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Third Annual Black Dragon Fighting Society Gathering

Thursday-4 September 2014

They began quietly slipping into town the day before. By plane, train and automobile they came. From all over the country they came, to once again join in the fellowship and brotherhood of the most ancient and honorable Black Dragon Fighting Society. Masters and Grandmasters all, come to share their knowledge and good will, to see old friends again, to talk and eat and laugh and train in the martial arts. And all, humble as the dust, no fanfare, no parade nor guards of honor, just a quiet gathering of skill and ability like no other.

The setting was sunny Lido Beach, pearl of the Gulf Coast. People from all over the world come to vacation there, to wander the shops in St. Armand's Key, to visit the Ringling Art Museum, or the Salvador Dali Gallery, to stroll the snow white beaches and marvel at the clarity of the moon and stars, while enjoying the hospitality of the fabulous Lido Beach Resort. There were two towers, north and south. The latter was the site of the seminars and banquet, hosted by Shinja (Spiritual Warrior) Martial Arts University Hall of Honors. The Royal Palm Room of the eighth floor provided a spectacular view of the beach and Sarasota skyline.

It was the 3rd Annual Gathering of the Official Black Dragon Fighting Society, founded by Count Dante during the turmoil of the sixties and ressurected by Grandmaster Lawrence Day in the 21st century. It was a true Reunion for Hanshi Frank Dux and Grandmaster John Enger, who hadn't trained together since Fort Walton Beach in 2010. Always good to see old friends again.

Training in FWB 2010                                                 Grandmaster John Enger and Hanshi Dux

Friday-5 September 2014

Grandmaster Harris Demonstrating Fa Jing

The morning began with Meet and Greet in the Royal Palm Room on the 8th floor of the South Tower at 10 a.m. Dr. David Harris held the first seminar on dynamic internal training at 11 a.m. Dr. Harris is Grandmaster of three Martial Arts and Qi Gong, with twenty-five years experience. He held the world title in Kumite Open Fighting for two years and the world title for brick breaking. But, his greatest skill is in the healing arts. And all this begins with "grounding" and the circulation of Qi, as he explained and demonstrated.

Followed by Dr. Ed Carlson from Core Health. Dr. Carlson began Tae Kwon Do in 1982 and achieved Sandan-Black Belt 3rd Degree-Instructor certification. This martial arts background is part of his results based research group that uses the study of human energy for health and wellness. His hypnotic voice filled the room, carrying each person on a guided meditation to seek out and recall the "perfect moments" of their lives and to use them as a resource for strength and comfort in times of stress.

After lunch it was Grandmaster Mark Shuey's turn to demonstrate his Cane Fu techniques.

Grandmaster Shuey with Emmanuel Rodriguez and son

Starting Martial Arts in 1970 in the Chuck Norris System of Tang Soo Do, Grand Master Shuey received his 1st degree Black Belt in 1978 under Master Harold Gross, Master Dennis Itchakawa and Master Neil Citron, and started teaching the martial arts in 1979. In September of 1999 he was promoted to 7th degree by the USMA and ICHF.

Due to articles in the media, like the article by Jennifer Levitz in the Wall Street Journal in 2008 entitled "Everybody Is 'Cane Fu' Fighting At Senior Centers, So Watch Out!" and interviews on major tv sports and entertainment programs have helped to bring Mark's system of cane fighting to the attention of the world at large, and his "American Cane System" is being taught by over 300 instructors throughout the world.

Grandmaster Tony Southard

Then Grandmaster Anthony (Tony) Southard who has been in Martial Arts for over 40 years and has obtained numerous achievements during this time, who has trained Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces, worked in Law Enforcement, as a Firefighter and Paramedic Defensive Tactics Trainer, SWAT and SRT Instructor, K-9 Trainer, Specialist in Executive Protection, was former #1 Contender for the World PKA Kickboxing Championship and Vice-President of Shinja Martial Arts University, taught us the fundamentals of his Southard Combatives system.

The Southard Combat system is a proven, excellent self-defense system developed by Grand Master Tony Southard based on his many years of professional experience and martial arts knowledge. Techniques such as: Pressure Point manipulation, offense and defense with improvised weapons, anti-rape awareness and prevention, military training applications, personal and professional security, hand-to-hand combat training, police training, and how to disarm an opponent, these and more empower the individual to defend himself and others both quickly and effectively.

Saturday-6 September 2014

Grandmaster John Enger

Day Two began with Grandmaster John Enger delivering his techniques of Verbal Judo. Grandmaster Enger worked with the founder of Verbal Judo for many years and explained the history and development of this psychological method of defusing aggression and disarming the opponent.

During his career, he trained with numerous martial artists with various backgrounds and also received many Defensive Tactics Certifications, Classroom, Firearms and Tactical Baton Certifications at the local, state, and federal levels and was certified as a Defensive Tactics Instructor from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Soke Enger has taught many law enforcement officers, security officers and private individuals how to defend themselves on the street. During his career, John has received numerous commendations as well as four Citations for Heroism in the line of duty. His focus of study in the martial arts has been in Kenpo (American, Chinese and Combat), Tae Kwon Do, Combat Karate, Combat Hapkido, and Krav Maga. His emphasis has always been on martial arts that are reality based and street effective. He has earned Black Belts in several styles of martial arts. John holds a State of Florida Private Investigator’s License and has worked as a Private Investigator in the State of Florida. He is also a Personal Protection Expert, Security Consultant and President of Shinja Martial Arts University.

Soke Michael Kinney

Grandmaster Kinney demonstrating the importance of proper angling when striking with the foot

Next up was Grandmaster Michael Kinney. 2014, Year of the Horse, marks fifty-one years of martial arts training for Tae Kwon Do Soke Michael Kinney. He has been featured in Black Belt magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Professional Karate magazine, Washington Post magazine and Karate Illustrated, among others. Mr. Kinney serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the EUSA International Martial Arts Association.

His numerous television appearances have included NBC’s “Today Show” and ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” Mr. Kinney also was the host of “Kinney Karate World,” a series syndicated nationally and produced by Group W Television.

During his Martial Arts career, Michael Kinney has earned an international reputation as a leading competitor, coach, competition official, seminar leader and instructor.

Mr. Kinney is the founder and director of Kinney Karate and currently teaches in St. Petersburg FL. Kinney Karate is one of the largest schools in the nation and is recognized internationally. Kinney Karate has produced over a thousand Black Belts, many of whom own schools throughout the world. In 2013 he was inducted into the Tae Kwon Do Hall of Fame in Las Vegas NV.

Shihan Jeffery Prather

Jeffrey Prather, founder of Warriorschool, has trained for over 46 years in Japanese martial arts and is one of Hatsumi Soke's most senior Shihan (master or gentleman instructor). The Yamaneko Dojo is an official branch of Hatsumi Soke's dojo, Shihan Prather is a double Hatsumi Soke's Gold Medal.

The first was awarded for his development of the Close Quarter Combat course for the U.S.Marine Corps and the Army Special Operations Forces. the second for hosting the 1995 Tai Kai, which he had the honor of hosting a second time in 1999.

Shihan Prather holds a 10th Degree Black Belt in Shinkengata (real life combat) and is a member of the Martial Arts of Fame. He has written books on a variety of subjects and has written articles for Black Belt magazine, SWAT magazine and numerous other publications. He has instructed police and military organizations all over the world.

His Handgun Martial Arts Seminar was a big hit. Everyone enjoyed the techniques of attack and defense and the cordial training atmosphere.

Grandmaster John Landry

The closing seminar of the day was Grandmaster John Landry, Director of the South Florida State College Criminal Justice Academy, Retired State of Florida Law Enforcement Officer, Certified Police Defensive Tactics Trainer, Author, Professor, Ph.D. in Education from Capella University, 9th Dan Modern American Combatives, 8th Dan Shinja Buke Ryu, providing instruction in Shinja Buke Ryu.

Grandmaster Landry has been National Training Director for Shinja Martial Arts University since 2012. He began martial arts training (Judo) at the Ottawa, Illinois YMCA in 1974. He is the American Jujitsu Association National Awards Coordinator, a Member of the Advisory Board of the AFJ and the SMAU, was Presented with the Shinja Martial Arts Humanitarian Award in 2011, he is a Certified Instructor American Kenpo Legacy Association, Chief Instructor-Police Jujitsu/Kenpo Club-Hillsboro Beach Police, he has taught private students in Jupiter FL, Assisted Grandmaster Anthony Cataldo with a police academy martial arts club at the Palm Beach Criminal Justice Institute Police Academy – Florida, in 1990 he was Assistant Instructor for JM’s School of Martial Arts – Moline, Illinois.

He has coached his son John Carlos Landry in tournament competition throughout Southeast Florida during 2005-2007. He won the state second place trophy in free sparring. And, himself competed in tournaments in the Midwest in the 1980s in the king and fee fighting classes.

The Evening Banquet

Hanshi Frank Dux, Sensei Ashida Kim and Sensei Tiff Higgins-Royal Palm Grand Ballroom, Lido Beach Resort

Keynote Speaker-Grandmaster Don Miskel

“My name is Dr. Donald Miskel. I am the Judan Shodai Soke (10TH Dan first generation master) of the Black Lotus Martial Arts Association and the Grandmaster of the Dante Ryu Gojute Kempo system. I am also one of the original members and patriarchs of the IFAA Original Black Dragon Fighting Society. In 2012, upon the passing of Grandmaster Day, Dr. Miskel I was elected to the honorary position of leadership, Head of Family for the Black Dragon Fighting Society.

As we get older we tend to get nostalgic. I sit and think about the old days and the many martial artists I met along the way. I was there during the turbulent years of the martial arts in nineteen-sixties Chicago. The Midwest and especially Chicago was one of the strongholds of USKA karate, primarily because of John Keehan, AKA Count Dante.

Training was hard and tough in those days. When John Keehan broke away from the USKA and formed the first ‘World Karate Federation’, the training became brutally realistic. Full contact was practiced during many interschool training during those days. Injuries were commonplace. In most instances they were the rule rather than the exception. It was a rough time but I don’t regret a minute of it.

If you look at the IFAA Black Dragon Fighting Society as it exists today you’ll see the names of many legendary fighters. Many of them trained by John Keehan. One name that stands out through our history is Frank Dux. He was a fighting demon even as a young kid. I don’t know how he did it but he’d manage to make his way cross country to train with the senior instructors of the BDFS and with John himself. As a young kid he was standing toe to toe with some of the much older seasoned fighters. Most were old enough to be his father. Frank was respectful enough to these older fighters but once he got in the ring or on the mats all bets were off. He’s one of the few in our ranks who could go round for round with Vic Moore, who was a fighting terror, and even managed to beat him on a number of occasions. That was something that few others managed to do. Frank beat some of everyone, most older seasoned fighters. Because he had so much heart and an indomitable fighting spirit he was trained by the likes of John Keehan and Vic Moore for the kumite. He was one of the youngest fighters to compete in those tournaments and he accrued a legendary win average, that will be honored later here tonight.

We've come a long way since those days of segregated tournaments prejudice and we are moving into the 21st century with a new goal and a new motive. Frank Dux is a living legend and a role model for many young people and martial artists all over the world. And so are many of us who have taught classes and seminars and are well known in the martial arts world. This is where our fellowship is headed. To train always with and be the best of the best, so that we can continue to grow and learn and enjoy our arts, and set a good example for all.

I am sixty-five years old and I still work out and train. Aside from my martial arts training I lift weights and strength train regularly. I’m a minister, pastor and Christian Counselor and while, for the most part I like to think of myself as somewhat of a pacifist, I am still able to give a good account of myself if need be. That, with the many memories that I cherish, is the gift that was given me from the "old days’. Let's share them with new friends and students as we expand into the 21st century."

The Awards Ceremony

The evening presentation of awards began with the inaugural class of the Tai Chong School of Massage presenting an honorarium award to their teacher and founder of Shund Shen Tao, Grandmaster David Harris. The large engraved mirror was graciously accepted by Grandmaster Harris; who also received the Global Imapct Award for his pioneering efforts in martial arts, healthcare, computer technology and energy innovation.

Inaugural Graduating Class of the Tai Chong School of Massage-presenting The Avengers of Healthcare Award to their Teacher and Mentor Shun Shen Tao Grandmaster David Harris

For their tireless eforts on behalf of Shun Shen Tao, SRC4U, the Tai Chong School of Massage and countless other projects, for their great patience and persevervance, their kindess, generosity, warmth, good humor and friendship, Ray and Terrie Foley received the Wind Beneath Our Wings and Heart of the Dragon Awards.

Ray Foley-Wind Benath Our Wings Award                                                 Terrie Foley-Heart of the Dragon Award

Grandmaster Jay Blanton Anti-Bullying Award                                     Wanda Harris-Defender of the People Award

But, the highlight of the evening was the crowning of Hanshi Frank Dux as the King of Kumite. From 1975 through 1980, Frank Dux honed his martial arts and personal protection skills to the point that he was transformed him into the first truly Ultimate Fighting Champion, reigning as Kokuryukai World Full Contact Kumite (no-holds-barred) Champion; retiring undefeated and establishing 16 WORLD RECORDS; many of which have yet to be broken. As a a result of these skills and ability, as well as his kindness and selfless service to others that Hanshi Frank Dux has been inducted into five martial arts Halls of Fame as a “Living Legend.”

This night he was given the official Black Dragon Fighting Society-Intenational Fighting Arts Association award as King of Kumite. As he explained, "In Mongolia, when you win a tournament or a championship, they don't give you a belt or a trophy, they give you a big fur hat. So, this is doubly meaningful to me, because I have one of those hats too."

Hanshi Frank Dux-KING OF KUMITE-with 16 Unbroken World Records

He spoke about the "old days" and how we had transformed an organization that was sent to our country to promote racial strife and unrest into the champions of civil rights and equal treatment under the law that made us the center of controversy in the nineteen sixties. But now, some fifty years later they see that we were right, and they are beginning to realize that we are the leaders of our generation. Not because we choose to be, but simply because we know what is right and will not tolerate injustice. This is because we train hard, learned much and discovered the truth for ourselves. Our brotherhood is based on merit and skill. You gainmerit by doing good works. You gain skill with practice. Every year we meet like this to recognize the achievements of our members and support them as they continue to grow and learn and become better and better every day.

The awards, certificates of graduation, and induction of new members continued into the evening. Including the Shinja University Christian Martial Artist of the Year Casey Summers, one of Grandmaster Eugene Rice's students from Clay City KY and to Grandmaster Ashida Kim for Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts.

Casey Summers-Christian Martial Artist of the Year                                    Ashida Kim-Humanitarian Award

The Evening's Honorees Assembled

The unification of Shun Shen Tao and Shinja Martial Arts University events with the Annual Black Dragon Fighting Society Gathering provided a unique blend of martial and healing arts and a sense of cameraderie and friendship that was enjoyed by all. This year over 158 awards were presented in recognition of individual accomplishment and service and in the support of good works done by our members and affiliate organizations.

(l-r) GM Tony Southard, GM John Enger, Hanshi Frank Dux, GM Michael Kinney, GM David Harris,
Extraordinary Martial Arts Warior of the Year Sandan-Tim Broussard, Sensei Ashida Kim,
GM Emmanuel Rodriguez, GM Jay Blanton, GM and Head of Family Don Miskel

Sunday-7 September 2014

9:00 a.m. till 10:30 a.m. was the scheduled morning seminar for the final day.

Members in Good Standing ONLY Seminar

It was the closed seminar for Members in Good Standing ONLY taught by Hanshi Frank Dux. This seminar was not listed on the schedule or program. It was for those who had come to learn from the King of Kumite. For the hardy few, who always come early and stay late. The ones who pay their dues in loyalty, respect and honor. Everyone was in attendance. This year's topic equated military strategy with martial arts techniques. "What's the first thing you do wen you go to war?" He asked. Silence. "Disrupt the enemy's communications. What's the second thing?" Silence. Destroy his lines of supply. What's thethrid thing?" No answer. "Attack with overwhelming force." Whereupon he demonstrated the Twelve Angles of Attack and how the tactical movements related to these strategic principles.

Hanshi Frank Dux illustrating the military principles of martial arts techniques

Of course, the instruction lasted much longer than intended. It was noon before anyone realized the time had passed so quickly. Many hurried to get checked out and begin their long trips home. But, as is always the case, there was time for one more picture, one more handshake and promise to meet and train together again soon. And so,we bid a fond farewell to the sugar-white sands of the sunny Lido Beach Resort parting from the new friends we made and those we cherished for so long. It was a good Gathering, and we'll do it all again next year, remembering the past, celebrating the present, anticipating a great future.

pics/ban-shinja.gif   pics/ban-AK.JPG

Ashida Kim
American Representative
DOJO-Academy of Martial Arts

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