiz, when Ruiz was told to "Go Teach!" and when NiSei GoJu was formed, he was Top Gun of Ruiz' competition contingency. Gaining more than just NY credebility, he won national acclaim by his historic win against a pretty well known guy named Carlos "CHUCK" Norris. (You can see him fighting Norris on youtube with Urban as referee.)

Delgado moved to California around 1970 or 71, continuing his training with Japanese ShoTokan Master Nishiyama, and supposedly Bruce Lee. I have never seen photographs or video of he and Lee, so I cannot confirm this, however I have no reason to doubt it.

Delgado was one of the best fighters around, even though he was smaller and younger than most of his competition. Maestro Urban said that Delgado was afraid of No One, except for Mike Stone for some reason. I doubt that this was much more than respect for someone who had already attained the King Of The Hill position that Delgado was shooting for. With all of the photos and video available of this great KaraTeKa, it has not been until NOW thaty we have actual video of his kata. Yes, his kata was second to none! If you were not there, then you missed something fantastic. Until NOW!

In this video, Delgado slips and falls during his performance. However, he was THAT GOOD as to be able to jump right back up into the mode, and still look better than most could wish for on their best day.

Narrating this video is Master Bill Beason, who enjoyed an illustrious tournament career in his own right.

I will finish by stating, regretfully, that Master Louis Delgado passed away on May 17th 1991, of liver failure, caused by medication that he had to take because of lung tumors.

He was a nice guy, a fantastic KaraTeKa, and will be missed by all of us who knew him.

Here he performs a ShoToKan form, woith that famouse Delgado nuance.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Another not previously circulated photo.

A friend of mine, named Hanshi Patrick McCarthy "you may have heard of him..." gave me this photograph last night. From left to right Mrs. Meiko Urban, Grand Master Peter Urban, Mrs. Kim, Grand Master Richard Kim, Sensei Duke Moore.

Here's what Richard Kim had to say about both Maestro Urban and Hanshi McCarthy. Click on pic to enlarge and read.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Satori Martial Arts Study Group

What is the difference between a Toy, a Tool, and a WEAPON?


What I intend to do, is to stop playing, and to bring That's My Satori and I'm Stickin To It! to the next level, by having established an interactive satellite on Facebook. It is called The Satori Study Group. The group is private, and to interact, one must join. If the applicant is not known to the group, it is necessary to email an introduction, including name, martial arts curriculum vitae, in order to be considered for acceptance.

The purpose of the Satori Martial Arts Study Group, is for readers of this blog to be able to ask questions and make commentary on and or about the subject matter covered here on this site. I encourage the reader to look back into the older posts throughout the years in our archives, and to feel more than free, but obligated to bring up any of the oldies that spark your interest.

The Satori Martial Arts Study Group can be found at:

Letters of introduction can be e mailed to
or you can contact us on Facebook.

Chojun Miyagi, and time travel.

When I first came up with this one, Sensei Elias Bonaros asked me, "How did you find a new Miyagi picture?" My answer? The same way I obtain a lot of my obscure knowledge, and the reason that I don't look my age. I have a time machine...

Peter Urban vs Don Nagle. Newly discovered better footage!


Little snipits of the historic Urban Nagle fight have been circulating for years, however, my friend Sensei, Roy Kaman recently alerted me to the location / existence, of this much more inclusive footage. The still is courtesy of Sensei, Steve Trost.

The rest speaks for itself...

Double click on video to view full screen.

Okinawa GoJu Kai presentation for the Emperor of Japan.

The following presentation, was done by the various Ryu Ha of the Okinawa GoJu Kai, for Japan's Emperor.

In the beginning, center on the SanChin line, and later at the end of the video, is my old friend and MeiBuKan instructor, Masaaki Ikemiyagi. The viewer shoukd note the explosiveness of his movements.

I remember once back in 1981 at Naha University, where he was at one time, Captain of the KaraTE team, and later Coach, he was dissatisfied with a students SeiSan, during a college demonstration that we were watching. He told the student to get dressed and bring him his "the student's" gi. Ikemiyagi Sensei put on the gi, and after the next part of the demo was finished, went out onto the floor and performed SeiSan. I swear, when he landed his heel on the floor after the front kick at the end of SeiSan, with a loud CRACK, he actually damaged the floor. No lie! He walked funny for about a week afterward also... But man!

Miyagi Five O!

Haisai! This classic photo documents Chojun Miyagi's visit to Hawaii.

Here is the mention of Miyagi Sensei's visit, in Hawaii Hochi, a Hawaiian Japanese language newspaper. Notice that the kanji for KaraTe in the upper right corner, says China Hand. This predates the wide spread use of the newer Empty Hand kanji. It says, KaraTe expert to give exhibition tomorrow night. Chojun Miyaki, "they wrote his name wrong," one of Japan's greatest experts, will give an exhibition tomorrow night at 7:30 at the WMB Hall on upper forth street. He will spend about three months in the territory, showing in exhibitions and giving lectures. Miyaki is chief instructor for the police dept in naba (Southern Japan) and for the karate dept. of the Japanese athletic association. He leaves for Kaui next monday, for a four week tour. 

BLT, not the sandwich, Bok Lei Tat!

If this place is not familiar with you, then you are either new, or have never been on the NYC Chinatown martial arts scene. The building with the big sign featuring Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, is the old martial arts store, which was called Bal Lei Tat. This place was huge, and carried all kinds of martial arts goodies, and specialized in Kung Fu supplies. This was a great place to run into others of like interest, compatriots and enemies. Down stairs was the book department that was a variable who's who and what's what, as to the status quo of martial arts related media. Back in the day, media was not so advanced as now. You couldn't read about it on the internet like you are doing.

Many, many years ago, while in the process of building a Mook Yan Jong "wooden man dummy," I stopped in at Bak Lei Tat, knowing that they carried the book, 108 Mok Yan Jong, which besides being a fully illustrated guide book, had a schematic of the dummy = the instructions.

As I was purchasing the book, and shooting the breeze with the book guy, as I had done on a regular for years, he asked if I wanted to meet the author. It just so happened that for some reason, the author, GMstr. Moy Yat, direct student of Yip Man, was upstairs. Like I said, this was a good place to run into people of like interests. Anyway, long story shorter, I got to be introduced to Moy Yat, who, seeing my serious interest in the subject of the jong, suggests that I come and see what the moves in the book really look like. Yes folks, this place was full of surprises.

The building next door has a history that legends are made from. It was owned by Mr. Tam, a prominent figure in the Chinese community, an accomplished Chinese Opera singer, and a personal student of the world renown Tai Chi Chuan Master, Cheng Man Ching. Tam brought Cheng Man Ching in as the teacher at the Tai Chi school on the first floor. The second floor is the Bak Hok Pai, White Crane Kung Fu school of Chin Hak Fu. The third floor is the Chinese FreeMason Athletic Club. Gok Sai Jook Lum Tong Long Pai, International Bamboo Curtain Southern Praying Mantis.

In closing, I simply could not end this glance at the past, without the mention, albeit edited, of the fact that Master Tam, the building's owner, was challenged by a strapping young Hong Kong Chop Socky movie star, and surprised the chi out of him. The name has been omitted, because I was not present, and I trust the word of the elder who told me.

Every picture tells a story.

Classic picture  of Sensei, Bob Tiani fighting World Champion Mike Stone, at an event which was run by Aaron Banks, at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC. Please notice Maestro Peter Urban, GMstr. Fred Hamilton, and GMstr. S. Henry Cho, in audience at ring side. An interesting story goes with this photo. Those who have been around a long time, will notice that Stone is wearing a Korean style gi top. During a previous match, when Stones gi top was ripped, Louis Delgado took off his go top, and offered it to Stone. Stone faced Chuck Norris, who was also offering his own gi top, and as he accepted Norris' offer, Stone told Delgado, "No thanks, I stick with the winners." Cold......

Mas Oyama Tournament NYC 1962.

Madison Square Garden. New York City, circa 1962. The Mas Oyama Tournament. Many of the photos in Maestro Urban's book, The KaraTe DoJo, were taken at this event. Double click on video to see full screen.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Damn it!

Here we go again. We lost another old school brother. I received a message from my JuJitsu older brother, GMstr., Pete Siringano Jr., that Shihan, Bob Long supposedly had passed away. He told me that Hanshi, Roldan had told him, but it was not confirmed.

Doing some research on the net, I found a couple of martial arts web pages by students of his, that gave condolences.

Picture it, Jersey City NJ, circa mid 1970's. Besides training at the dojo, my friend Ron and I used to visit, make friends with, and train with everyone who we felt was anyone back in that hey day of hard core. I was probably 15 years old, when I was introduced to Shihan, Bob Long. His school at the time, was on Kennedy Blvd. next to a hamburger place called Tippy's. Originally, he was in a hybrid style called AMDO which stands for American Way. After having become an instructor, and opening his own school. he broke from AMDO and Shihan, Michael Depasquale introduced him to GMstr. Pete Siringano, who he became a student of. So when I met him and trained a couple of times a week with him, he had already been in Goshin Do Kempo and Samurai JuJitsu for a while.

What can I tell you about him?

He was good. I mean he was really good! As a matter of fact, picture it, the amount of exposure that I already had to the arts by then, and I can safely say that technically, he was the best that I had ever seen. Fast would be an understatement. So stretched, that he could do kicks that did not exist. He once told me that he laid in bed at night, thinking up techniques. Then he would go out to the living room and practice them in his underwear, until he could do what he thought up. He was really old school in his teaching method, and very similar to his teacher, was not the guy that you wanted to stand less than straight around on the floor. Although he did fight in tournaments, quite successfully, he really wasn't that into competition the way it was becoming. He stayed mainly in the back ground, as Official KaraTe Magazine once said of him. His dojo had some really hard core black belts, like Simion, who was also the toughest cop in Hoboken at the time. I had a lot of good times with him, even though it took forever to get past that "guy from both another KaraTe style, and another JuJitsu style," thing, which was very much extant. My in, was that his teacher, Peter Siringano, was friends with both my father, and Maestro Urban, so when he brought me over to the Siringano Sunday work out for the first time, Grand Master Siringano greeted me, knowing who I was. After that, I kind of was more accepted. Unfortunately, The Bob Long School Of Self Defense moved, and I didn't get to train with him again.

After the death of GMstr. Pete Siringano, Shihan Long founded his own organization, calling what he taught, by the same names, but with the addition of Nagai Ryu, which is Nihon Go for Long Style.

He was also in a few Chop Socky flicks back in the day. Here is a trailer for Death Promise, which featured quite a few NY / NJ martial arts personalities. You cant miss Bob Long. Blond Hair and big mustache starting at 0.27 seconds into the clip.