The annual Black Dragon Fighting Society Gathering to meet and train with friends and honor the memory of our patriarch, Grandmaster Lawrence Day, was held in Richmond KY this year.
A meeting of the Membership was convened on Friday evening. The Official Record and Minutes are published through the customary channels.
Saturday were the Seminars
First up was Chairman of the Board, Grandmaster Undefeated Go-No-Sen Karate, Jim McMurtrie. His was the "First boot on the ground and the last one to leave..." presenting both the first and last of the instructional classes of the day.
Next was Sensei Daniel Howard Master Howard is a Hachidan, Black Belt 8th Degree in Gyodokan Kempo Karate and founder of Howard Family Martial Arts. He has also trained in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu.
“Secret martial arts techniques do not exist. If your teacher does not work out hard and work you hard you need to leave that place because you are being lied to. It does not matter if they say their "authentic" lineage is from some mystical Asian master. How do they train? If the kids classes look like a day care...it is a day care!”
Master Howard's skills have been proven on the job many times.
The 11:00 slot was filled by Guest Instructor Master Karen Eden, a 7th degree martial arts master of Tang Soo Do. She has multiple nationalities including Asian and Native American Descent. Master Eden is most well known in the industry for her inspirational writing. She has appeared in every major martial arts magazine in the country and world, including six magazine covers of her own. A journalist by trade, Karen has worked for NBC and FOX affiliates, with live broadcasts airing on CNN, and reporting for FOX national and Animal Planet. Her ability to turn everyday occurrences into life lessons started in the martial arts industry over 20 years ago, where she became known as the “Master of Inspiration.”
Karen has written four books and writes two karate columns a month for MASuccess magazine and Taekwondo Times magazine. Her poem “I Am a Martial Artist” spun off an entire product line which has successfully sold around the world by Century Martial Arts. Karen has also appeared in two major Hollywood productions, including stunt work in Van Damme’s “Sudden Death,” and a feature role in “Sworn to Justice” with Cynthia Rothrock, as seen on Showtime.
Her demonstration of Native American martial arts principles and how they compare to what are considered the Oriental systems was both informative and effective as a practical application of techniques.
After lunch, Grandmaster Irving Soto led the training.
10th Degree Black Belt and Red Belt, President and Founder of the New GGMAHF International Martial Arts Hall of Fame, 8-time World Kumite Champion, 4-time World Kickboxing Champion, 4-time Grappling Champion, 3-time World Jujitsu Champion, 5-time Bare Knuckle Champion, Full Contact
Grandmaster Soto has been honored by the former mayor of San Diego, Mayor Susan Golding, Excellent Community Service Award, Special Commendation. Also honored by the mayor of Hollywood, Mayor Johnny Grant, Excellent Community Service Award, Special Commendation. Received award from Col. John T. Wright, US Army Deputy Installation Commander, APG for teaching military personnel, civilians and police officers at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Grandmaster Soto is currently a police officer for the U.S. government, Department of Defense with Homeland Security. His seminar was about Armlocks, Restraining techniques and Takedowns.
Sky Benson was the last seminar before the conclusion of Ground Fighting techniques with Grandmaster McMurtrie.
"I don't teach martial arts, I create martial artists. My passion in the martial arts began at a young age and I have kept the rules of warriorship with me throughout my life. The one thing I think separates me from the rest is I give from my heart and knowledge Iv'e learned freely with no need of compensation, I believe in passing my knowledge freely without the distention of having to pay to learn, if you want to learn I am happy to teach, this is what I was taught and I will pay it forward. This is my life not a job or way for me to make a living it is what makes me happy and fulfilled, knowing I could help someone save theirs or a love ones life is all the reason I need to make it all worth while, this you can not replace with money.
I have learned many great things from many Grandmasters and have complete respect for all art forms of the Martial Way. I am proud to be a member of the Black Dragon Fighting Society and it would be my privilege to help anyone who seeks knowledge in the Science of this wonderful world we call Martial Arts."
Master Karen Eden, a certified Chaplin, blessed the evening meal. She wore a hundred year old family Kimono with a six foot Obi to the event. Master Eden has a unique point of view of Martial Arts. She is a Master, which means that she has earned multiple black belts by being the best in her field. There is great wisdom in her words. One of the things she said in her book was "When a teacher corrects a student, they are showing immense love". It means if you are teaching a class, you must show love for what you do as well as instill that love in your students.
For inspirational and martial arts bookings, Grandmaster Eden can be reached through her agency, All American Speakers.com
One of the guests asked of those he spoke with why we came together every year like this?
To echo the words of Grandmaster Lawrence Day: "I am a Black Dragon, always have been, always will be..."
Master Tim Broussard, said it best. "Among the events that define my life I would put at the summit, among a few other things, becoming a member of the Black Dragon Fighting Society, becoming a black dragon. In my view, being a black dragon means living up to being a warrior, in one’s own terms, as well as being a brother to other members of our group; above and beyond such things as politics, religion or martial art style. From my start under Grand Master Ashida Kim, it has always been clear to me that if one has proven worthy one is welcome to be one’s self as a part of our society. In my time with the society I have found all to be welcoming and affirming, though I am far from typical as a martial artist. In time I earned a postion of trust and responsibility within the society and at this last gathering was honored with a katana by the council which I take as an affirmation of my place in the society and an inspiration to improve myself on all levels of my being, as a man that is a martial artist in every area of my life. In addition to Grand Master Ashida Kim I have had the honor of getting to know and learn from masters such as Don Miskel and Frank Dux, to name two of many others. Each and all has welcomed me as family and fostered in me a sense of brotherhood that has compelled me to become a more open and social person than I would be outside of the society and the martial arts."
"I have never been questioned on my training or skills but rather I was given the chance to show what I could do and even present to the society. In the same vein, when I cannot perform, I have never been made to feel bad or somehow not fully a part of what is going on at the time. For me, to be a black dragon is to foster the spirit of effort as well as to the drive to perfect one’s self in addition to be an example of an empowered individual to inspire others. In my view, the black dragon is a force that stands against tyranny on any level whether between people, groups or what have you. As a black dragon, I stand for the underdog and seek not to rescue anyone but rather give the underdog a fighting chance i.e. a black dragon is a counterbalance to those that would cast themselves as rulers in the martial arts or otherwise in life. Being a black dragon, to me, is an everyday thing, every night and every moment one exists in the world, and in my view, even beyond the present incarnation one is in. To be a black dragon is a way of life and I strive to always adhere to that ideal. Many of my brothers have served in the armed forces, it is one of the few regrets of my life that I have not been able to serve as they did but they have never held it against me. All of the members I have come to know have made sure that I was aware of their respect for me and what I have come through in my life. Receiving a katana from the council inspires me to do more, work harder and bring more to our society which demands that I hold myself to the path I have always expressed."
"The path of a black dragon is not easy nor is it without its dangers because we will always have those that make themselves out to be our foes. Through the martial arts I have learned the value of life and how to cultivate both my own life and the lives of others by using what I have learned by being a black dragon. In being a black dragon it falls upon me to stand with my brothers when it is called for, whether we agree on all points of things or not. In the eyes of those outside our society our members are seen as outlaws and the like but the reality is that we stand for the freedom via empowerment for all people. In my view, we see the martial path as one means to that freedom and this is a threat in the eyes of some. To be a black dragon has nothing to do with how others see me or our society but rather how I see myself and my family of choice, a family I have earned. So long as one member stands the society will never die and nothing will take being so from me."
Dr. Day was one of the few students of Count Dante who was present at the infamous Dojo War that resulted in the death of Jim Konsevic. His study of Fa Ching and Dim Mak is legendary. He was an inspiration to us all, we shall not see his like again. He was one of the few who kept the Black Dragon Fighting Society alive when all others abandoned it. It was Dr. Day who brought us all together in the Year of the Dragon and who passed the torch to all of us to carry on the Great Work.
Your General Orders remain the same:
This is the message for the Year of the Tiger:
2022 will be the Year of the Black Tiger. The Chinese New Year Day is Tuesday, February 1, 2022 Tiger month is February, the beginning month of the spring season. The weather is still a little cold. The Tiger waits for the warm weather to come out. Tiger is a carnivore. It is often alone, not gregarious, and difficult to get along. Tiger has a domineering temper and authoritative air. The characteristics of Tiger are bold, resolute, unyielding, dictatorial, arbitrary, ambitious and full of self-confidence.
The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts in China, the zodiac sign Tiger is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness. 2022 will be the 4720th year of the Chinese calendar.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Grandmaster Eugene Rice. 10th degree in Karate, 10th degree in Kung Fu, 8th degree in Koga Ryu Iaido and 8th degree in Shaolin Black Sash. We shall miss his quick smile and his two strong hands. He was a friend to us all, we were honored to see him at our Gathering, and know that we shall meet again, when comes the Great Day...
When Grandmaster Lawrence Day brought us all together again in the Year of the Black Dragon 2012 each of us who were named to the Council of Patriarchs was given a chance to address the membership. When my turn came I said this, “Remember always that the name of our brotherhood is fighting. One of the reasons I learned Karate was so I didn't have to put up with bullies. Win, lose, makes no difference. If you stand up for yourself, you earn respect.”
Posted below is my $10,000 Challenge! This page has been on my website since 1995. There have been no takers. Not many people have the resources to set up such a match and, it will not be held under any other conditions. But, there is one loudmouth who could do it, Alan Goldberg self-proclaimed “godfather of the martial arts.”
He hosts a big Expo every year in Atlantic City. This would be a headline event. Lots of people would like to see me get my ass kicked. Instead, he has decided to just pretend I didn’t make this challenge. So, here is a link to our Message Board proving he is avoiding the issue and hiding in shame.
This is not about his attacks on our fellowship, or his alliance with our enemies to form his own Legion of Doom, or his slander of Frank Dux. This is between Goldberg and Ashida Kim ONLY! Because the Council of Patriarchs would never approve of such a challenge being made in the name of the Black Dragon Fighting Society
There is no disgrace in a coward backing down when he knows he has no chance of winning and fears the embarrassment of losing. Sic Semper Tyrannis! Thus always to tyrants!