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.