When I was twelve my father put me into karate classes. I was the kid the people kept messing with, but instead of getting beat up I wound up putting bullies into the hospital.
In the 80’s karate schools could be dangerous places for a kid. I was put into adult classes and got hurt bad in three different schools before I found a real teacher.
The style of krate I wound up studying was called American Kenpo. It was unique in that it drew from all of the fighting styles – taking what worked and leaving the useless stuff behind.
I trained at the Kenpo studio four nights a week, and on Thursdays when there wasn’t a class I would mop the floors so that I could watch the black belts and Bando fighters train.
As time went by I got to meet and even train with three men who wound up having a profound impact on my life. Ed Parker, Remy Presas and Ted Vollrath.
In addition fo founding American Kenpo, Ed Parker was the first person to point our that my karate training was applicable to any discipline I chose to learn – even music. You could say that what I teach today could be called Kenpo Banjo.
All three of these men were in terrible, terrible movies. I like bad movies and I think these movies stink!
The good news is that two of those movies are streaming on YouTube!
Ed Parker stars as the bad guy in the 1979 crap-fest, Kill The Golden Goose. Parts of this movie are so weird it may induce hallucinations and/or complete bewilderment. There is a song that pops up mid-film with lines like “I want to climb all over you, and crawl inside your mind.” The song goes on to mention tangerines and limes. Yecch!
One word of caution, the film is violent, does not contain a single goose and is not for kids. The 70’s fashions alone could damage young minds.
Ted Vollrath is the titular villain in the 1978 film Mr. No Legs. This movie is directed by
Ricou Browning – the guy who played the Gill Man in the underwater scenes from The Creature From The Black Lagoon!
This is not a good movie, and Ted was completely underused. His wheelchair with hidden shotguns and throwing stars is just flat-out awesome, but it only shows a glimpse of his fighting prowess.
Like the previous film, it is not for everybody. Violence, adult situations and 70’s fashions coupled with weird directorial decisions could damage the psyche of viewers of any age.
While these are bad movies, they were made by good men who taught me how to fight, how to learn and how to teach. If you have learned anything from my books and video workshops it is partly because of these unique men. I miss them almost every day.